AN outstanding century by Settle skipper Will Davidson pulled his side back into the match when a Senior League defeat looked on the cards for the first time this season.

As so often at Marshfield, Settle won the toss and batted, but they faced unusual conditions exploited by Whalley’s bowlers. After a season of free scoring on fast tracks, Settle found themselves facing balls keeping low and not coming on to the bat. This led to lbw decisions and catches in the covers at waist high from mistimed shots. When pro Ashen Silva departed for 28, the hosts were on 75-5 with uncertain prospects.

Coming in at number seven, Will Davidson timed his shots to perfection, pulling and driving with authority. Apart from a missed catch at cow corner it was a chanceless knock, his unbeaten 105 coming from 86 balls, including eleven fours and a six. He was well supported by the lower order, notably Benjamin Hulse who made ten from 27 balls.

With a captain’s innings if ever there was one, particularly batting at seven, Davidson took his side to an unlikely 223-8.

Whalley were depleted with injuries and got off to the worst possible start when Harry Snowden bowled opener Declan Bailey with the first ball of the reply. Tom Davidson then bowled his replacement for a duck, leaving Snowden to remove the other opener with the visitors now on the ropes at two for three wickets. It was then a procession for 21 overs with only one Whalley batsmen making double figures in a total of 50. Snowden produced his career-best bowling, taking 6-16 from seven overs and four victims clean bowled, a reward for pace and accuracy.

Settle 2nds also boasted a centurion in their Division One match at Earby. Opener Andrew Fry made an unbeaten 109, his maiden ton for the club. Nick Tyrer (33) and John Tarbox (30) used their experience to ensure a total of 211-5.

Earby only lasted 19 overs in the face of exceptional spin bowling by Joseph Handy who took 6-22 from just four overs. Number nine batsman Jason Lockley top-scored with 24 as the hosts struggled to 54 all out.

On Sunday, Settle 1st XI went on to win the Ramsbottom Cup for the fourth time in their history. Cherry Tree made 64 all out while Settle made 68 with five wickets down. As Settle’s top league position is almost unassailable, the T20 finals on the August Bank Holiday could give the Dalesmen a unique treble this season. They travel to Salesbury in the Senior League this Saturday, while the second string entertain Read.