Clitheroe’s current standing in the JW Lees Lancashire Cricket League table is a barometer of just how competitive the division now is.
The champions moved back in to the top 10 after beating second placed Ramsbottom by six wickets at Chatburn Road.
Having won the title relatively comfortably last term, on the back of ruling the roost in the Ribblesdale League for four successive seasons, Jack Dewhurst’s side could have a real battle on their hands in qualifying for the top tier in 2019.
Simon Hanson top scored with an unbeaten 57 in Ramsbottom’s 154 all out, as the visitors were restricted by Sam Halstead (3-37) and Josh Marquet (2-52).
Rehan Udwadia (3-35) struck back with the ball, sending back Harry Lang (1), Peter Dibb (4) and Sam Mulligan (0) to reduce Clitheroe to 8-3.
Dewhurst and professional Fawad Alam then put together a match-winning stand of 131 for the fourth wicket to take Clitheroe within touching distance of victory.
Dewhurst hit eight fours and three sixes in making 62 with Alam hitting 10 fours and a six in making 71.
Thomas Lord (4 not out) and Farooq Butt (7 not out) then took care of the rest to see Clitheroe safely past the target in the 26th over.
Twenty20 holders Clitheroe piled up a competition record 256-2 to beat Walsden by 66 runs at Scott Street and make Finals Day.
Peter Dibb hit an unbeaten 105 from 58 balls, adding 86 with Thomas Lord (46 from 21 balls) and 142 with Alam (89 from 41 balls).
Halstead’s 4-45 helped to restrict Walsden to 190 all out.
* Clitheroe Cricket Club have organised their first ever Former Players’ Day next month.
Anyone who has represented the Chatburn Road club in the past is welcome to attend on Sunday, August 12th.
As well as a drink and a bite to eat, there will be a chance to watch the current first XI take on Colne that afternoon.
Clitheroe CC is currently thriving but is keen to reconnect with the old players who have represented them over the years.
They are urging all former captains and players to get in touch with former team-mates to invite them along and ensure the inaugural even is a success.
Anyone interested in coming along to catch up with some familar and friendly faces should contact Neil Bolton on 07733112623 or email email@example.com
Meanwhile, Clitheroe are hoping the townsfolk will get behind the team at the Lancashire League’s Twenty20 finals day at the end of this month.
Jack Dewshurst’s men beat Walsden on Friday to reach the last four – which will be played at Ramsbottom CC on Sunday July 29th.
The club have organised a coach over and hope to fill it as Clitheroe look to defend their Twenty20 title.
Coach tickets are priced at £6, available behind the bar or at clitheroecricket.com
Also in action on the night will be hosts Ramsbottom, Burnley and last year’s runners-up Darwen.
* A Clitheroe XI will host Waddington at Chatburn Road tomorrow night in their annual Charity Twenty20 game.
All money raised will go to Pendleside Hospice.