Ribblesdale Wanderers end on high

OUT: Earby's Martin Windle is bowled by Wanderers' captain Ian Britcliffe
OUT: Earby's Martin Windle is bowled by Wanderers' captain Ian Britcliffe
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IT’S not how you start, it’s how you finish.

Well that’s the philosophy Ribblesdale Wanderers skipper Ian Britcliffe is adopting following his side’s victory over Earby.

A Ramsbottom Cup hangover scuppered the hosts’ performance early on at Church Meadow.

The away side were cruising with more than 100 runs on the board at the expense of just one wicket. But once captain fantastic Britcliffe claimed the scalp of Earby pro Ali Azmat - the first of his five victims - the visitors sank and their batting order fell at a sporadic rate.

“I think we suffered a bit of a hangover from our Ramsbottom Cup success because we were very slow starting,” said Britcliffe. “They were 116-1 off the first 20 overs but once we’d got their pro it was a walk in the park really. They ended up only making about 60 runs off the last 25 overs.”

David Howard added 3-23 to restrict Earby to 168 before the Wanderers batsmen marched on. Opener Alistair Marsh made 29, paid man Muhammad Wajihuddin added 33, Howard topped off an impressive all-round performance with 36 while Brannon Varley took the hosts closer to the finishing line with 46.

“We batted well, though they tried a lot of bowlers and nobody really threatened,”said Britcliffe.

“Most made it in to the 20s or 30s and Brannon Varley batted brilliantly to take the game away from them.

It was a good win but a shame we didn’t bowl them out.”

Now Britcliffe his urging his side to secure fifth spot which would mark a fantastic season for the club.

“We lost three on the bounce leading to the cup final,” Britcliffe said.

“We’ve got to look at sealing fifth place now.

“I think by winning the Ramsbottom Cup we qualify for the Lancashire Cup anyway.

“Fifth and a cup would be a fantastic season for us but we are aware of the teams queuing up below us.”