Wanderers shatter Padiham’s cup hopes

Captain's knock: Read skipper Kyle O'Connor hit 25 in a five-wicket win over Cherry Tree
Captain's knock: Read skipper Kyle O'Connor hit 25 in a five-wicket win over Cherry Tree

Brannon Varley denied Padiham a place in the Ramsbottom Cup Final as he scored a magnificent century to see holders Ribblesdale Wanderers through on Sunday.

Varley’s innings of 103 came in 90 balls as Wanderers, bidding for a third cup success in four years, were bowled out for 249 against Padiham at Church Meadow.

Callum Clarke’s underdogs never threatened to reach their target and were eventually dismissed for 135 as the hosts clinched their latest final spot at Earby on July 27th.

South African Varley’s ton included 16 fours and three sixes.

Opposing Charlie Jackson’s side at the Applegarth will be Cherry Tree after a nail biting win off the penultimate ball at bottom of the table Brooksbottom.

The previous day, in a dress rehearsal in the league, Wanderers again came out on top against Padiham.

Ian Britcliffe returned career best figures of 8-44 in 17.4 overs.

This time Padiham batted first, making 143 as Britcliffe, whose previous best was 7-56, claimed a first ever career eight-wicket haul.

Wanderers made light work of their reply thanks to Ben Dougall’s unbeaten 88 out of 144-3.

Meanwhile, Read kept the pressure on the teams pushing for LCB Knockout Cup qualification with a five-wicket triumph against Cherry Tree at Preston Old Road.

The visitors, who called Lancashire’s Kyle Jarvis in to the starting XI due to injury to pro Brandon Scullard, restricted their opponents to 178-6 with Michael Taylor (3-26) the pick of the bowlers.

In reply, Mohammed Zafran proved he was worthy of promotion from the club’s second string as he top-scored with 43 when opening alongside Joe Marshall (12). Captain Kyle O’Connor contributed 25 to the tally, Jon Harvey fired 36, Jarvis hit 10 while siblings Conor (20) and Elliot Lowes (5) took Read over the line.

“We made a few changes,” said O’Connor. “The pro damaged his foot so we brought in Kyle while Michael Taylor, Mohammed Zafran and Andrew Bennett have all been called up recently. The pro will have a fitness test on Thursday.

“Everyone has done really well and things are starting to come together. We are starting to build a bit of a run which we needed.”