Barnoldswick ran Ribblesdale League champions Clitheroe mightily close in their first game of the season on Saturday, in a promising start to the campaign.
Barlick skipper Luke Hodgson won the toss at Victory Park and inserted Clitheroe, who totalled 224-8, with the locals falling just eight runs short in reply, with three wickets in hand, as they finished with five points, after Abdul Saddique top-scored with 84.
And despite defeat, Hodgson was happy with his players: “It was a good performance, it’s always hard first game, getting back into it, and it was just our fielding which let us down.
“We gave away too many singles, and in the end we fell just short. It could have gone either way.
“The pitch was good for the start of the season – it’s the best in the league anyway – and we would have liked to have kept them down to around 200, especially after we had them at 80-4.
“And in reply, we were still in it with two overs to go, when we needed 23.
“We then needed 15 off the last over, which was a tough ask, but we were quite pleased against a team you have to class as the best in the league.”
Barnoldswick host Cherry Tree tomorrow, before a trip to Brinscall in the Ramsbottom Cup on Sunday.
Earby, meanwhile, also suffered defeat at Euxton by 54 runs.
Home captain Andrew Winrow top scored with 44, supported by a late order 42 not out from Matthew Johnson.
Jason Lockley took 4-53 for Earby, and Martin Windle and Jake Hargreaves two wickets apiece.
Earby then made 129 all out in reply, with Guarav Dhar taking five wickets.
Captain Matt Garner took the positives: “We did okay, we fell 54 short, but had them at 117-7 before Johnson’s knock.
“But we bowled them out and got two bonus points, which we might not have got last season.
“We were 55-0 in reply, with Matt Wilson making 39, and if we could have got another 10 overs out of him, we might have got there, but from three down, we couldn’t build any partnerships.”
Overseas amateur Anton Muller flies in today from South Africa ready for the weekend, as Garner’s men are at Oswaldtwistle Immanuel tomorrow, and at Cherry Tree in the cup on Sunday.