JACOB Clarke recorded the best bowling figures of any Accrington amateur since 1927 and then admitted: ‘I’m a batter really.’

Clarke’s 20th birthday celebrations were made all the better after he took 8 for 35 in Accrington’s 54-run win over Todmorden on Saturday.

Accrington looked set for defeat in the Lancashire League clash after being bowled out for 187, with Simon Newbitt in imposing form in Todmorden’s reply.


But swing ace Clarke made his mark in emphatic fashion to turn the game on its head and record comfortably the best bowling figures of his young career.

Not surprising, considering he does not regard himself as a bowler in any case.

“I still see myself as a batter,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been doing growing up in the under 13s and the under 15s. I think a big score’s around the corner.

“But with the change of rules in the league more amateurs are having to bowl.

“I’ve beaten my best figures twice now. I got three wickets earlier in the season, then last week I got four and that was my best.

“Then this time I got eight.

“It looked like we were going to lose and we’d just lost the new ball, Simon Newbitt had smashed it out of the park.

“But we got a spare ball and managed to get it in really good condition.

“My family have always been involved in Accrington so it’s a dream really to get figures like that.

“Everyone came round to my house after the game and we celebrated the win and my birthday.”

Jacob’s father Damian was once the club’s captain and was a proud spectator on Saturday.

“He was watching and I think there were a few tears,” Jacob said.

“He said well done because we’ve done a lot of hard work together, I’ve been practising a lot.

“I’ve been in the first team for a while now and I wanted this to be my season.”