Padiham soar to Section B summit after first away win

Read bowler Frank Barden in action against Euxton on Saturday
Read bowler Frank Barden in action against Euxton on Saturday

Padiham climbed to the top of Section B in the Ribblesdale Cricket League after beating Oswaldtwistle Immanuel by 66 runs at New Lane.

Callum Clarke’s side moved two points clear of Salesbury in second spot courtesy of their first away win of the campaign.

Professional Ben Heap top-scored for the visitors with a knock of 44 as they posted 179-7, though the former Lowerhouse amateur was ably assisted by Jordan Baczkiewicz (24), skipper Clarke (22), Nathan Whitehead (34) and Owen Deakin-Pickard (16 not out).

In replay, Heap and teenage accomplice Curtis Meehan took the game to the home side as the paid man claimed figures of 5-41 from 17 overs while the club’s potent protege added 3-33.

“It felt really good to win our first game away from home,” said Clarke. “Everyone came to the party and helped the pro.

“It was good to see everybody contributing to the cause. Curtis has made an immediate impact and took another three wickets.

“He’s got no fear, it’s like he’s playing on the back street. He’s been superb. That performance showed what we are capable of.”

That was Padiham’s fifth win in seven outings in all competitions, with the fourth arriving on Friday evening as they made light work of Ribblesdale Wanderers in Group Two of the Twenty20.

Jimmy Gray’s 3-14, Heap’s 2-13 and Brannon Varley’s exquisite 2-4 from a two-over spell at the Arbories were the pick of the home side’s bowling display as the visitors were restricted to a 79-run total.

Clarke opened with 32 for the hosts before being ousted by the combination of Ian Britcliffe and Ryan Canning before Baczkiewicz and Heap fired unbeaten knocks of 32 and 10 respectively to seal a nine-wicket triumph.

“We were superb,” said Clarke. We restricted them before knocking their total off comfortably.

“We feel we can impact on that competition and it’s certainly one that we want to do well in. We’re not a defensive team which will help us so we want to see how far we can go.”

Elsewhere, Read’s push towards the Section A summit took a huge knock as they lost by 73 runs at the hands of Euxton at Whalley Road.

Kyle O’Connor’s side slipped 10 points adrift of leaders Clitheroe, having played a game more, following a poor display on home soil.

The visitors posted 209, with Read’s Andrew Rushton registering a six-wicket haul, before the hosts were extinguished for 136.

Padiham welcome Whalley to the Arbories on Saturday, while, Read host Settle in Group Two of the Twenty20 competition on Friday before taking to the road to tackle Brooksbottom.