SETTLE started their defence of the Ribblesdale Senior League title with a resounding 87-run home win against Read. Alex Gould hit a rapid 24 for the Marshfield men before three quick wickets fell, bringing Robbie Davidson (29) to join his brother John for a 77-run partnership which formed the backbone of the innings.

John Davidson carried on from where he left off last season as the league’s most prolific run scorer by posting 81 from 118 balls, including seven fours and two sixes. This followed an unbeaten half-century against Morecambe last week.

The innings ended with a flourish as Barbadian Overseas Amateur Dante Niles (!7) and Ryan Sumner (27) propelled Settle to a hefty 211-8 from 45 overs.

Eddy Read is another stand-out player from last season who has seemingly wintered well, steaming in for 15 overs to take 4-35 as the visitors made their reply.

His opening partner in pace, Harry Snowden (2-35), lived up to his early promise by bowling Read’s pro Mansoor Amjad cheaply as the visitors’ innings started to falter.

Spinner Ashen Silva (3-32) then tied down the lower order, reducing Read to 124 all out with seven balls to spare and handing 12 points to Settle.

The Dalesmen’s 2nd XI put icing on the cake by beating Read in Division One. Archie Phillipson (20) and John Tarbox (30) took Settle to 137 all out, Tarbox then returning 4-23 as Read fell for 122.

Settle chairman Andrew Davidson was delighted but not surprised by the start to the season. “We put out four different teams this weekend with almost all local players. Our four junior sides have been the source for this success.”

He added, “Settle is bursting at the seams with players, so selection is a real headache, but not one I will complain about! We are also starting a Women’s XI with six fixtures in prospect so there is plenty for the community to enjoy as we emerge from lockdown.”