Earby denied as Wanderers reach Ramsbottom Cup Final

Earby's Matt Wilson faces the bowling of Ian Britcliffe in Sunday's Ramsbottom Cup semi-final clash
Earby's Matt Wilson faces the bowling of Ian Britcliffe in Sunday's Ramsbottom Cup semi-final clash

Cup fever hit on Sunday when Earby travelled to Ribblesdale Wanderers for their Ramsbottom Cup semi-final, but the locals were undone by six-wicket Brannon Varley.

Ribblesdale chose to take first bat, and had 37 on the board in the eighth over when Charlie Jackson was sent back for six.

Professional Ben Dougall (28) was playing his usual attacking cricket, but with the change of bowling, Danny Kegg had him caught behind.

Varley (23) was caught behind off Chris Walton’s first delivery, but Wanderers captain Martin Briggs kept one end secure in a 100-ball 37 until he was Kegg’s third victim.

Martin Clarkson added 15 to leave Earby wanting 145. Kegg finished with 4-25, Richard Craddock and Jake Hargreaves taking two wickets.

Earby got off to a flier with 21 off five overs, but then the wickets started to fall. Matt Wilson (14) was first to go, overbalancing to give Ric Clarkson a stumping off veteran Ian Britcliffe, followed the next over by pro Fahid Rehman without scoring.

Walton went for 11, but Aron Pollard and Kegg took the score to 56 when Kegg was run out by a direct hit.

Iain Clarkson scored at a run a ball for 19 and was adjudged LBW, and the tail only managed to add 10 runs and the Earby assault fizzled out on 98, Varley ending with 6-22 off 9.5 overs.

The previous day, Earby earned a one-wicket win at home to Oswaldtwistle with six balls to spare.

Put in to bat, the visitors made 178-8 with openers Ramiz Hussein (41) and Ollie Jones (33) sharing 55.

Earby’s victory chances appeared slim when they slumped to 44-5, but Craddock kept Ossie’s bowlers at bay with 43, and Clarkson smashed 44 off 31 balls, including six boundaries, to see them home.