Settle’s had their opening bowlers to thank for securing a valuable 11-run win over Read to retain their place at the top of the Ribblesdale League Senior Section.

Sadrian Ward and Callum Lockett shared the ten wickets as the champions defended their modest total of 141 by dismissing their visitors for 130.

The result maintains the Marshfield men’s slender one-point lead over Oswldtwistle Immanuel at the top of Section A.

But Settle know they were forced to work hard for their ninth win in 11 matches. They had to show real fight to overcome their stubborn opponents.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, settle soon found themselves in trouble against Read’s opening bowler Bailey Richards.

He took the first three wickets to fall at a personal cost of just 12 runs in a lively seven-over spell.

Bailey removed Will Davidson, Shakeel Richard and Tom Strickland as Settle found themselves struggling at 36-3.

When Lockett and Robbie Davidson also departed cheaply, Settle were in trouble at 59-5.

Overseas amateur Ward (39) was up for the battle and was helped by Tom Davidson (27) as 46 runs were added for the sixth wicket.

From 105-6 the innings slowly subsided to 141 all out as Andrew Rushton (3-37) mopped up the tail. Settle were dismissed in 35.4 overs.

Settle knew they had to take early wickets if they were to put their opponents under pressure and their new-ball attack obliged.

Lockett removed opener Bradley Graham with the score on three and Ward followed up by dismissing Matthew Walker to make it 15-2.

The total had crept up to 36 when the duo struck again. Ward got rid of Connor Lowes before Lockett removed opener William Wrathall.

The bowlers had their tails up but Bailey Richards had no intention of surrendering meekly. He made 32 and Jack Wood (20) before both became victims of Ward.

Settle weren’t going to let their rivals off the hook with Lockett (5-35) and Ward (5-58) wrapping up victory for their side.

This Saturday the champions have another home fixture against Salesbury.

Barnoldswick continued their recent improvement with a 192-run win over Padiham with Chalana De Silva playing the lead role.

After top scoring with 83 in Barnoldswick’s 271-5, De Silva took 6-33 as Padiham were skittled out for 79.

Adil Khan (42no) Amir Siddique (40), Shazab Ali (32no) and Majid Inayat (32) all made useful contributions for Barnoldswick.

Earby were on the receiving end of a 239-run defeat against Brinscall. After seeing their opponents rack up a daunting 326-5, Earby were skittled for 87 as Lee Burgess took a stunning 8-24.