SETTLE have just been crowned Senior League champions even though the season is not yet finished.

They are now so many points clear that no other side can catch them in the remaining three fixtures. And after their recent triumph in the Ramsbottom Cup, they have done the double for only the second time in their history, following their 2005 success.

For Settle this also represents an unprecedented run of three successive Senior championships, and the 2nd XI is close to securing the Division One title.

As if to demonstrate Settle’s strength in depth, this weekend at Padiham they fielded a 1st XI containing only three regular Senior League players plus the pro, and still won convincingly. Batting first, the Dalesmen were initially struggling at 40-5 with the regulars back in the hutch, but Paul Dockerty hit a patient unbeaten 47 from 91 balls, with vital support from Owen West and Eliot Marklew (both making 24). The hosts were generous with 34 extras, Settle closing on 159-8 from 45 overs.

Padiham only lasted 34 overs in reply, with Eddy Read (4-33) in great form and Harry Snowden and pro Ashen Silva picking up three wickets apiece to ensure a win by 46 runs. Overall, was a great chance for second- and third-teamers to have a taste of cricket at the top level and they did the club proud in the field and at the wicket.

There is a fascinating weekend in prospect for the Marshfield faithful. The 1st XI are at home to face Padiham once again, after which the Ribblesdale Senior League trophy will be presented. On Sunday the 2nd XI entertain Cherry Tree in their drive for the Division One championship, and on Bank Holiday Monday three Craven teams are involved in the T20 finals day at Barnoldswick. At 11 a.m. Earby face Ribblesdale Wanderers in the first semi-final, with Settle then taking on Barnoldswick around 1.30 p.m. The two winners will meet for the final itself around 4 p.m. The 20-over format often produces upsets, but Settle have a strong chance of a unique treble.