THE Great Harwood players could sit and look at the Ribblesdale League table all day as they sit proudly at the top.
Captain Russell Whalley has made it plain what it would mean for him to win the title for the Cliffe Park side who now have a ten point gap from second placed Edenfield.
And it is a case of making sure his side stay there until September so they can celebrate winning their first championship since 1900.
Whalley felt before their clash with Barnoldswick on Saturday, who were in second spot, that the title could be between those two sides.
But the way Harwood saw off Barlick's challenge will give them hope that it will become a one-horse race.
"I said to one of their players before our game on Saturday that it could be between them and us who wins the league," said Whalley.
"He agreed but they batted badly and we bowled well and took all our catches and we got the win."
It ended up being an easy game for Harwood as pro Martin Nurse took 4-33, Lee Dobson 3-49 and Chris Ramsker 2-24 as Barlick made just 132.
Then in came Matt Howarth (61) and Whalley (57) turned on the style. Opener Howarth hit eight fours and one six in his score and Whalley's 57 came thanks to a stunning show with nine fours and two sixes in his 40-ball knock.
But Whalley is also grateful to the other batsmen who have also been chipping in. "Geoff Allen is the old man of the team! He usually opens for the seconds but he has come in recently and he has helped us steady the ship. He came in and got 69 in his first game but he hasn't got many runs in the last few games but he puts in the hard graft.
"I don't think, as a team, we are batting as well as we can but our bowling and fielding has been good this season. We have been taking the catches which we didn't do last season and that has made a big difference."
Whalley himself has now got 247 league runs and he is happy with his return.
And he is impressed with the bowling of pro Nurse who has taken 24 wickets so far. They are, however, hoping the Barbados player will shrug off a shoulder injury in time for Saturday's home clash with fellow title chasers Cherry Tree.
"The pro has done very well with the ball and we are just hoping he recovers as Cherry Tree is a big game for us - they all are.
"I still get nervous before every game and will do until the end of the season. It is looking good at the moment, but no one is counting their chickens."
Meanwhile, Baxenden added to Oswaldtwistle's woes with a comfortable win over the bottom side.
Francois Herbst scored his highest total for his new team with an unbeaten 129 - with 19 fours and three sixes in 130 balls - forming a match-winning opening partnership with Mark Rishton who got 50 in their 245-3.
Immanuel had Church's Ruven Peiris as their sub pro but he could only take the wicket of his Sri Lankan team-mate Indika Gallage. Peiris then only got one with the bat as Gallage returned the favour. Paul Dignan top scored for Immanuel with 40 as Baxenden won easily by 103 runs.
They are both in league action on Saturday with Whalley visiting Baxenden and Oswaldtwistle travelling to Padiham.
Then it is the second round of the Ramsbottom Cup on Sunday with Bash having a tough trip to Barnoldswick and Oswaldtwistle hoping for a good cup run to give them some light relief from their league campaign. They will fancy their chances against Earby - the team just above them in the league.
- GREAT Harwood are scheduled to play at Cherry Tree next Tuesday in Group Two of the Thwaites 20/20 competition. The start is 6.15pm. Baxenden will face Oswaldtwistle Immanuel at home on the same night for their Group Four clash after their game last week fell victim to the weather. Start is 6.15pm. Cost is £2 and £1 concessions. Please check with the clubs.