Cobras show future is bright at Clitheroe

Pictured, top, are Maz Hussain's Under 11s (Ribblesdale League), middle,  Hughie Wardle and Paul Atkinson's Under 10s (Lancashire League), and, bottom, Mick Dewhurst's Under 15s (s).
Pictured, top, are Maz Hussain's Under 11s (Ribblesdale League), middle, Hughie Wardle and Paul Atkinson's Under 10s (Lancashire League), and, bottom, Mick Dewhurst's Under 15s (s).
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Clitheroe Cobras celebrated the outstanding achievements of their nine cricket teams at their presentation night.

While the first XI at Chatburn Road grabbed the headlines by winning the senior league, the juniors also enjoyed a memorable year.

Around 150 children attended Cobras training on Thursday evenings during the summer ­under the watchful eyes of upto 24 coaches.

And many of the Under 15s and Under 13s have already made the step up to play for one of Clitheroe’s four senior teams,­ as well as excelling in their own age groups.

The two Cobras girls teams performed well in the Lancashire League ­ and also enjoyed an appearance on Sky Sports earlier this year.

They were filmed in the nets and during a Friday night game for part of a feature aired during the lunch break of an England Test match.

Meanwhile, the Under 15 boys were crowned county champions and also came third in the whole of Northern England.

The Under 13s won their division of Ribblesdale League for their age group ­ as did the Under 11s, who made it a double by also picking up the Arthur Shaw Cup.

Not to be out­done, the Under 10s won the Lancashire League for the year above them, while the Under 9s ­ also with several boys playing well out of their age group ­ finished as runners­-up.

Some notable individual feats were recognised too as 12 players ­ six boys and six girls ­ were handed Lancashire call­ups.

In addition, a further 20 young players were selected the Ribblesdale League and Ribble Valley in their respective age groups.

And Stan Fitzgerald was also given an award for his outstanding efforts in earning the ECB’s Clubmark ­ recognition for prioritising junior development.

Junior cricket co­ordinator Paul Atkinson said: “It was a great evening to round off a fantastic season.

“Over the last 12 months our main aim has been to unite the club and foster an atmosphere where people are made to feel welcome.

“We want Clitheroe Cobras to be a place where people can come and enjoy our facilities and get involved with any initiatives. Hopefully we are on the way to achieving that.

“Chatburn Road was chosen to host a Lancashire Under 10s game and a training night for the Lancs Under 15s girls’ team. We like to think that is recognition of what we are trying to do here.

“We’d like to thank all our sponsors for their support and generosity this year ­ and I owe a big thank you to our cricket chair Amanda Hall and Hughie Wardle for their help and support.”

It was Amanda along with first team skipper Paul Gaskell - one of the club’s homegrown players ­ who presented the prizes to the youngsters.

Sponsored by Bishop Electrical and Alan Hacking Butchers, It was well attended by members of the executive committees and all the senior captains.

Host Mark Stewart laid on pie and peas, while a raffle raised money for the club and its chosen charity Dreams and Wishes.

Club chairman Robin Sharp said: “Everyone connected with this club is extremely proud of the Cobras and their achievements this year.

“Paul has done a fabulous job in bringing everyone together since taking over as co­ordinator.

“Our youth set­up is widely admired around the county and we fully expect it to go from strength to ­strength next season and beyond.”