Ribblesdale league: Bishop stumped

Lancashire Evening Telegraph

6 Jun 1997

CLITHEROE captain Phil Bishop has been stumped for the first time this season - when asked to explain his side's success in the Vaux Ribblesdale League. Lying second going into tomorrow's fixture away to Padiham, Clitheroe are looking for a win to pressurise new leaders Great Harwood.

Sticking to the formula of recent weeks, you might think, should put Clitheroe on the right track.

The only trouble is, Bishop doesn't know what the formula is.

``I just don't know, I really don't,'' said Bishop.

``There's a confidence there, a belief in our ability.

``But I don't know why that is.

``I think with the pro having had a good season last season, everyone has confidence in him.

``And there's a lot of competition for places as well.

``Everybody has to be on their toes.

``Several young players in the seconds are knocking on the door of first team selection.

``If they prove their ability, they'll get a chance.''

Fielding's performances this season have been crucial too, having amassed 254 runs and claimed 28 wickets to make him the leading wicket-taker in the league.

Bishop readily acknowledges this. But he is encouraged as well by the strength in depth of the squad which he says augurs well for the future.

``Two who came in last year, Steve Whalley and Mark Bolton, have now had a year so they know what it's all about,'' said Bishop.

``Also Andy Burns, who bats three, is back full-time and playing well.

``He was with the side in 1994 which won the league.

``Mick Dewhurst is very consistent with bat and ball.

``Andrew Robinson has also done well and Neil Bolton has taken a few wickets.

``But the overall team performance has been good.''

And it has not exceeded expectations.

``Our target was to win the league,'' added Bishop.

``We also wanted a good run in the cup but, as we're now out of it, we can concentrate on the main competition.

``It should be a good game tomorrow.

``Padiham are a good young side with a few experienced players like Steve Gee.

``Their professional is beginning to impress.

``He made 100 last week - let's hope he doesn't get another one tomorrow.''

Fixtures: Barnoldswick v Oswaldtwistle Immanuel, Baxenden v Ribblesdale W, Blackburn N v Whalley, Great Harwood v Edenfield, Padiham v Clitheroe, Read v Cherry Tree, Settle v Earby

Source: The Lancashire Evening Telegraph

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 14:55