Ribblesdale League: Clarke aims to have Padiham looking up

Callum Clarke

Callum Clarke

First published in Sport

CALLUM Clarke says he and his Padiham colleagues are just glad to be back on the field after a long winter – and is sure they can start looking up rather than down this time around.

Padiham and Cherry Tree were the bottom two last season and were spared relegation into the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League’s Division One only after a restructure.

And captain Clarke is determined to make up for that reprieve and lead Padiham up towards the right end of the B Section of the top flight.

They were beaten by A Section outfit Settle on the opening day but return to Arbories action when new boys Brinscall visit tomorrow.

And Clarke goes into the game in confident mood.

“We probably should have won last week at Settle,” said Clarke. “We bowled and fielded well to restrict Settle but we didn’t bat well enough against their professional.

“But that said, we went close against an A Section outfit and there was plenty to take from it.

“We play Brinscall and they won well last week but I don’t really know what to expect but if we play as we can then I would hope we can see the job through.”

Padiham were an unsettled side last term with Clarke regularly having to make six or seven changes to his starting line up thanks to unavailability and injury.

That is something he hopes is in the past and added: “We have a much more settled side this time.

“It does make it easier when you know who you have week to week.”

New professional Daryl Losper is also settling in well and the South African is enjoying life in Padiham – and has already had something to celebrate after Clarke and company turned him into a Burnley fan.

“We’ve had Daryl down at the Turf a couple of times and he’s seen the Clarets get back into the Premier League,” laughed Clarke.

“He is settling in well and sharing a flat with Read’s pro Brandon Scullard so he’s quite happy.”

Meanwhile Oswaldtwistle Immanuel’s new overseas amateur Harry Allanby arrives in the UK today but gets the day off tomorrow as Jon Baldwin’s men have an open date.

Barnoldswick play their first game of the season when they travel to Cherry Tree, whose skipper Mark Hadfield was unfortunate to finish on the losing side in the opener after claiming five wickets and hitting a half-century in the defeat at Baxenden.

Bash are at home to Salesbury, while Read, who were brutal in their demolition of the Red Caps on day one, will face a sterner test when they go to The Cliffe to face Great Harwood.

Settle host Clitheroe and Richard Lamb’s Whalley go to Brooksbottom while Edenfield are at Euxton.

First day winners Earby are in Applegarth action as Ribblesdale Wanderers visit.

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