Walsden on a high with CLL successes

Walsden CC with the silverware. Picture: Gary Harlow
Walsden CC with the silverware. Picture: Gary Harlow

Walsden CC skipper Chris Dewhirst is planning on leading from the front again after a hugely successful season for the club.

Not only did the first team successfully defend their Central Lancashire League crown, but the second XI also won their league.

The celebrations did not stop there as Walsden were also awarded the Aggregate Trophy for the combined first and second team’s successes.

Dewhirst admitted that he would be “daft” to give up the captaincy and was hoping the club committee feel he is still the right man to keep Walsden moving forward.

“It has been an excellent season and to defend our title in such a difficult competition was just fantastic,” said Dewhirst.

“When we won the league last season it was the first time in many a year. I honestly cannot remember the last time when both the first and second teams won their respective divisions.

“The whole club is on a high. We enjoyed our celebrations last weekend and we will now forget about cricket until the new year when we will start planning for next season.”

Dewhirst believes a potent mix of youth and experience has been the clinical factor behind Walsden’s success - that and the fact that the majority of the players are local to the area.

“We have four or five seniors who have played a fair bit of cricket and four or five youngsters who have come through the ranks,”added Dewhirst.

“For a club like Walsden to win the league with a high number of local players is a massive achievement.

“Some of the players have come through from under 13s to the first team and that bodes well for the future.”

The two main exceptions are professional Richard Sladdin, who hails from Mytholmroyd, and 17 year old Shubham Harkel from India.

Both have made their mark this season and Dewhirst is hoping they too will be around next season.

“We’re hoping that Richard stays around because he is a very talented cricketer,” said Dewhirst.

“He is also loved by everybody around the club and has been a real asset.

“I have spoken to Shubham and he too is hoping to return if he can afford it.

“He is a really talented batsman and has fitted in very well. I know he has enjoyed it. There are a group of lads at the club who are the same age and they have taken him under their wings.

“As far as I am concerned I would be daft to give up the captaincy in what is clearly a golden era for the club.

“If the club want me to carry on then I will be more than happy.

“But for now we are going to forget about cricket for awhile, recharge our batteries and start planning again in the new year.”