The 2018 campaign is unlikely to hold too many fond memories for usurped Lancashire League champions Clitheroe.
The undisputed Ribblesdale Cricket League champions, who were glorious in their maiden season at this level, not only handed their crown over to newcomers Walsden but also surrendered their Twenty20 trophy to Burnley.
Unfortunately, that particular picture is reflective of the club’s representation on the league’s order of merit where runs, wickets and dismissals are charted.
Clitheroe were reliant on the expertise of professional Fawad Alam and captain Jack Dewhurst throughout the term.
Pakistani paid man Alam was on course to eclipse last season’s total of 599 runs before returning home to Pakistan.
The 32-year-old, who boasted a First-class average of 56.5 in making 10,172 runs when signing, adding 43 wickets at a 38 average in 135 First-class matches, had climbed to 495 runs in 16 games across all competitions.
Alam, who hit a high score of 96 not out, averaged 61.87 in his 13 innings with the bat, the fourth best return of paid men who had featured in more than 10 matches.
His form with the ball wasn’t quite on par with last season’s figures, when averaging 11.78 at the close of play, but Alam was quite prominent in the standings.
Judged on wickets taken the Chatburn Road paid man entered the charts in the top 10 with 37, which included a seasonal best of 5-38.
Alam’s average had slipped ever-so-slightly but, entering calculations of professionals who had delivered more than 500 balls, his statistics were the fifth best on offer.
Of players that had bowled more than 165 overs only Walsden pro Umesh Karunaratne bettered Alam’s average of 15.08.
Sam Halstead closed last season with 45 wickets, just four short of Darwen’s David Bowden.
However, Alam was only aided by his skipper, Dewhurst, where the individual honours list was concerned on this occasion.
The 25-year-old, who was handed the responsibility by Paul Gaskell at the start of the season, was the third highest run scorer in the hierarchy, only just behind Walsden’s Josh Gale ((817) and Rishton professional Mansoor Amjad (803).
Dewhurst finished up with 801 runs, including a high score 0f 130 against Colne in August, at an average of 44.50. That breakdown was the fifth best recorded in the Lancashire League of amateurs who had played 15 or more innings.
In the field it was left to wicket-keeper Kurt Robinson to keep up appearances for the club in the rankings.
The former Padiham amateur was just outside the top 10 in terms of dismissals, with 15 catches and three stumpings providing the make-up of the 18 scalps he catered for.
Having qualified for the top flight next season, secured by their eighth place finish, Dewhurst said: “It shows how competitive this league is going to be.
“It’s going to be very competitive next year.
“Everything would suggest that it’s going to be the toughest league that we’ve been involved in.
“It’s going to be difficult every week if we get in to that top half.
“It’s going to be a brilliant test for everyone. We’ll all have to push on again.”