Padiham Cricket Club eyeing up fourth place

OLYMPIC FEVER: Padiham's groundsman got into the Olympic spirit ahead of their game on Saturday

OLYMPIC FEVER: Padiham's groundsman got into the Olympic spirit ahead of their game on Saturday

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PADIHAM CC’s Callum Clarke is confident his side can take fourth spot in the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale Cricket League if they can conjure consistency in their form.

It’s been a long, arduous chase for the Lancashire Cup spot, but it has proved elusive with their inability to string together victories. However, John Bushell’s side have recorded three successes in four now which has lifted morale in the Arbories camp.

“I believe we can clinch that fourth spot,” insisted Clarke.

“We’ve got a big game against Clitheroe at Chatburn Road on Saturday and that’s the start of a big, important run for us.

“We need a massive end to the season because we’ve still got Baxenden and Read to play twice as well as a game with Settle.

“That fourth spot keeps creeping away from us but if we can keep putting these wins together and maintain that consistency then we can do it.”

Padiham’s latest triumph came at the Arbories at the weekend with a comprehensive eight-wicket win against Oswaldtwistle Immanuel.

Prolific paid man Chris Holt continued his fine form with 7-46 to restrict the away side to a 118-run total.

The Padiham professional now has 71 wickets for the season and looks set to make history at the club.

“He’s looking for that 100-wicket landmark now in the league. In all competitions he’s got 71, with 50-odd of those coming in the league.

“I don’t think anyone has ever taken 100 league wickets for Padiham. He’s been brilliant all season and very consistent.”

In the reverse John Bushell’s unbeaten knock of 51 provided the foundations for victory and he was aided by Kevin Hitchon who added 38 to proceedings.

After Tom Mustoe was ousted for six, Holt was his replacement and joined Bushell to see the hosts over the line inside the 17th over.

“It was a comfortable win in the end,” said Clarke.

“John Bushell did really well and looked confident with the bat and Kev Hitchon also did the business. We knocked them off easily.”

Elsewhere, Read stayed in touch with league leaders Barnoldswick thanks to a comfortable 48 run success over Salesbury but remain 29 points adrift with seven games to go.