SALESBURY skipper Steve Brown admitted he’d forgotten what it felt like to win.
On Saturday Ribchester Road staged the side’s first victory in the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale Cricket League in 69 days.
A seven-wicket triumph over Padiham at the end of May was the club’s last success, their third consecutive win adding to those against Earby and Edenfield.
But they’ve had to be patient, and good things came to those that waited as they comprehensively beat Cherry Tree.
“It was a good win which was a long time coming,” said Brown. “It’s been about three months since we last won a league match. Last time we won was against Padiham and it seems like ages ago. It was a long slog really and I’d forgotten what it was like to win a game.”
Brown was the catalyst of Salesbury’s early rise, taking 5-55 as the visitors were restricted to a 157-total. And he was delighted with his performance following a barren campaign to date.
“I was very happy with my personal performance,” he beamed. “I’ve not taken many wickets this season so I was happy to contribute. We managed to oust their top six quite quickly and then restricted them to a decent score on that wicket before the pro (Susantha Pradeep) knocked them off at the end.”
In the reply, chasing a weather inflicted revised target, Pradeep stepped to the fore smashing boundary after boundary. In all he hit 15 fours in a confident, composed, unbeaten knock of 84 to register a six wicket win.
Brown said: “I hope we can push on now.
“We’ve got three double headers coming up so there’s plenty of cricket to be played and plenty of points at stake. We just want to take a couple of wins from those and stay off the bottom.”
Since climbing in to the senior league, their first season being 2010, Salesbury have finished at the foot of the table both times. But Brown feels the club are progressing and can improve on 11th position where they currently stand.
“I feel we have definitely progressed,” he said. “The younger lads are maturing, settling in and are contributing and the pro has been consistent with the bat. Everyone is chipping in, we’re enjoying it and the youngsters are adapting to playing against professionals and good amateur players.
“We’ve got eight games left and three or four wins from that would be good. We’re targeting a finish just below mid-table; we’d be delighted with that.”
Elsewhere, Read failed to take advantage of league leaders Barnoldswick’s abandoned clash against Edenfield at Victory Park, suffering a three-wicket reverse at the hands of Baxenden.
Whalley Road skipper Kyle O’Connor opened with 46 while professional Jordan Clark and Mohammed Jamal built on those foundations with respective knocks of 44 and 55. Elliott Artingstoll added 20 to proceedings and Jon Harvey 15 as the visitors climbed to a 193-5 finish.
In the reply Elliot Lowes bagged a four-wicket haul and Harvey added three but the pair were unable to make the breakthrough soon enough, conceding 177 runs between them. Chasing a revised target of 173, Bash paid man Kamran Younas struck 60 while Andrew Caunce, coming in at number six, fired 28 and Danny Holland obliged with an unbeaten 25 to see the home side over the line. The gulf between first and second is now 31 points.
Meanwhile, Clitheroe tightened their grip on the final Lancashire Cup spot with a 16-run victory over Padiham.
Thomas Lord was the hero of the home side’s innings at Chatburn Road, firing four fours and eight sixes on his way to 76 while Peter Dibb claimed the second highest knock with 25.
Clitheroe’s four-pronged bowling attack punished John Bushell’s side, as Padiham looked to chase down a 152 total. Paid man Kashif Siddique and Joshua Marquet claimed three wickets apiece while Lord and Jack Dewhurst added another two each.
In other results, Lee Kearsley’s impressive unbeaten 65 built the foundations as Whalley beat Oswaldtwistle Immanuel by 53 runs. Simon Gorton then bagged a sensational six-wicket haul to finish the job off. But there was less fortune for Ribblesdale Wanderers as they lost out to struggling Earby by six wickets at the Applegarth.
WITH just two games to go, the Clitheroe Cricket League is still in the balance with Calderstones just having their noses in front.
In the only action this week there was a cracking game between Chipping Ramblers and Sabden.
Ramblers batted first after a delayed start and made 81 off their 15 overs , Phil Mayors again the lynchpin with 31 retired.
In reply Sabden slumped to 4-4 but Nick Burton (26) and Paul McKenna (16) led the recovery....in the end it came down to the very last ball when a scrambled two made the scores level but Sabden won by virtue of losing fewer wickets.