A HALF-CENTURY from John Davidson helped reigning champions Settle secure a six-wicket victory over local rivals Barnoldswick on the opening day of the 2020 Ribblesdale League campaign.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat under cloudy conditions at Marshfield.

Ashir Imdad (16) made a solid start before Tom Davidson (2-12) saw off the top order.

There was good work lower down from Majid Imyat (36) and Adil Khan (22) but tight bowling from skipper Will Davidson (2-11) kept Barlick down to 124-8 from the allotted 40 overs.

The bowlers were backed up by keen fielding and fine catches. The tumbling take on the long-on boundary by Ryan Sumner was the most spectacular.

In reply, Settle were reduced to 9-3 in the face of excellent opening spells from captain Jonathan Beech (2-35), pictured, and Faisal Hussain (1-11), but John Davidson and Sumner held the innings together with a stand of 74.

Davidson chanced his arm at first with lofted cover drives through a packed off-side field, but soon settled into more orthodox shots around the ground.

After Sumner departed for a lively 27, Will Davidson (15no) joined his younger brother for a quick-running partnership which saw the hosts home with seven overs to spare.

John Davidson walked off unbeaten with 63 runs and seven fours to his name, giving holders Settle just the start they needed in this shortened season.

Elsewhere in the Senior Division, Earby's 138/9 from their 40 overs was not enough to beat Padiham.

Jake Hargreaves' 52 was combated with Nathan Whitehead's 4-21, leaving the visitors to reach the lowly target in 28.3 overs.