BAXENDEN reached the final of the Ramsbottom Cup - a trophy they haven’t won for more than 40 years.

Ian Austin’s side will face Clitheroe - who saw off Padiham by one wicket - on August 2 at Settle.

But it wasn’t all the big hitters who overcame Earby in Sunday’s semi-final as lower order batsmen David Cronshaw (38) and Dominic Bulcock (33) added to pro Baber Naeem’s 42 in their 186-6. 32 extras also boosted the score. In reply, the wickets were shared with Gary Sudworth’s the pick of the bowlers with three to take his tally to 41 wickets for the season.

And Bash remain unbeaten in the league at the half-way stage with just the one abandoned game blotting a near perfect copy book.

Their latest league victims were Earby - who must have been sick of the sight of Bash over the weekend. This time Earby batted first making 158 with Naeem taking 4-65 and Bulcock 3-59.

Naeem hit 75 in reply - he now has 675 league runs - while skipper Austin’s 45 took them through.

GREAT HARWOOD moved into second spot - albeit 38 points behind the leaders - with a comfortable 76-run win over Barnoldswick. Jon Crabtree top scored with 45 and Stuart Maher took four wickets to take his own season’s tally in the league to 33 victims.


* THE Ribblesdale League team play on Sunday at Baxenden against the North Lancashire County league (2pm). Bash’s Mark Rishton is captain with Gary Sudworth, Lewis McIntosh and Russell Whalley (Harwood) lining up.
* HARWOOD are at Rishton tonight in a charity Twenty20 (6.15pm).