Cup win would be highlight of Hitchon’s career

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Lifting the Ramsbottom Cup for a second time would be the highlight of Padiham captain Kevin Hitchon’s career.

The Arbories skipper was part of the squad that won the competition for only a second time in the club’s history a decade ago.

However, beating Ribblesdale Cricket League leaders Settle in this edition would supersede that previous achievement by some stretch.

Hitchon featured in the second round victory against Great Harwood that year and again in the semi-final against Settle but was only on standby for the showpiece against Ribblesdale Wanderers.

This time, though, he’ll be leading his side out at Whalley Road on August 5th. He said: “We’ve got quite a young side so to get there is a great achievement. To go on and beat Settle would be unbelievable.

“I was part of the squad that last won the Ramsbottom Cup in 2008 but this would be a lot more special.

“I was part of the squad but I didn’t play in the final so that took the edge off it. To captain a winning team in the competition would be out of this world. It would be unreal.”

Hitchon added: “We’ve gone far too long without winning a trophy. Getting a medal last time was good but leading the team out to win it would be very special.

“Winning it would probably be the best moment of my career so far. It would be good for the people who have come to watch us week in week out as well.

“Promotion last season and a cup win this year would be a bit of pay back for them because they’ve watched us through everything. It would be brilliant for the club as a whole.”

Hitchon is als confident his side will beat the drop this season.

Padiham, promoted to Senior League A in the Ribblesdale Cricket League last term, are 21 points clear of the relegation zone.

Ahead of this weekend’s crunch battle with Barnoldswick on home soil, he said: “We’ve got the players here to help us survive. Barnoldswick winning coupled with us getting beat has pulled us right back in it.

“It makes every game even more important now. I’m very confident that we’ll stay up.

“We’ve shown what we are capable of, particularly in the Ramsbottom Cup, so we have to continue replicating that form.”