Season of celebration for Clitheroe Cricket Club

Clitheroe Cricket Club with their trophy
Clitheroe Cricket Club with their trophy
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It was a season of celebration at Chatburn Road as Clitheroe showed off their success in the form of statistics and silverware.

Paul Gaskell’s side marked their maiden campaign in the Lancashire League with the title and, before their coronation as champions, the Twenty20 trophy.

And it was the brilliance of individuals and performances of the collective that led to the club’s most successful season in its history.

Professional Fawad Alam earned himself another term in the Ribble Valley when hitting 550 runs at an average of 55, including a top score of 76 not out.

The Pakistan paid man also added 38 wickets to the cause, the seventh best form in the division, which included a seasonal high of 6/15.

Jack Dewhurst will also be pushing for recognition at the club’s presentation evening at the weekend having made five half centuries in firing 643 runs at an average of 40.2 including a high score of 91.

In the bowling ranks, Sam Halstead registered his best season when finishing as the league’s second leading amateur with 45 wickets at 13.9 each, including a career best 6-14 against Church.

Finally, wicketkeeper Kurt Robinson got in on the act having chipped in with 25 victims made up of 18 catches and seven stumpings.

Clitheroe rounded off the campaign with yet another trophy as the club’s under 19s saw off Stretford CC to be crowned county champions in the NatWest Twenty20 competition.

Meanwhile, Read professional Matthew Walker’s seasonal statistics have earned the all-rounder the tag of being the ‘most valuable player’ in the Ribblesdale Cricket League.

The former Lowerhouse amateur has enjoyed a prolific maiden campaign at Whalley Road having posted the fifth highest total in the league’s history while adding the second best partnership since its formation, just five runs short of the record.

Walker found the boundary on 34 occasions when hitting 210 runs against Cherry Tree in May, including a 289 run stand for the third wicket alongside Ben Gorton.

The one-time West Ender finished head and shoulders above his rivals with a total of 846 runs at an average of 52.88. Those numbers included 95 fours and 35 sixes as well as four centuries.

And that artistry wasn’t limited to his batting ability as Walker impressed with the ball too, ending the season as the joint leading wicket taker.

The paid man matched Brady Barends’ performance in taking 51 wickets over the course of the term but conceded 126 more runs than the South African.

There are also honourable mentions for Ribblesdale Wanderers’ Bernard Vorster who was ranked as the fourth most impressive jack of all trades in the division.

The talented South African teenager fired 482 runs during the term at Church Meadow as the club narrowly missed out on promotion to Section A.

The 19-year-old posted a high score of 76 and found the boundary on 56 occasions over 20 matches played. He also added 45 wickets to his arsenal which included a seasonal best 5/42.

Whalley duo Sam Sweeney and Toby Bulcock also broke in to the top 10, placing sixth and seventh respectively.

The Station Road amateurs totalled 673 runs and 99 wickets between them with Sweeney adding a personal best 6/41, as he climbed up to third in the bowling rankings, while fourth place Bulcock recorded 6/25.

Elsewhere, you can find Salesbury’s Neil Hornbuckle midway down the division’s table of top 10 batsmen.

The Ribchester Road paid man scored 560 runs but his contribution failed to steer his side away from relegation to the bottom tier.

Hornbuckle, who hit a high score of 122, hit 75 fours and eight sixes over the course of the season, finishing with an average of 56 from 12 matches.

Read’s Gorton was ninth, ending the 2017 term just one run short of 500. He amassed 58 boundaries and a high score of 104.

There is also room in the hierarchy for Salesbury pair Andrew Mercer and Brandon Faber. The former took up eighth spot in the bowling category with 46 wickets, including a sensational 7/51, while his Australian team-mate contributed to 24 dismissals (22 catches and two stumpings) to finish top of the fielding chart.

Read’s Kyle O’Connor also featured on that board, sitting in sixth having taken 17 catches and executing one stumping.