Read fall short in Ramsbottom Cup Final

Ben Gorton
Ben Gorton

Read suffered Ramsbottom Cup heartbreak on Wednesday night as they finally completed the showpiece occasion against Whalley at Station Road at the fourth time of asking.

The final got underway on Sunday as scheduled, with Whalley batting first.

The hosts clocked up 132-9 in their 40 overs, and Read stood at 33-2 after seven overs in reply, before the rain made no further play possible on the day.

Having made a start, the sides were due to resume on Monday night, but they were unable to get underway due to the wet conditions.

They tried again a third time on Tuesday night, but were again thwarted by the unseasonal weather.

Whalley had tried out sufficiently to complete the final on Wednesday, but Read lost their final eight wickets for 65 runs to finish 34 shy of the target set by the hosts.

Read made an early breakthrough on Sunday as Sam Sweeney fell to skipper Andrew Rushton without scoring, but veteran Mark Fallon and Kye Stevens put on 34 for the second wicket – the biggest partnership of the innings.

Jamie Woodall bowled Fallon for 16, before three quick wickets left Whalley 64-5.

Warren Eastham and Woodall struck, either side of a run out from Michael Whalley, to remove Stevens, Toby Bulcock and Stuart Crabtree.

Lee Kearsley held the innings together from there, with an unbeaten 35, as he shared 33 with captain Richard Palmer (20), but when Palmer fell to William Wrathall, there was little in the way of resistance.

Rushton claimed another two wickets to finish with 3-36, while professional Matt Walker also got in on the act, as Whalley closed on 132-9.

Read lost Harry Carter (6) and, crucially, Walker (4) before the rain forced the teams off on Sunday.

And when the sides finally reconvened, the Whalley bowling all chipped in to send Read home empty-handed.

Opener Kyle O’Connor fell for 24 at 41, stumped off Simon Gorton, and though Ben Gorton bravely tried to rescue the situation, as he hit 24 off 37 balls, he struggled for support, with only Whalley, who made 10, able to join him in double figures.

The innings closed on 98 in the 2th over, as Whalley celebrated cup success.

Sweeney took 3-34, Bulcock 3-17, Fallon 2-12, and there were also wickets for Palmer and Gorton.

Read are back in league action tomorrow in Section A when they entertain Euxton at Whalley Road.

Section B leaders Padiham will be looking to bounce back from a surprise reverse against Earby – in which seven batsmen were out for ducks – when they travel to winless league newcomers Feniscowles.

Padiham were all out for 59 against Earby, who they had dismissed for 100 after professional Brady Barends had taken 5-33.

Phil Haggerty’s side are 11 points clear of Ribblesdale Wanderers at the top.