Padiham’s lottery numbers don’t come out

Ribblesdale Wanderers V Padiham Cricket at Church Meadow, Clitheroe.'Pictured is Padiham Captain Callum Clark.'5th September 2015
Ribblesdale Wanderers V Padiham Cricket at Church Meadow, Clitheroe.'Pictured is Padiham Captain Callum Clark.'5th September 2015

It was a lottery - but Padiham’s numbers didn’t come out when it mattered.

After finishing second in Section B of the Ribblesdale Cricket League, and earning a play-off, it ended in heartache for Callum Clarke’s side as they lost by 48 runs to Cherry Tree at Preston Old Road.

It was only their second defeat in seven outings - but it was enough to condemn the club to another season in the lower tier.

“We’ve fought well all season,” said Clarke. “There was disappointment but we set out to finish in the top two at the start of the season and we achieved that.

“It’s just a shame that we had to take part in a play-off and we weren’t promoted. A play-off is a complete lottery.

“We’ve done our job well and hopefully we’ll keep the majority of the squad together now. There are no changes in the pipeline but we’ll see what happens over the winter. We always look to strengthen though.”

Professional Ben Heap was the division’s 12th most potent batsman as he hit 654 runs, with an unbeaten top score of 150, in 22 games at an average of 40.88.

Wicket keeper Kurt Robinson also made the league’s ratings, named sixth among the fielding statistics after contributing to 35 wickets.

Meanwhile Brannon Varley was ranked the 14th best bowler having taken 49 wickets, with personal best figures of 8-21 against Brooksbottom last month, conceding 13.82 runs per scalp.

Nathan Whitehead was 20th with 39 wickets which included a personal best of 7-32 against Brinscall.

Elsewhere, paid man Keegan Petersen and captain Callum Clarke featured among the league’s best batsmen as Read culminated the term as runners up.

The South African fired 650 runs in 14 matches before returning home at an average of 50 runs per game. That included a top score of 144 not out against Baxenden in July.

O’Connor contributed with 625 runs in 19 innings played at an average of 34.72, including a high score of 95 not out against Oswaldtwistle Immanuel.

Elliot Lowes finished the campaign as the club’s most prolific wicket taker with 39 with the highlight 5-29 against Whalley. Andrew Rushton also took 38 wickets with a best of 6-54.

In the field O’Connor contributed to 28 wickets, the 12th best figures in the division.