Final loss shrugged off

GOOD SPELL: Whalley bowler David O'Neill took 2-9 in the Twenty20 final
GOOD SPELL: Whalley bowler David O'Neill took 2-9 in the Twenty20 final

WHALLEY skipper Richard Palmer was philosophical after seeing his side’s hopes of a fourth Ribblesdale League Twenty20 title in five years go up in smoke on Bank Holiday Monday.

Facing the league’s bottom side Settle, Whalley went into the game as big favourites, but the locals went down to a seven-wicket defeat at Marshfield.

However, over the weekend, Palmer’s men secured fourth spot at least in the league – their best finish for some time – and the captain said: “All good things come to an end – we got what we deserved on the night.

“There are no excuses, we just didn’t perform as well as we have been doing.

“We didn’t bat well – we only made 87-7 – and maybe if we had performed better in the field, we might have been able to defend that.

“But we didn’t, we dropped catches and all departments of our game were well below-par.”

Professional Kamran Younas top-scored with 24, with Lee Kearsley and Declan Fitzhenry both adding 13.

But Settle eased home with an unbeaten 50 from William Davidson, despite figures of 2-9 off four overs from David O’Neill.

Palmer would rather look at the season as a whole, saying: “We’ve guaranteed fourth place in the league, reached the semi-final of the Ramsbottom Cup, and the final of the Twenty20.

“A lot of clubs would be envious of that, so we’re not too despondent.

“I was speaking to David O’Neill, and we can’t remember the last time we finished as high as we have – you’re probably going back to the mid-1990s, so it’s been a great season for the club.

“There’s still a couple of games left, but we’re already looking forward to next season, there’s a new-found confidence and hopefully we can build on that, and do even better.”