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Looking Back - 1996 Season (Part 1)

Today should have been the opening day of the 2020 Ribblesdale Cricket season which would have seen the 1st team play away at Oswaldtwistle Immanuel and the 2nd team at home to Stacksteads.

Due to these unprecedented times we instead delve into the archives and over the next 6 weeks we will reminisce by looking back at the 1996 season which ended with Earby crowned as champions after a thrilling three-way race for the title with Great Harwood and Read.

The season started in April with new professional Jonathon Harvey, fresh from breaking the Burnley amateur batting record the previous year in the Lancashire League and a former member of the Lord's groundstaff taking over from Simon Gorton.

The opening game of the season saw Earby travel away to Edenfield in what turned out to be a disappointing start as they lost by 18 runs. Earby fielded 1st and restricted Edenfield to 159-9 with now club secretary Lee Parkinson taking 5 for 59 however the strong Earby batting line up had no answer to Edenfield professional Keith Roscoe who took 9 for 57 from 21.3 overs to bowl Earby out for 141.

Edenfield 159-9 Earby 141

The following week saw Earby fall to their

2nd defeat of the season as they lost this time away at Blackburn Northern. Batting first Blackburn Northern reached 192-4 after professional Ian Billcliff scored 85 and Nigel Robbins 64. In reply Earby fell agonisingly close in the run chase by closing on 183-6 despite 56 from Nigel Pickles.

Blackburn Northern 192-4 Earby 183-6

Next week in part 2 we will look back at May‘s games which saw the 1st victory of the season.

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