Clitheroe captain Peter Dibb was as proud as punch with the club’s proteges as they survived their first season in the Lancashire League’s top flight.
The 2017 champions finished the campaign in eighth position and will therefore continue to ply their trade in the ultra-competitive Division One.
Clitheroe were well beaten by Darwen at Chatburn Road on the final day, but the result was secondary on an afternoon where six teenagers were fielded in the first XI.
Charlie Dewhurst, Harry Lang, Sam Mulligan and Eli Smith, who have featured prominently this term, were joined by Charlie Atkinson and Assad Mehmood.
“We were at home against Darwen and we were all out for 86,” said Dibb. “They knocked them off with three down. It was an early finish for us, it just had that typical end of season feel to it.
“I’m pleased with how we’ve done. We’ve had four lads under the age of 20 playing every week, which no other team has done.
“In our last game we had a lad playing who was only 16 so to survive in that division is some achievement.”
Dibb, who bid farewell to professional Suraj Randiv on Sunday, added: “We lost our best player [Jack Dewhurst] in the summer as well so to be where we are in the Lancashire League is brilliant.
“We finished in the same position as last season with what is essentially a weaker squad in a tougher league.
“The young lads will take a lot from that and I’m proud of them. We couldn’t have asked any more of them. We’re just in the process of trying to develop a team that will dominate for five/six/seven years.
“It’s been a big team effort. Everyone has chipped in and won us games. I can’t single an individual out. They’ve all contributed when needed.”
In the Ribblesdale Cricket League, it looks as though Ribblesdale Wanderers will miss out on promotion in Section B for a third season in succession.
Jordan Britcliffe’s side were in the driving seat heading in to the penultimate fixture of the campaign, but defeat to rivals Earby altered the complexion.
A five-wicket win for Luke Hipgrave’s men at Church Meadow now means that it is they who hold an eight point advantage going in to the final weekend.
Ryan Canning (56) and Shaan Singh-Parhar (44) had put on 97 for the fifth wicket in the home side’s 173-8 finish as Jovaun Van Wyngaardt took 4-60 for Earby.
However, the visitors recovered from 1-1 and 20-2 to leapfrog their opponents in to second spot. Girvacques De Jager was a man on a mission when top-scoring with an unbeaten knock of 87, which included five fours and six sixes.
Read now look nailed on to finish up as the best of the rest in the top flight after beating Section B champions Barnoldswick at Whalley Road.
Luke Jongwe claimed 4-21 while Warren Eastham didn’t concede a run when taking three wickets inside two overs as the away side were out for 68.
Captain Matthew Walker, who hit eight boundaries from 21 balls when unbeaten on 40, partnered opener Joel Duerden to the finish.
Elsewhere, Salesbury beat Padiham by two wickets at the Arbories with Callum Clarke posting 88 for the hosts in their 119 total and Hashen Ramanayake taking 6-22.
Salesbury got over the line in the 36th over as Josh Bristol top-scored with 32 not out batting at number seven.
Finally, Whalley protected their 150-6 finish at Station Road to beat already relegated Brinscall by 58 runs.