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Maher is guilty as charged as he celebrates piece of history
7:39am Monday 9th September 2013 in Sport
Solicitor Stuart Maher pleaded guilty to excessive celebrations but was let off due to extenuating circumstances after joining an elite club on an historic day of the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League season.
And one of the first to offer congratulations to fellow bowler Maher for taking all 10 Brooksbottom wickets was another Senior League record breaker, Ian Britcliffe.
Great Harwood stalwart Maher, 31, became the first top flight bowler since Blackburn Northern's Glen Mills in 1990 to achieve a full house as he returned figures of 10-43 from 12.1 overs in Great Harwood's three wicket win at Brooksbottom.
Not to be overshadowed 43-year-old NHS lead buyer Britcliffe became the first amateur for 109 years to claim 100 wickets in a season.
Britcliffe started the home match against Salesbury needing two to reach his ton and claimed three to earn his own plaudits, including from magic man Maher.
David Brown was Maher's 10th and final victim, bowled for three to spark jubilant scenes. "I just remember screaming like a girl when I saw the bails come off ," he laughed.
"Seriously, it would be ludicrous if what I've done takes any of the gloss off Ian's achievement. For an amateur to take 100 wickets in a season is just remarkable."
However, Maher, who has been with Harwood since the age of seven, deserves every accolade coming his way. And it's been retained for posterity courtesy of a grainy You Tube video showing Brown's dismissal.
Five of Maher's victims were bowled, three were caught and the remaining two dismissals came from LBW decisions.
Britcliffe was suitably modest about reaching three figures: "I've just had a lot more opportunity,"said the Wanderers star after helping the Ramsbottom Cup winners to a nine-wicket victory over Salesbury.
"With Dave Howard moving to Whalley and a professional who doesn't really bowl, I've got through more overs than ever before. Normally, I might do 120-130 a season, this time I've done more than 400.
"And it's been really tough in the last six weeks. My right knee has been very sore and I've had to have it strapped up.
"But I knew there was a chance of getting to 100 wickets so it's a relief as much as anything," added Clitheroe based Britcliffe who lives only 50 yards from the home of the new champions.
"I played one year at Clitheroe when I was 10 and apart from that I've been at Ribblesdale ever since," he grinned. On Maher's 'ten-fer' Britcliffe added:"Stuart has had some nice things to say about me and the sentiment is mutual. I'm really pleased for him."
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