The key to success may lie in the strength of Read’s batting order says club captain

Read's Michael Whalley just fails to connect with the delivery from Ribblesdale Wanderers' Ian Britcliffe.   A130811/4c
Read's Michael Whalley just fails to connect with the delivery from Ribblesdale Wanderers' Ian Britcliffe. A130811/4c

Andrew Rushton believes the strength of Read’s batting order could be key to the club’s success this season.

Another high-scoring win over Salesbury at the weekend moved the 11-time Ribblesdale Cricket League champions in to fifth spot in the overall hierarchy and they have a game in hand on their rivals.

Read have surpassed 200 runs on seven occasions across the board this term, including 431 against Cherry Tree last month in a fixture which saw professional Matthew Walker hit a record-breaking knock of 210.

With the middle order doing the business on this occasion, the skipper said: “We got another big score with 296. Michael Whalley came in and hit 121 not out and William Wrathall added a quick fire 59 not out. We then bowled them out for 227.

“It was very good and shows that we’re capable even if the professional fails. We can bat all the way down to number 10. We’ve all had Senior League 50s. If the top order fails we’ve got a strong back order.

“Those knocks were much needed. We were 81-4 at the time and Salesbury had us on the rocks. Those two got together and stabalised the ship.”

Read, who face Settle at the Marshfield Ground in the Twenty20 tomorrow evening, also have the chance to progress to the final four of the Ramsbottom Cup this weekend, though they’ll have to reverse recent form if they’re to overcome Padiham in the quarter-final at the Arbories on Sunday.

“We’ve got Padiham on Sunday and we’ll look to get a bit of revenge for defeats in the league and Twenty20,” said Rushton. “There’s a place in the semi-final of the Ramsbottom Cup at stake so there’s something wrong if we can’t get motivated for that.

“It’ll be a good game because they’ll want to beat us as much as we want to beat them. It’ll be a good day and we owe them one.

“I would say it’s probably our best chance of silverware. It’s not an easy route though even if we did get through this round.”

Ahead of a league game against Earby on Saturday, Rushton added: “We’ve got a game in hand against Earby. The games are getting tougher so we all need to perform.

“I can’t ask for any more if we keep getting these big totals though. We will win more games than we’ll lose.”