ONLY once in the club’s history have Ribblesdale Wanderers won the Ramsbottom Cup.
Almost 12 years have passed since that rare occasion occurred when man of the match Graham Monk’s 5-19 helped the Church Meadow side to victory over Cherry Tree.
But history could now be repeated as Wanderers face Read in the final of the competition on Sunday, July 31st at Oswaldtwistle Immanuel’s New Lane. Ian Britcliffe’s side overcame Whalley at Station Road on Sunday, recording a six-wicket win, to register their place in the final.
The hosts, who opted to bat first after winning the toss, ended the innings with a total of 183. Paid man Kamran Younas opened with 36, partnered by Richard Lamb (14), but on the professional’s dismissal the Whalley amateurs started to crumble. Only Lee Kearsley (40), captain Richard Palmer (23) and Simon Gorton (22) could make contributions of any worthy significance. Both Wanderers skipper Britcliffe and David Howard claimed two wickets apiece in Whalley’s demise while Michael Clarkson and John Braithwaite bowled admirably economic spells.
“Again the opposition got off to a great start, 50-0 from nine overs,” said Britcliffe. “But again we wrestled the game back and restricted them to just another 120 runs from the remaining 40 overs. Michael Clarkson and John Braithwaite were the pick of the bowling.”
Howard’s unbeaten 62 was the pick of Ribblesdale’s innings while John Rain added 32 and opener Alistair Marsh 28.
“Again we lost one or two early wickets, but Dave, John and Brannon (Varley) turned the game around.
“Dave Howard excelled with a really patient innings of 62 not out.
“A really magnificent effort against a good Whalley attack. The running between the wickets was the key to two significant stands with Rain and Varley..”
The day before, Ribblesdale threw a spanner in Baxenden’s stumbling title chase.
Professional Muhammad Wajihuddin recorded his first century for the club, smashing an unbeaten 110 from 116 deliveries which included seven fours and four sixes.
He earlier took 6-56 to limit Bash to 200.
Varley added three wickets in an impressive six-wicket victory.
“It was probably one of the best weekends we have had in quite a while,” said Britcliffe. “The team effort and commitment couldn’t be faulted right through the two games.
“We lost the toss both days, contained the opposition to reasonable targets and then chased them both down.”