AN outstanding return of 7-36 from pace bowler Matthew Simpson ensure that reigning Ribblesdale League champions Settle demolished their hapless Salesbury opponents by a huge margin of 103 runs away from home.

Simpson added to his earlier cameo of 19 with the bat with a destructive bowling performance that left Salesbury's batting line-up in tatters. He has recently been playing in the Craven League but adapted comfortably to his new surroundings.

Thanks mainly to Simpson, Salesbury never looked like reaching their 183 run target, a score which owed much to an excellent batting display by the big-hitting Baz Ward.

Salesbury were left regretting their decision to insert Settle after winning the toss, with Ward hitting eleven fours, many of which came from a series of glorious drives.

He also smacked a couple of dismissive hooks for six before departing for 79 from 83 balls and but for the sluggish outfield, he would surely have approached a century.

His half-century second wicket partnership with fellow Barbadian Shakeel Richards (23) struck the perfect balance, with Ward being the aggressor and Richards batting with controlled caution.

Once the two Barbadians had been dismissed, the remaining batsmen then struggled to make headway, with the exception of Simpson and John Davidson (17), who steered Settle to their imposing target of 182 all out.

Salesbury bowled 24 wides, with their ill-disciplined performance in the field not helping their chances of winning.

Simpson then went on to produce the best bowling return of the day in the league, with his seven wickets coming in 13.3 overs.

His relentless attack was well supported by David Worthington and Josh Mullinder with two catches apiece.

Salesbury soon subsided to 79 all out from 26.3 overs as Ward (2-34) and spinner Richards (1-6) showed their all-round credentials too.

Settle entertain Cherry Tree this Saturday, both teams having started the season with the maximum 12 points.

Meanwhile, they will hope to welcome their popular club captain Tom Davidson back into the fold in the next couple of weeks.

He plays for Wharfedale's rugby union side and they are locked in a tense relegation battle in National League Two North.

Faced with a tricky decision, he has committed to the oval ball game until the end of the season. His return will only strengthen what looks to be an extremely strong Settle side.