Whalley building towards something very special with the treble still alive

Whalley batsman Richard Lamb scoring runs against Earby
Whalley batsman Richard Lamb scoring runs against Earby

Richard Lamb isn’t counting his chickens before they’ve hatched but the Whalley captain knows that the club could register its most successful season in more than four decades.

It was 1971 when Whalley won the Ribblesdale Cricket League and Ramsbottom Cup double, with the Station Road side winning both competitions just twice since, but the opportunity to land the treble, with the Twenty20 competition thrown in there too, is still well and truly alive.

Richard Lamb’s men are currently second in the standings, 16 points adrift of leaders Settle, they entertain Read on home soil in the cup final and they have also qualified for Finals Day in the limited overs competition.

The three-time Twenty20 champions haven’t won the league since 1990 and have been unsuccessful in the Ramsbottom Cup since 1994 but this could be their year.

“It’s going well,” said Lamb. “At the start of the season our objective was to compete in all competitions.

“We’ve reached the Ramsbottom Cup final, we’ve made it all the way through to Twenty20 Finals Day and we’re second in the league. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity to win some silverware. It’s without a doubt our best season for some time.

“We’re in a great position. It’s the best we’ve done across all competitions for some years.”

Whalley beat Barnoldswick at the weekend with professional Toby Bulcock once again displaying his all-round expertise in the sport.

The 26-year-old Englishman, who represents Cumberland, fired an unbeaten half-century in Whalley’s 173-8 before taking 4-18 in the reply.

Sam Sweeney also continued to impress with outstanding figures of 5-46. The pair have 90 wickets between them this season.

Lamb said: “We’ve freshened things up with a couple of new faces to go alongside our existing players.

“Stuart Crabtree from Accrington has been a great addition for us, Sam Sweeney has taken wickets and scored runs and the pro has done a fantastic job. There’s a good mix and it’s made a difference.

“We want to push Settle all the way. We’ve put ourselves in a position to compete on all fronts.

“Ideally you want to win at least one of those competitions. We’re really keen to push on from this position and get some silverware in the cabinet.”