Barlick skipper’s title pride!

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Emotional skipper Matt Nutter dedicated Barnoldswick’s first Houldsworth Ribblesdale League title for 20 years to his late dad, Ian Nutter.

Ian was wicketkeeper when Barlick last lifted the trophy in 1992, but died last January after falling from Pendle Rise car park in Nelson, aged 65.

“It was a crazy time back then,” admitted Nutter who only took over the captaincy of the Victory Park side this year.

“I haven’t had the greatest of seasons, performance-wise, but I guess that is understandable with what’s happened.

“But it’s a nice thought that dad was part of the last Barnoldswick team to become champions and I am captain now.

“We’ve gone close a few times in the past. I can remember us needing to win the last game and losing.

“So, this is certainly sweet and I think, over the course of the season, we have deserved it.

“We have lost only one match -against Clitheroe - and while there have been doubts here and there, I was always confident.”

Barnoldswick started the weekend knowing one win from their double header would be good enough to clinch the title.

And they did it in style beating Salesbury by 49 runs on Saturday, and following up on Sunday with a seven- run success over Earby in the derby.

“There’s quite a few people who deserve a mention,” added Nutter.

“Liam Bedford has been brilliant for us since he joined, Luke Hodgson must have won four of five games for us with vital runs while Umar and Abdul Saddique have just been so consistent since they came in from Padiham.

“It’s just been an outstanding team effort and it’s nice to win the title without having to win our last game at Cherry Tree.”

Barnoldswick have a 26-point lead over Read, who secured second place thanks to a 91-run win at Padiham.

And after tomorrow’s final league game of the season at Cherry Tree, Barnoldswick go for the double in the Ramsbottom Cup Final against Baxenden at Oswaldtwistle Immanuel.

Admission for the final is £4 adults, £2 juniors and concessions.

In the derby on Sunday, a horrible wet track greeted the players - a toss to win, and the home side had the luck.

Barnoldswick took first knock, and opener Liam Bedford celebrated the previous day’s league title success by going for the bowling from the off.

He fell in the fourth over having crashed 21.

Khalid joined Abdul Saddique but Saddique was soon gone, caught by Ryan Sumner off Dan Kegg at 39.

It was anyone’s guess what score would be a winner.

Khalid scored at almost a run a ball, but the introduction of Martyn “Windmill” Windle soon put the breaks on, removing Khalid for 36, Hodgson (5) and John Pickup (18).

Ali Azmat, bowling one of his tighter spells at the other end, forced the batters to look to score off Windle, but he ended with 5-47, Ali Azmat 2-48 and stumper Sumner five victims - four caught and one stumped as Barlick finished all out for 156.

Khalid opened the bowling and was never off the spot.

Openers Windle and Walton said it was the best bowling they had faced all season - after eight overs, the total stood at eight, with 156 looking a long way off.

Windle was first to go for three, and Azmat strode to the middle and showed his batting ability, dispatching Khalid for sixes and fours on a regular basis.

Aron Pollard looked settled when he came in after Walton and got to 12 before tickling one off Akhtar, and Bedford took the simple catch.

Danny Kegg and skipper Pete Baistow both fell without scoring, but while Azmat was in, there was a chance for Earby.

Sumner supported Azmat well for a while, reaching 11, but disaster struck the visitors as Azmat, having reached three figures, added a four and was caught in the deep by Pickup.

Dan Helliwell ended five not out, but the last wicket fell on 149.

Khalid finished with 7-81 off 21 overs.

Despite the usual wet conditions, a full day’s play was on the cards the previous day as Earby won the toss and invited Clitheroe to bat.

Chris Walton bowling a very tight opening spell against Kashif Siddique and Stuart Lemon, though it was Martin Kegg who trapped Lemon lbw.

Josh McDowell (7), Jack Dewhurst (1) and Peter Dibb (0) all fell cheaply and at 51-4 Earby were on top.

Thomas Lord joined the professional and set about the attack, and Siddique joined the party - and with a partnership of 115 turned the innings around entirely.

Siddique was caught by Danny Kegg for 88, but it was a further 47 runs before Lord was adjudged lbw off Ali Azmat for 77 off 77 deliveries.

Simon Coulter (19) and Andrew Pearce (14) turned the screw, and a total of 241-8 was posted, Azmat the pick of the bowling with 3-46.

The Earby reply was a case of the top order getting in and then getting out, as everyone struggled against Siddique’s tight bowling, but the frustration was that no-one went on to make a big score.

Walton made 35, Azmat 30 and Windle 12, but the lower order couldn’t handle Siddique.

Danny Kegg, batting five, kept plugging away for 36 not out, but wickets kept tumbling at the other end, the last five wickets only adding 10 runs as Earby finished a disappointing 143 all out.

Siddique returned an impressive 8-52 off 18 overs.