Clitheroe captain Gaskell knows that they are on the edge of glory

Charlie Dewhurst, who top scored with 29						                          PICTURES: Keith Driver
Charlie Dewhurst, who top scored with 29 PICTURES: Keith Driver

Paul Gaskell acknowledges that everything could be won or lost for Clitheroe this coming weekend.

The Lancashire League leaders, who own an 11-point advantage at the summit, could potentially move closer to their first title at this level when taking on Ramsbottom at Acre Bottom and Lowerhouse at Chatburn Road.

Samit Patel who took  1-9 & scored 21 off 13 deliveries						PICTURES: Keith Driver

Samit Patel who took 1-9 & scored 21 off 13 deliveries PICTURES: Keith Driver

Saturday’s fixture at Centre Vale between Todmorden and Darwen, placed second and third respectively, could also help Clitheroe’s cause.

The once dominant force in the Ribblesdale Cricket League upped the ante when beating East Lancs by seven wickets on home soil.

Thomas Lord took 4-25 to help restrict the visitors to 98-9 in a 29 overs a-side match, before the all-rounder hit three sixes and a couple of fours in an unbeaten 27 from 13 balls to see Clitheroe home in the 16th over.

Charlie Dewhurst also hit an unbeaten 29, Ali Ross 14 and sub professional Samit Patel 21 from 13 balls with two sixes and two fours.

“It’s turning out to be a good end to the season,” said the skipper. “We beat Darwen and Todmorden, which effectively turned it into a three-horse race.

“It puts us right in it with five games to go but there aren’t any easy games remaining.

“If we can get through this weekend unscathed then it gives us a big chance. Positive results this weekend would be massive for us.

“There is still plenty of excitement and it’s creating a real buzz. We’ve been in this position before, it’s a different competition, but we know what we’ve got to do.

“It’s going to be a big challenge but it’s one that the lads are standing up to. I wouldn’t expect anything else from them. Hopefully that will continue.”

Clitheroe will also be featuring in the league’s first Twenty20 Finals Day on Bank Holiday Monday as they take on Bacup in the semi-final at Birch Hall. Hosts Darwen entertain Todmorden in the other game.

With a first piece of silverware on the line, Gaskell said: “It could be massive for us but we know that anything can happen on Finals Day. It could change everything so it is the biggest weekend of our season without a doubt. We’re up for it.

“It would be brilliant to win some silverware in our first season. We’ve played against some big clubs and some really strong teams. I’m not surprised at how well we’ve done though.

“It’s great. It’s going to be a nail-biting finish for sure but we want something to show for our efforts. It’s great to be involved in this battle.”