After a winning start to their campaign, Settle were dealt a double blow last weekend in the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League.
With many regulars unavailable, the rain-affected home match against title-holders Clitheroe was always going to be a struggle, despite a fine start from Laurence Read (36) and professional Imran Khalid (24).
Skipper Eddy Read (16) and Andrew Davidson (10) brought the total to 109-9 from 39 overs, but the visitors scored at a faster rate to win after 27 overs.
Eddy Read (4-54) was in the wickets again, and was well supported by Khalid (2-37).
Earby, whose last title win came in 1996, may have thought 137 was too few to defend against Ribblesdale Wanderers, for whom 2013 Ribblesdale League player of the year Ian Britcliffe took 7-55. But Lee Parkinson was also among the wickets, returning 6-10 as Wanderers fell 75 runs short.
Barnoldswick, champions in 2012 and runners-up last season, looked rusty as they crashed to an eight-wicket defeat at Cherry Tree, for whom new South African Ruan Sadler took 6-30 as ‘Barlick’ were dismissed for 82.
Brooksbottom have yet to open their league account but they are in the first round of the Ramsbottom Cup after a nail-biting preliminary-round win over Earby, who used nine bowlers in resticting the hosts to 179-9.
Earby were 95-3 at halfway in reply and needed 37 off the final ten overs but finished on 178-9.
In Sunday’s Lancashire Cup tie against Morecambe, Khalid hit two sixes in his 38 for Settle, the seasiders reaching their 117 target with eight overs to spare.