EARBY were involved in two thrilling game last weekend following up a one-wicket defeat against league leaders Clitheroe with a two-wicket triumph against Whalley.
Clitheroe arrived at The Applegarth on Saturday probably expecting an easy day, but it turned out to be anything but.
Earby skipper Richard Craddock won the toss and chose to bat on a hard flat track.
Matt Wilson and Chris Walton certainly looked comfortable and put on 70 in the first 12 overs.
Janaka Guneratne finally ended the partnership when he had Wilson caught and bowled for 39 with the score on 87.
Earby’s pro Dave Crotty joined Walton and this pair took the score to 122 before Walton was caught again off Guneratne for 55.
Andrew Jaggers and Matt Haines both fell cheaply but Craddock kept the scoreboard ticking as a total of 213-5 was reached with Crotty unbeaten on 56.
Guneratne showed his worth with four wickets for 59 off 16 overs.
The Earby attack of Craddock and Iain Clarkson looked fired up and determined.
In Craddock’s second over big-hitting Tom Lord was caught behind by a diving Matt Garner for a duck and three overs later he added fellow opener Jack Dewhurst.
Professional Guneratne and Naeem Ashraf were the pair most likely to get Clitheroe back on track but Craddock added the visiting professional to his haul.
Craddock continued to bowl superbly, but he was unable to remove Ashraf. The tension was mounting as Clitheroe’s last two came together with 29 needed.
Ashraf was the man for the moment. He hit three sixes in Craddock’s 22nd over to finish unbeaten on 113 while Craddock ended with seven for 92.
Tail-ender Jason Lockley was the hero as Earby edged home against Whalley. He struck three fours and a single in the 39th over to see his side home as they overcame a modest total of 161-5.
Earby were relieved to win after they collapsed from 104-3 to 146-8 as Wilkins Mota caused them a few nervous moments. Such a situation had seemed unlikely when openers Matt Wilson and Chris Walton shared a partnership of 60.
Wilson went on to make a fine 53 before he became a victim of Mota who followed up with the wicket of Crotty.
The wickets then started to tumble at regular intervals until Lockley made his timely intervention.
Whalley, who had opted to bat first, made slow progress against the tight Earby attack. They were 12-1 after 12 overs with Iain Clarkson having bowled five maidens.
The tempo only quickened when Mota produced a flurry of boundaries to reach his half century, but Earby were content to restrict their opponents to 161-5
Settle’s first team missed out badly at Salesbury but recovered spectacularly for an easy home win against Euxton in their double header.
Batting first in the away fixture, they were in serious trouble at 50-7 but the lower order rallied round to give some respectability.
Peter Cook (17), Will Davidson (18) and David Worthington (12no) all helped the visitors to an unchallenging 91 all out in 31 overs.
It only took 21 overs for Salesbury to knock off the runs with the loss of four men, though Will Davidson picked up two wickets.
Sunday was a different story as Euxton were all out for 136 on a lovely track with pro Imran Khalid (4-47) and Andrew Davidson (3-40) the leading bowlers.
Tom Davidson (20) got the reply off to a sound start and his wicket was the only one to fall as Laurence Read (40no) and Khalid (60no) coasted home for the Marshfield side.
Settle seconds continued their excellent form, beating Division Two leaders Feniscowles at home.
John Tarbox (77) and John Davidson (45) had a century stand, while Ben Mitchell (14) and skipper Kieren Ashley (12no) helped bring the total to 172-7.
In the reply, Tarbox took 3-19, Mitchell (2-39) and Ethan Henare (2-15) as he visitors slumped to 91 all out.
Barnoldswick suffered an agonosing one-run defeat at Padiham on Saturday despite Abdul Saddique making 99 and professional Louis Delport taking 7-74.
Saddique was run out as his side finished on 227-5 in reply to Padihma’s 228.
Saddique also missed out narrowly on a century on Sunday when his side beat Brooksbottom by five wickets.
He made 94 and was supported by Umar Saddique (58) as they chased down their opponents’ score of 247, in which Tim Stephens led the way with 115. It was a welcome victory for lowly Barnoldswick.