SETTLE suffered another setback in their bid to retain the Ribblesdale League Senior League title after losing at home to Craven rivals Barnoldswick on Saturday.

Put in to bat by the visitors and missing several regular first-teamers, they were already in trouble at 58-4 but despite their efforts six wickets then fell for just nine more runs.

Will Davidson stood alone with a knock of 39 from 45 balls, but Barlick’s Sri Lankan pro Chalana de Silva ran through Settle’s vulnerable line-up with figures of 6-32, supported by 3-22 for Jonathan Beech.

Defending a total of 67, the hosts immediately fought back as Sadrian Ward bowled de Silva with the first ball of the innings, going on to take 3-28 to give Settle a glimmer of hope.

His team-mates caught and fielded well but Barlick reached their target in 17 overs with Majid Inayat unbeaten on 27, his side winning by six wickets.

As well as losing players through injury and other commitments, chairman Andrew Davidson had spent hours trying to find a sub pro to replace the injured Shakeel Richards who had to limp through the match.

Davidson said: “I tried five agents, several leagues and six counties but to no avail. Shakeel and the lads we had did their best on an unusually soft wicket.”

He added: “Oswaldtwistle did us a favour by losing as well but they are still 13 points ahead of the pack and Read are just three behind us now. Even bonus points are going to make a big difference.”

With Sunday’s home fixture against Whalley wiped out by the weather, the Marshfield side have three more matches to rally their players and turn things round.

They take on late title challengers Read at Whalley Road this Saturday followed next day by a home fixture against Section B side Earby. The season ends the following weekend with Cherry Tree being entertained at Marshfield.

Sunday's match against Earby has been designated President's Day as a tribute to Tom Sharp and to thank him for his loyal service to the club over many years.