Ribblesdale Wanderers win the Ramsbottom Cup

Brandon Varley in action for Ribblesdale Wanderers against Brooksbottom in the Rambsbottom Cup Final at Cherry Tree.
Brandon Varley in action for Ribblesdale Wanderers against Brooksbottom in the Rambsbottom Cup Final at Cherry Tree.

Ribblesdale Wanderers captain Martin Briggs admitted he was overwhelmed after lifting his first trophy for the club as captain.

The Church Meadow skipper has seen Dave Howard and Ian Britcliffe guide the club to silverware during his tenure, but a 44-run victory over Brooksbottom in the Ramsbottom Cup Final ensured that he joined that esteemed list.

“It’s my first one as captain,” he said. “I’ve won three in total now and it’s great to finally lift one myself. It’s a great feeling and one that I’ll treasure for many years. I’m very proud and a little bit in disbelief. It was an overwhelming occasion and I couldn’t have asked for any more from the lads in my first year as skipper.”

A superb all-round performance from Mick Clarkson earned him the man of the match accolade at Cherry Tree’s Preston Old Road ground as he top-scored for the season with an unbeaten 60, which included six fours and four sixes, in Wanderers’ 275-7 total before taking figures of 3-45 from nine overs in the turnaround.

“He’s one of those players that needs a bit of a shove on occasions,” said Briggs. “He’s more than capable though and for him to do it in a final is great. He came in at a difficult time because we needed to kick on but we didn’t want to lose wickets.

“He set his stall out superbly and hit 60 in 31 deliveries. He’s taken us out of reach with his knock. Then he’s put the ball in some good areas and performed really well, taking three wickets. He’s a great asset and hopefully he’ll go on to bigger and better things.”

Brannon Varley also played an integral part in victory with a spectacular knock of 87 which saw him build partnerships alongside John Rain (23), Mark Thompson, Briggs and Charlie Collinge (27) to boost Wanderers’ score considerably.

Wanderers were sitting pretty at the end of a rain interrupted first day with a big total in the bag and Brooksbottom 44-2 after the early dismissals of skipper Julian Marcroft and Allan Armer inside 11 overs.

However, Phil Hopton (61) and Mian Ulhaq (58) threatened to turn the match on its head, especially when ‘Brox’ reached 195-4. Instead, they lost their final six wickets for 36 runs with Britcliffe finishing with 4-39.

“I’m delighted for the lads, the club and the spectators who came to Cherry Tree to watch the final,” Briggs said. “It was a superb game played in great spirits between two evenly matched sides but fortunately we accumulated a superb total which ultimately won us the game.

“It’s two in three years for the club now which is fantastic.”