MARK Rishton has been at Baxenden "since I had shorts down to my knees" so a bit of damage to his mobile phone didn’t spoil his day as Bash finally tasted Ramsbottom Cup success.
Baxenden celebrated a 44-run victory over Clitheroe at Settle on Sunday to clinch the trophy for the first time since the cup’s inception in 1965.
Man of the Match Rishton, 34, stepped down as skipper last season so ex-England star Ian Austin got the glory of lifting the cup but the long-serving batsman made the most of the celebrations.
"There was champagne everywhere – the lads charged into the dressing room and were spraying it and it damaged my trousers and my phone which now doesn’t work! It was worth it though.
"I was looking at all the names on the trophy and Baxenden wasn’t there so it’s nice that it will now be.
"I have been here since I had shorts down to my knees – since I was about nine - so it’s great to finally win this trophy.
"The only other time we have won some silverware was the league in 1992 but this is definitely up with that."
Rishton was the top scorer, hitting 75 in 116 balls and forming a strong partnership with ‘Oscar’ Austin.
"To be honest, Callum (Waddington) and Baber (Naeem) had gone quite early and we were 30-2," said the ex-skipper.
"Then I think me and Oscar put on a partnership of about 140 and Oscar batted really well before Lewis (McIntosh) finished it off."
They set Clitheroe 211-4 and Rishton admitted he thought that would be a tough ask for the opposition.
"Clitheroe are a good side and I don’t think their league position is a true reflection of where they should be.
"But we knew that anything over 200 would be tough for them and, at 12-3, we always knew it would be hard work."
Pro Naeem and bowlers Gary Sudworth and Dominic Bulcock rose to the occasion, taking two wickets each as, although Clitheroe recovered from a slow start, they never seriously troubled Bash.
"It’s brilliant," continued Rishton. "There were a lot of celebrations after as one trophy in the last 17 years is not enough.
"We have had so many near misses – we lost to Blackburn Northern in the cup final recently and finished runners-up in the league and we haven’t quite got there but this year we have.
"And it is for everyone – the committee, the people behind the scenes and of course our fans as they outnumbered the Clitheroe fans on Sunday and made plenty of noise! It was all in the right spirit though."
Rishton thinks the reason Bash have gone from the "bridesmaids" this year has been prolific all-rounder Naeem but also the younger players who have learned from the heartache of the near misses of the last few years.
"Baber has been a big boost and the young lads are now that bit older and that bit more experienced. Dominic and Gary have both bowled really well this year and thankfully it has all come together.
"Then you have Oscar with the bat and the ball. He has won big things in his career but you could tell it meant a lot to him to win the cup for Baxenden.
"He is a winner whatever standard he plays at and he was over the moon."
It might not be the last of Baxenden’s trophies either.
They were due to play Blackburn Northern in the semi-final of the Twenty20 competition last night – Great Harwood are playing Earby tonight in the other semi-final.
Then they are top of the league by 29 points despite two defeats in recent games after a long unbeaten run.
"We have had a bit of a blip in the league but really haven’t lost much ground with Read’s game being abandoned on Saturday. In fact we got four bonus points so we made a point.
"We should have won on Saturday against Cherry Tree though. We didn’t set a big target but they needed three off the last over and they hit Baber for six which is unheard of really.
"We knew it would be hard to go through the season unbeaten so we accept a little blip. But now we have second placed Read tomorrow – they are all massive games at the moment but we love playing in them."
And, while Rishton might have missed out on lifting the Ramsbottom Cup on Sunday, he may be the first one to touch the silverware this Sunday.
He is captaining the Ribblesdale League team in the final of the Lees Inter League Cup where they face the Bolton league at Great Harwood.
Sudworth and Harwood’s Russell Whalley are also involved.
"That will be really tough," added the Bash batsman. "But, after one winners medal, it will be nice to add another to the collection."
GREAT HARWOOD made sure they are still pushing for a top two place after seeing off Padiham on Saturday in the league.
Pro Raouf Akbar got his best figures of his Ribblesdale League career with 7-56 – he has 57 wickets for the season -to reduce big-hitting Padiham to 177.
Then Akbar top-scored with the bat with 61, turning it around after Harwood were struggling on 27-2 at one stage, for a three wicket win.
OSWALDTWISTLE Immanuel's game against Read was abandoned.