THE season has belonged to Baxenden – but Monday was Great Harwood's day.
Having clinched the Ribblesdale League title – their first since 1993 – Baxenden were on the hunt for an unprecedented treble when they took on rivals Harwood at Back Lane in the Twenty20 final.
Bash already had the Ramsbottom Cup in the bag too so a big crowd – with gate receipts of around £500 – turned up on Monday to see who came out top in the local derby.
And Harwood, who won the league the year before, were the narrow two wickets winners pleasing captain Russell Whalley.
"It was nice to prevent Baxenden having a whitewash and winning everything. There were a lot of fans there and it was a great day," said the skipper.
"I was pleased baxenden won the league – they are the best team in the league – and I rung up to congratulate them as I have a lot of friends there.
"But we obviously wanted to win something this season and to win the Twenty20 and come second in the league – which we will do tomorrow if we beat Read – then it has been a good season for us."
Whalley also revealed that pro Raouf Akbar has signed up for another year the Harwood.
The Pakistan pro has taken 72 league wickets so far this season – and hasn't played the full season – while reaching 469 league runs.
A bowling pro is more important for Harwood with them having big-hitters like Whalley, Allan Armer and Paul Houldsworth in their side and the captain says they expect Akbar to help them challenge to get their title back next season.
"He didn't start off the strongest but his attitude has been brilliant the whole time he has been here and we are pleased to have him for another year.
"He has come good and has been taking six or seven wickets for the last five or six weeks now and there is a lot expected of him next year.
"He will know the wickets better, how to bat and how to bowl but, even while learning, he has done an excellent job here.
"I was talking to Bobby (Baxenden's pro Baber Naeem) and he said he didn;t do that well in his first season in our league so we have high hopes for him."
Whalley was disappointed his side couldn't have pushed Baxenden more for the league title.
"We have never had the same team two games running and I feel the commitment has been poor right through the squad.
"The pro has had to contend with this too which is why I think he deserves praise for doing so well.
"So I think winning the Twenty20 and coming second will make it a good season for us considering all the factors.
"We have won a trophy and made some money for the club out of the competition and it was a real team performance which was pleasing."
Harwood won an important toss and put Bash into bat on a damp surface.
Ian Austin's side made it to 104- 5 off their 19 overs – the rain meant an over was lost – and then Harwood had it all to do.
"We fancied ourselves when we limited them to 104," said Whalley. "Our bowlers did a great job.
"We know we can beat anyone on our day man for man and we all worked together. Oscare (Ian Austin) is a brilliant bowler and Bobby is a superb pro but we knew we could do it."
Phil Allen got the Man of the Match for his important 36 but Whalley felt praise should go to John Hoyle at the end.
"He came in and he is usually a second team player and has probably never faced a bowler like Ian Austin before.
"It was getting tense as our wickets were falling but he got 10 at the end which won us the game. He played with a great attitude and was a credit to the team."