FRONT-RUNNING Barnoldswick were delighted to finally secure the Section B promotion they have threatened to achieve all season - even though it was the rain that got them over the line.

A complete washout across the Ribblesdale Senior League meant that Barlick's advantage was enough to guarantee them Section A cricket next season.

They entertain Baxenden this weekend knowing the title is pretty much in the bag, and a point will make totally sure.

Skipper Luke Hodgson said that despite the weather denying them the chance to win in on the pitch, they were pleased with promotion.

He said: "It's fantastic to get the promotion confirmed - it's what we set out to do.

"It was a bit of an anti-climax because we haven't played for two of the last three weekends due to the weather.

"But it's still a brilliant achievement by the lads and something to be proud of."

Hodgson puts Barlick's success down to being able to send out mainly the same side every week, which has fostered that winning habit.

He added: "We finished fourth in Section B last season and we were not great.

"It's hard to put finger on what has been the difference, but it's probably the fact that we've been able top put out the same team more often than not.

"Last year there were normally three or four players missing every week, which meant we had to turn to the second team players.

"But the fact that we've had a stable side this year, and pretty much every game put out 10 of our first team regulars, has been crucial."

Sri Lankan professional Shashrika Pussegolla - who has already re-signed for the club for next season - has also played his part, amassing nearly 700 league runs and collecting 54 wickets including two five-wicket hauls.

"He has been fantastic in the dressing room and for the junior section with his coaching too," said Hodgson.

"That's all you want from a pro and it's great that he's signed again for next season."

The skipper added: "Now we just need one point to be absolutely sure of finishing top, and that's something we will be aiming to do against Baxenden on Saturday."

* Padiham have been deducted 12 points for fielding an illegible player, subject to appeal.

The decision was taken at a league meeting on Monday night and, if upheld, could see them miss out on promotion depending on results this weekend.