AFTER easily overcoming Read last week in the Senior League, title-holders Settle faced stiffer resistance from Salesbury but still managed to beat them with five overs to spare. The home side were boosted by outstanding all-round performances from an old hand and a newcomer.

Salesbury elected to bat but skipper Peter Richardson was promptly bowled by Harry Snowden. Tom Davidson replaced him to remove opener Liam Parkinson (50) with his accurate pace, while Eddy Read at the other end had no luck, regularly rapping the pads and seeing a catch spilled.

The visitors’ middle order made real progress until Barbadian Overseas Amateur Dante Niles joined the fray with his sharply turning off-breaks. He took a wicket in each of his first two overs, with one batsmen holing out and the next looking around in bafflement as the stumps were rattled.

Keeper Tom Stones reached 30 until Niles struck again, taking an athletic return catch a yard in front of the batsman. Salesbury quickly collapsed following a run-out from Will Davidson and the last two players bowled by brother Tom to claim two bonus points. Davidson took 5-39 backed by Niles with 3-34 as the visitors reached 174 all out.

Settle then got off to a flyer as Alex Gould smacked 32 from 25 balls, injuring a fielder in the process. Settle skipper Will Davidson sportingly offered a sub fielder who did his duty by catching Gould himself from a high top edge. The hosts were then struggling at 87-5, but Tom Davidson and Niles put on 51 for the sixth wicket, each in their distinctive style. Davidson unleashed his trade-mark lofted straight drives, while left-hander Niles charmed the spectators with sweetly timed shots along the ground, including an elegant drive for four through the gully, voted the shot of the match. After Davidson departed for 45, Niles hit a six over long on, finally partnering Ben Hulse as Salesbury desperately looked for wickets. Niles unselfishly left himself unbeaten on 49, enabling Hulse to square cut a four to seal the match with two wickets to spare.

The match was well contested with catches going down on both sides in the bleak conditions. Settle have full points after two matches and are on the road on Saturday to take on struggling Whalley who have lost all three games so far. Oswaldtwistle visit Marshfield on Sunday with a single win under their belt.

Meanwhile Settle 2nd XI started their Lawrenson Cup campaign with a convincing away win against Stacksteads 1st team in the group stage. An opening stand of 61 from James Snowden (48) and Archie Phillipson (24) on an unpredictable pitch set the stage for a total of 157-9 from 40 overs, boosted by late power-hitting from Edward Bradley (16) and Oli Whyte (19no). Stacksteads slumped to 98 all out in 28 overs after fine returns from spinners Joseph Handy (4-20) and Angus Ogden (3-24). The seconds are back in Division One action on Saturday as they entertain Craven rivals Earby.