It was father and son having all the fun on Saturday as Ian and Jordan Britcliffe shared 10 wickets to help Ribblesdale Wanderers to a landslide North West Cricket League Premiership victory over fancied Padiham, writes Graham Hardcastle.

Father Ian claimed 4-22 from eight overs to back up fellow seamer Jordan’s stunning 6-16 from 13.2 as Padiham were bowled out for just 64 at Church Meadow.

Before a ball was bowled this summer, both Farnworth captain Simon Booth and Settle skipper Will Davidson highlighted Padiham as potential title challengers in the inaugural NWCL campaign.

But, after a 10-wicket win to back up last weekend’s eight-wicket success over Walkden - both on their home patch, it is the Wanderers who are dreaming big.

“It’s been the perfect start for us,” said captain and opening batter Mack Spencer, who helped steer the chase with an unbeaten 35. “I would have said the same about Padiham, to be honest. They’re a good team. But we’re very happy with how we’ve started.

“At the start of the season, we were looking for top honours.

“We don’t really know the standard of the other teams, so why not. We want a good cup run, but we have to be setting our sights as high as possible.”

Spencer used the word ‘perfect’ a couple of times, indicating a buoyant mood.

“It was the perfect team performance,” he said, reflecting on Saturday’s game, which lasted only two balls more than 40 overs.

Padiham were bowled out in 26.2 before Spencer and opening partner Andrew Hutchins (32 not out) reeled in the 65 target in 14 overs.

“The bowlers set it up superbly, and we knocked it off quite comfortably,” continued Spencer, in his first season as captain.

“Jordan, Josh (Greeff, 0-24 from five overs) and Ian have been superb.

“Ian’s 50-odd-year-old and has bowled as many overs across the first couple of games and has stuck to his line and length every time. We build pressure through that.

“They’ve both been really good team performances so far. Bowling, batting and fielding. We couldn’t have asked for any more.”

Not only have Wanderers started well in the league, on Sunday they gave 2017 runners-up Ormskirk a scare in the ECB National Club Championship second preliminary round, bowling their hosts out for 186 before falling 41 short of victory.

There is definite excitement in the air, not just around the club but with new skipper Spencer himself.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m a new captain, and with that naturally comes a bit more energy. We’re just looking for consistency. That’s the main thing. Be consistent in everything we do, and hopefully the rest will fall into place.”

On the merger of the Ribblesdale and Bolton Leagues, Spencer added: “From our point of view, the league definitely needed it. I’m guessing the Bolton League was exactly the same.

“It’s a fresh and exciting start for everyone.”