A superb 180-run partnership for the second wicket put Settle in command from the start in their Senior League derby match at Barnoldswick.

John Davidson hit sixteen fours and a six, narrowly missing his first century for the club with a score of 94 at a run a ball, a cracking pace for an opener.

He was finally bowed by Jonathan Beech, not before passing 640 runs for the season. Pro Ashen Silva (68) partnered Davidson, striking seven boundaries and a six to claim his third half-ton of the year, himself passing the 600 mark. Overseas Amateur Dante Niles then compounded the hosts’ misery by rattling off 45 runs from 38 balls.

All the bowlers suffered but Aussie pro Jack Rietschel took a worthy 5-77 to pick up his fourth five-wicket haul in 2021.

Facing a total of 278-7, Barnoldswick opener Ashir Imdad hit 49 runs in even time, but wickets fell regularly till spirited resistance came from Nabeel Ahmed, batting at seven, who held out for 83 runs.

Though Settle’s bowlers did not have everything their own way, skipper Will Davidson took 3-26 and the evergreen John Tarbox reeled off twelve overs to claim 4-46.

The hosts were all out for 196 to give Settle the maximum twelve points and put them 43 points ahead of Read in the table. With two thirds of the season gone, the Dalesmen must feel they have one hand on the senior trophy.

Settle 2nd XI are themselves 42 points clear at the top of Division One, after soundly beating second-placed Burnley Belvedere 1st XI at Marshfield.

Opener Robbie Pickard hit a polished 64 to notch up his first half-century at this level. He was supported by classy drives from Eddie Read (28) as their team made 138 all out.

The target did not look challenging, but paceman Ollie Whyte immediately pinned Belvedere back with a return of 3-15 from seven overs, leaving Read to complete a fine all-round day with three wickets for just five runs.

The visitors struggled to 86 all out in 22 overs.

This Saturday Settle 1st XI have another derby match, hosting mid-table Earby, while the seconds have the weekend off.