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Caunce wants to sign off in style

Andy Caunce will step down from cricket after Sunday – and hopefully have the Ramsbottom Cup in his hand.

Andy Caunce will step down from cricket after Sunday – and hopefully have the Ramsbottom Cup in his hand.

The final with league champions Barnoldswick at New Lane has been postponed three times due to the weather.

It finally goes ahead after the last league game of the season tomorrow and Caunce, who stepped down as captain earlier this season, wants to sign off in style. "I am retiring after the final so it’s a big game for me," said the 30-year-old. "I have been playing cricket since I was 13 and family life and work life changes and I just think it’s time for me to play a bit more golf.

"I will miss it like mad the first few weeks of next season and I have agonised over the decision but I feel it’s time to retire."

Caunce was at Baxenden in 2006-7 and returned last season as Bash won the title.

However he admitted: "I want a full set of trophies and that’s why this cup is so important.

"I have won the Worsley Cup and the Lancashire League title with Ramsbottom and East Lancs; I have won the Cross Cup and league in the Bolton Association and I have won the league in the Ribblesdale League – so the Ramsbottom Cup would finish the set. If I win every major piece of silverware I will retire happy."

However they face a massive game against Barnoldswick who won the Ribblesdale League title for the first time in 20 years on Saturday.

"I spoke to their captain Matt Nutter and congratulated them as it’s a great achievement to go through the season having lost just one game," said Caunce. "I haven’t known any team do that in all the leagues I have played in.

"That means it’s set up to be a good game between two decent sides and any form will go out of the window when it gets to the cup final.

"Hopefully I will sign off in style. I have had various people trying to talk me out of retiring but I will spend a year improving my golf handicap and then I might go into umpiring."

The final league games are tomorrow with Oswaldtwistle lmmanuel looking to keep second-from-bottom Salesbury at bay by winning their final game.

They enjoyed a narrow six-run win over Great Harwood on Saturday before losing to Edenfield on Sunday, who jumped above them.

Harwood, though, got one over Baxenden on Sunday. Bash had comfortably beaten Whalley on Saturday but Harwood’s Amar Ullah hit 85 in 101 balls in their 224-6. Despite a late 40 by Stephen Molloy, Harwood won comfortably by 63 runs.

Harwood travel to Edenfield for their final match of the season while Bash travel to Padiham, having slipped down the league to fifth place after being title challengers for a large part of the season.

 
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