SKIPPER Paul Gaskell is warning his Clitheroe men that they can’t afford to be complacent as they continue their quest for the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League title – and is wary of the threat posed by Barnoldswick tomorrow.
Gaskell’s Chatburn Road outfit, the reigning champions, are in pole position as they bid to retain their crown with eight wins in the league out of nine games this season with the only blip being one no result.
And while they were surprisingly beaten by Padiham in the quarter-finals of the Ramsbottom Cup and have stuttered in the Watson Ramsbottom Twenty20, Gaskell knows there is enough quality in his ranks to kick on – especially if his players maintain their high standards.
“We are going well and this is just where we want to be,” said Gaskell. “But we can’t afford to go off the boil.
“Barnoldswick is a tough game away from home for us despite their league position.
“They have some really dangerous players who can take a game away from you if they get going, people like Matt Nutter and the Saddique brothers, and you have to be on top of your game against them.
“But we feel we can beat anyone at the moment.
“Yes we lost at Padiham in the cup and perhaps we took our eye off the ball that day and when we lost a couple of Twenty20s people were wondering if we were slipping.
“But we have had a good chat and we bounced back very well last weekend to win and hopefully we can play as well tomorrow.”
That clash at Victory Park promises to be a good contest with Barlick capable of beating anyone – and second-placed Whalley will be rooting for Luke Hodgson’s men as they look to reel in Clitheroe’s eight-point lead.
Whalley have impressed all season and beat Salesbury in a tense battle last weekend to prove their credentials as they aim to keep up their challange.
Richard Lamb’s men welcome Edenfield to Station Road with the visitors looking to recover from the hard to take loss to Oswaldtwistle Immanuel last weekend when they saw a big total chased down.
On the plus side, Edenfield pro Paul Gallagher and his former Bacup team-mate Joe McCluskie are in prime form with the bat and are big players.