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Earby's grip on top spot is washed away as Settle are frustrated after getting game on
Updated 8:09am Thursday 29th May 2014 in Sport
Earby would be excused for feeling a little under the weather after weekend rain cost them top spot in the Senior League.
Their derby clash at Barnoldswick on Sunday was the only match not to start, which gave champions Clitheroe the chance to take over from Richard Craddock’s men at the top.
After the entire league plan was washed out on Saturday, the only play saw Settle make 161-3 in 31 overs with pro Imran Khalid making 82 not out and Tom Davidson (43) against lowly Euxton before the rain washed out play. Settle had a blank date on Sunday.
Earby would have loved the chance to build on their excellent start. But when they return to action with a home encounter against Baxenden on Saturday, they will be striving to erase the three-point lead Clitheroe established with their seven-wicket win over Ramsbottom Cup holders, Ribblesdale Wanderers.
And it was another fine performance with the ball by Sri Lankan star, Janaka Gunaratne, that laid the platform for victory.
His figures of 6-34 from 18 overs helped restrict Wanderers to 89-8 from their 37 overs. Facing a revised target of 83, Clitheroe streaked home in 17.1 overs, losing only three wickets in the process.
They now boast the only 100 per cent winning record in the division.
Read, who visit the 2012 champions Barnoldswick on Saturday, are third after a 111 run win at fourth bottom Padiham.
Joey Marshall followed up last week’s century against Brinscall with 78 from the visitors 216-8 in 31 overs. However, Kevin Hitchon achieved the day’s best bowling figures of 7-42 before the home side slumped to 111 all out in reply.
Settle Seconds battled through numerous interruptions for rain at Marshfield to record their second win of the season on Sunday. At one of the few completed matches over the weekend, Great Harwood were inserted and got off to a solid start before Damon Barrett (1-15) struck with the total on 26.
A stubborn second-wicket stand of 61 caused problems for Settle but a late clatter of wickets at the hands of skipper Kieren Ashley (3-22) and Josh Mullinder (1-16) left the visitors on 101-6 after the rearranged 32 overs.
In reply, John Davidson took a steady 23 runs from 46 deliveries while fellow opener Mullinder continued his excellent form by hitting his maiden 50 for the club, striking six fours and scoring at a run a ball.
David Hulse and James Holgate scampered the remaining few runs in a desperate attempt to beat the weather as well as the visitors, seeing Settle home within 20 overs. The Seconds travel to Feniscowles this Saturday, while their first team colleagues have a double header against Whalley and Read.
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