It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and it’s a new life for Clitheroe in the Lancashire League but it seems to be business as usual for the club, having qualified for Twenty20 Finals Day.
Paul Gaskell’s men were a dominant force in their former residence in the Ribblesdale Cricket League, claiming all the silverware on offer last term.
Clitheroe, who secured the title for a fourth season in succession, were crowned Ramsbottom Cup champions, as well as winning the limited overs format.
Tradition has been transferred over to their new home, with Lancashire League chiefs introducing a showpiece for the competition.
The finale will be hosted by Darwen at Birch Hall a week on Saturday after they beat Nelson in their quarter-final tie on Tuesday night.
“We are looking forward to it,” said Gaskell. “It’s the first time that the Lancashire League has held a Finals Day, so we are excited.
“We’ve experienced it in the Ribblesdale League, and I’m sure that the Lancs League will put on a show. We’re excited to be a part of it.
“They are brilliant, especially if you can make it to the final and go on to win it. It’s fantastic. We are there and we’ll try and give a good account of ourselves.
“It will be well-attended with it being the first one, and it would be nice to create a bit of history.
“There are still some really good sides left in the competition, and anything can happen in the Twenty20.”
Professional Fawad Alam was the main man in the six-wicket win against Burnley, firing 45 from 42 balls before taking 4-26. Jack Dewhurst also hit an unbeaten 37.
However, Clitheroe were less than impressive against Rishton at Blackburn Road when returning to 50 overs.
After the hosts posted 112, with Sam Halstead taking 5-28, Gaskell’s side were expected to saw up another victory.
However, Matt Lambert (5-27) matched Halstead’s prolific spell as Clitheroe were extinguished six runs short of their target.
“Against Rishton we did 75% of things right but I’ve not seen anything like the other 25%,” Gaskell said.
“We were cruising at one point so you’ve got to give Rishton credit because they stuck at it and put us under pressure. They deserved to win.
“With the experience that we have of being in those kind of positions and winning games like that I was expecting us to get over the line.
“We’ve got two games left before the split and they’re good games to get in to because we’ll need to be at it. We’re still in a really good position.”
Clitheroe host Ramsbottom at Chatburn Road tomorrow before entertaining Lowerhouse in the quarter-final of the LCB Knockout Cup on Sunday.