Clitheroe are gunning for a second trophy

Clitheroe professional Fawad Alam in action against Ramsbottom
Clitheroe professional Fawad Alam in action against Ramsbottom

There’ll be no let up from Clitheroe as the Lancashire League newcomers look to add to their Twenty20 triumph.

Paul Gaskell’s side did everything that was asked of them at the weekend as they came through the biggest challenge of the term completely unscathed.

Having lifted their first piece of silverware at this level, beating hosts Darwen in the finale of the limited overs competition, the table toppers are now just three games away from the title.

Professional Fawad Alam hit 219 runs over four appearances in league and cup and finished unbeaten in three of those innings.

His first, a knock of 42 not out, helped Clitheroe to an eight-wicket win over defending champions Ramsbottom at Acre Bottom.

The home side’s sub professional Daryn Smit looked to have delayed the revolution for a moment when finishing unbeaten on 99 but Ramsbottom were wiped out for 142.

That tipped the crown in Clitheroe’s favour in their attempts to usurp their opponents and 60 not out from Jack Dewhurst, who passed 500 runs for the season, further aided that cause.

Alam also passed that milestone with a knock of 66 in a six-wicket win over Lowerhouse at Chatburn Road.

After the West Enders culminated on 135-7, with Ali Ross taking a league best 3-23, the home side’s Pakistan paid man took care of business.

“We’re not there yet,” said Gaskell, ahead of another double header against Haslingden (home) and Nelson (away).

“It’s in touching distance but we’ve got another double header to contend with. If we fire again this weekend then we’ve got a really good chance.

“We’ll be battling right through until the end. This is a key moment in our season so we just need to keep pushing hard.”

Alam then struck five fours and a six in making an unbeaten 53 from 44 balls as the former Ribblesdale Cricket League representatives prevailed in the semi-final of the Twenty20 at the expense of Bacup.

Clitheroe shone on the first ever Finals Day, initially overcoming Tim Farragher’s men by seven wickets.

Smit haunted Clitheroe for a period again when hitting 70 not out in a 106-8 total but the champions were just too good. Alam took care of the rest, putting on 69 for the third wicket alongside Charlie Dewhurst (35).

They then overcame Darwen by eight wickets at Birch Hall to add yet another trophy to the club’s congested cabinet.

Alam hit his second unbeaten half century of the day to take his team to victory with three overs to spare.

Chasing the home side’s 132-7 total, the paid man and man of the match Jack Dewhurst put together an unbroken match winning stand of 110 for the third wicket.

Dewhurst hit two sixes and two fours in making an unbeaten 41 from 39 balls with Alam striking eight boundaries in an unbeaten 58 made from 43 balls.

“It was quite comprehensive,” said Gaskell. “I was really impressed with the manner of the victory. Jack and the pro were fantastic, in fact Fawad has been immense all weekend.

“He really stands up when he needs to and he ended the weekend perfectly.

“It’s always a proud moment when winning a trophy. Hopefully that will prove to be the first of two. The lads were first class and we’re really pleased.”