Read professional Walker wants to match success of the club’s halcyon days

Whalley Road professional Matt Walker
Whalley Road professional Matt Walker

Read professional Matt Walker is looking to bring the good old days back to Whalley Road after the club reached the Ramsbottom Cup final.

Read were once a formidable force in the Ribblesdale Cricket League, landing a domestic double in 2003.

The club, which secured the title three times in succession during that spell, has snapped up just one piece of silverware in the past decade in the form of the Twenty20 trophy in 2014.

Andrew Rushton’s side, who saw off Settle for the second time in as many weeks, will play hosts Whalley in the showpiece at Station Road on Sunday, August 6th.

The skipper led by example in taking 4-37 from eight overs to limit the visitors to 158. Ben Gorton also got in on the act when claiming figures of 3-33.

The hosts then reached their target with just two wickets down and less than 23 overs played.

Opener Kyle O’Connor fired 45 runs in as many balls, putting on 98 for the second wicket with professional Matt Walker.

The paid man, who has signed for the 2018 term, hit 15 fours in making an unbeaten 74.

Gorton helped the former Lowerhouse batsman to get their side over the line when adding 22 not out.

“It’s always nice to get to a cup final,” said Walker. “It’s a great day out. We’ve beat Settle twice now and they hadn’t lost all year in all competitions. We gave them the run around.

“It’s massive for us to get to a cup final. Read haven’t been in a cup final for a while and haven’t won the competition for 14 years.

“The club is well known in this league, it’s got a good reputation, so it would be good to get that mentality of winning trophies back. I don’t see why we can’t win it; we can beat anybody on our day.”

He added: “We’re still massively in contention in the league. I think we’re just thriving from our underdog tag. A lot of people have started turning up and as a team we’re starting to turn it on at the right time.

“We’ve been formidable in all formats lately. We’re sitting quite nicely yet nobody is really looking at us.

“We could potentially close the gap to six points so we’re moving nicely under the radar. Nobody is really paying any attention to us.”

Read travel to Brinscall on Saturday.