Whalley skipper Palmer staying realistic

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REALISTIC Whalley skipper Richard Palmer praised his players’ performances after victories over Edenfield and Earby saw them climb to fourth, but insisted the Ribblesdale League is still a ‘three-horse race’.

A 26 point gap separates the Station Road outfit from third-place Barnoldswick, while Read and leaders Baxenden are edging away from the pack. But Palmer is delighted to see Whalley loitering just behind the top trio: “I think it will be a three-horse race. Other teams are similar to ourselves in that they are only consistent in their consistency. I don’t think any teams are good enough to go on a run without losing.

“I think we are all playing for fourth, which is no disgrace. It’s grand looking at the league table at the moment and seeing us there. We are very pleased.”

Palmer has been at the Ribble Valley club for almost a decade, yet couldn’t remember the last time Whalley took maximum points from a double-header weekend, or beat Earby at the Applegarth. However, that all changed this weekend as they added 24 points to their tally and thrashed Earby on their own patch.

Professional Kamran Younas starred in the emphatic 101-run triumph over Edenfield as he smashed 92, before Declan Fitzhenry took five wickets, and then a 78-run stand between the skipper and Lee Kearsley (74) helped them to a 36-run win over Earby as their partnership lifted Whalley from 33-3 to 111-4. Younas and David O’Neill then led the bowling attack, taking five and four wickets respectively.

• ST James are the new leaders of the Clitheroe and District Cricket league after a convincing win over Chipping Ramblers.

The table-toppers took first knock and their in form duo of Ross Whitehouse and Paul Earnshaw both reached 30 as they made 112 in their overs.

Ramblers could only get to 94 in reply.

Disposed leaders Sabden got a mauling at the hands of Calderstones. Calderstones scored 111-7 in their 18 overs with Niz Hussain and Simon

Gorton both scoring freely to make 30 retired.

Sabden were always beyond the run rate against tight bowling and could only muster 89-9 with

Phil Parker again the leading batsman with 30 retired.

The other game saw Low Moor come out on top in a keenly fought contest at Chipping A.

The losing side made 105 for 7 with Danny Walker and Gareth Jennings both retiring with 30s. John Shears had excellent figures of 4-8.

In reply Low Moor won with three balls to spare with Rick Clarkson and Andy Booth both making 30.