Clitheroe captain Jack Dewhurst suggested that the return of professional Fawad Alam had a calming influence on his side as the champions returned to winning ways.
After last weekend’s double blow, with defeats against Ramsbottom in the Worsley Cup and Burnley in the Lancashire League, the Chatburn Road side recovered well to beat Church by eight wickets.
The Pakistani all-rounder, who posted 599 runs last term and 38 wickets, took his first victim having arrived back in the Ribble Valley, with Sam Griffin falling lbw.
“The pro was back as well, which helps because you’re not scurrying around for sub-pros,” said the skipper.
“We know what he can bring, his character helps, he’s such a nice bloke and he brings a calmness.
“We know that we can rely on him. He was unfortunate not to get picked for Pakistan but that has worked out well for us.”
With Dewhurst adding 3-43 and Marcus Sharp taking a couple of wickets to restrict the visitors to 176-8, it was up to Harry Lang and Harrison Phelan to take care of the rest.
The pair both registered career best knocks with 18-year-old Lang finishing the innings unbeaten on 65, inclusive of 11 fours, while Phelan hit eight boundaries on his way to 55.
“It was good. Harry got his first 50 which was very pleasing and Harrison also did very well with the bat,” said Dewhurst. “Both scored the best knocks of their careers.
“Our first three batsmen are all teenagers; Harry is 18 and he’s working really hard. Hopefully he can kick on from that now and gain a bit of confidence.
“I’m really pleased for him. He is reaping the rewards for his efforts. It is a weight off his shoulders and he was buzzing about it. He looked like he enjoyed it.”
Clitheroe travel to Birch Hall to play last season’s runners up Darwen tomorrow and then host Chorley in the first round of the Lancashire Knockout Cup on Sunday.
Dewhurst said: “We always want a good run in the cup, especially with home draws.
“We just need to plough on but we definitely want to be winning this one.”