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Read ready for battle to the end
UPBEAT Kyle O’Connor believes the Ribblesdale League title race will go down to the wire – and reckons the decision to replay two abandoned games could fall in his side’s favour.
Read’s skipper admits that unbeaten leaders Barnoldswick are favourites for the crown as they sit 17 points clear of the Whalley Road outfit but the wicketkeeper/batsman is sure his men can eat into that deficit between now and September.
“Barlick have done really well so far and deserve to be at the top,” said O’Conner. “They are unbeaten, which is a great effort but we won’t give up the chase and a lot can happen between now and the end of the season.
“There are a lot of points still to play for and the league deciding to replay two of the rained-off games is great for us. It gives us a chance to pick up some extra points, especially if the weather stays iffy.
“Barlick’s ground doesn’t drain all that well and, you never know, it might rain on those days, so there is plenty of twists and turns to come.”
Read’s rise into second spot has been based on hugely successful batting seasons from Mohammed Jamal and professional Jordan Clark, who have both passed 600 league runs, as well as a series of sterling displays from veteran Jon Harvey, who has so far claimed 42 wickets at a shade over 10.
“The big three have been great for us,” added O’Connor. “The big players have been big for us all season, it’s when they have had an off day that we have struggled.
“Keeping hold of Jamal was one of the most significant moments of the campaign because he’s come on another level. Egerton wanted him in the winter but he turned it down as he wants to win something with Read. He’s enthusiastic and loves the place so he’s a great player to have in the side.
“The pro is quality and Jon Harvey is still brilliant for us. He has so much experience and you know that you can always rely on him game in, game out.
“The aim is to push now and keep up the pressure on Barlick.
“We are in second spot but we are waiting for someone to do us a favour and beat Barnoldswick.”