Read and Padiham fall flat in league

IN ACTION: Padiham bowler Steve Meehan bowling against Barnoldswick on Saturday
IN ACTION: Padiham bowler Steve Meehan bowling against Barnoldswick on Saturday

Padiham may remain rooted to the foot of the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale Cricket Senior Division but the league’s stance on the relegation structure remains up in the air.

As it stands Brinscall would replace Callum Clarke’s side but with club and league representatives expressing their concerns over the format, emergency meetings have reportedly been called to discuss the matter.

“At the moment there’s three teams in it but talks are ongoing in relation to scrapping the relegation system,” said Clarke. “A few teams in the league have lodged complaints so it’s being looked in to.

“The format isn’t good for the league because it won’t enhance the standard. Emergency meetings have been set up to discuss the matter but some clubs in the league below don’t have the facilities in place.

“We are aiming to finish as high as we possibly can anyway so there’s no possibility of relegation. I’m still confident we’ll be safe. It’s down to the league’s discretion now.”

A 65 run loss at Victory Park against Barnoldswick coupled with a six wicket defeat to Brooksbottom 24 hours later meant Padiham plummeted even further adrift of their closest rivals. The Arbories outfit are now 11 points behind Euxton and 17 points shy of Cherry Tree.

“It was a bad weekend for us,” Clarke said. “We are struggling at the moment. There’s just no consistency in our performances and every week we’re relying on individuals rather than combining as a team.

“On Saturday we were 3-3 chasing 198 before Kurt Robinson (65) and Anthony Hall put 100 on to get us back on track. But eventually we just collapsed and Barnoldswick bowled us out for 133. We’re just not clicking.

“There’s a lot of things affecting our performances. We’re lacking a bit of confidence but we’re just not hitting form either. It’s really frustrating. On Sunday we batted first and we were at 90 without the loss of a wicket with Kevin Hitchon on 49 but we fell apart again and finished on 151. Our opening partnership did really well but we didn’t follow it up.”

Elsewhere, Read lost ground on leaders Clitheroe after falling to a 57-run reverse to Settle despite a fine century from paid man Mohammed Jamal.

Kyle O’Connor’s men recovered the following day with a seven-wicket win over Great Harwood but slipped to third in the table.