Paid man Brannon is a find

RIBBLESDALE WANDERERS CC: Ian Britcliffe.'Photo Ben Parsons
RIBBLESDALE WANDERERS CC: Ian Britcliffe.'Photo Ben Parsons

THE manner in which you finish a project is much more important than the way you start it - just ask Ribblesdale Wanderers captain Ian Britcliffe.

In four of their last five fixtures when asked to defend their total the Church Meadow side have completed their task with true guile and application.

Only third place Read have been able to break the spell but that’s just one blemish Britcliffe is prepared to ignore.

He said: “I just want to applaud my players really. Every time that we’re required to defend a total we seem to do it. It was difficult on a wet wicket against Great Harwood and we didn’t bat brilliantly. The batsman lower down in the order have batted respectably and helped us out with messrs Martin Briggs and Mick Clarkson adding knocks of 20-plus.”

The visitors asked questions of Britcliffe’s side when restricting them to 58-6 though the introduction of Briggs and then Clarkson at eight and nine respectively did much to resolve that matter. And the end result was in no doubt once Brannon Varley and paid man Muhammad Wajihuddin became prevalent with the ball. The pair took 5-61 and 4-37 from their respective spells. Britcliife’s new acquisition, who hails from South Africa, travels hundreds of miles from Essex each weekend to represent Ribblesdale Wanderers.

“We bowled and fielded really well with Brannon Varley and our professional leading the way,” Britcliffe said. “Brannon was exceptional with the ball and Waji keeps performing week-in, week-out. If he doesn’t do it with the bat then he’ll do it with the ball. Brannon has been a revelation and he really complements our pro. It’s a bit like having two pros at times. He’s made a huge difference, he’s a big talent and he’s very dedicated.”

But Britcliffe is fully aware that the recent success has been much of a team effort. He added: “We just graft and it’s great to see. I appreciate everything the lads are doing and fifth place for us at this stage is brilliant considering where we were three or four weeks ago. We’ve got three wins from four now and there’s a real belief in the camp. At the weekend we just re-grouped and stuck at it.”

• A confident knock of 69 from Mark Nerenberg couldn’t inspire Chatburn to victory against Foulridge in the Craven and District League Second Division.

The locals set a target of 178 and looked on course for victory until K. Ishaq entered the fray at the bottom end of the order to fire an unbeaten half century as Foulridge surpassed their target with little more than two overs remaining.