A RECORD-breaking 40-over innings of 330-6 carried Settle through to the Ramsbottom Cup semi-finals, as they hosted Whalley on Sunday.

Alex Gould (44) and John Davidson (28) got their team off to their usual solid start.

Tom Davidson then smashed eleven fours and a six, making 74 from 50 balls- partnered by pro Ashen Silva (57) who calmly stroked his way to a half-century.

Robbie Davidson made an unbeaten 42 while at the other end Dante Niles delighted the spectators with a whirlwind 46 from only 22 balls. Of the 37 fours struck by Settle, John Davidson hit the shot of the day from just the fourth ball of the innings. A perfectly timed cover drive, hit on the up, sent a ripple through the crowd.

Whalley were on a hiding to nothing but batted gamely until Settle’s bowlers took their toll. Tom Davidson, Will Davidson, Silva and Gould claimed two wickets apiece as the visitors’ innings folded on 143 after 32 overs, the Marshfield men winning by a massive 187 runs.

Settle 2nd XI were also in the runs, making 286-5 at Brinscall, cementing their place at the top of Division One. James Snowden was top of the bill with his maiden century in a resounding 148 opening partnership with Archie Phillipson who struck 57 runs. Adam Strickland and Ryan Sumner each made 47. Brinscall were all out for 178 with two wickets each for Ben Mitchell and Paul Dockerty, but it was Snowden to the fore again, taking 3-31 to cap a great all-round day.

Settle 1st XI travel to Feniscowles this Saturday to fight out the leadership of the Senior League, while the 2nds host Feniscowles second string. Settle 3rds welcome Salesbury on Sunday.

And discussing his side’s cup success, captain Will Davidson said: “It was a convincing win against Whalley. They’re a young side with a lot of potential but at the moment they are lacking a bit of experience, compared to our side, we are the complete opposite.

“We put on a real strong batting performance, and it has been like this all season.

“I think it is because everyone is chipping in, and with the experience of the side, everyone knows their role. We don’t rely on the pro, and everyone can bat in the side.

“So, like the weekend for example, that’s when we are getting our big scores, because everyone is getting 30 or 40 runs every week, rather than relying on an individual to hit 100 runs.

“Tom Davidson is having a fantastic season too- he’s probably one of the best amateurs in the league at the moment, both batting and bowling.”

Settle face a tough trip to Feniscowles on Saturday, the side who sit one place above them in first, although Settle have played one game less than them. But Davidson is well aware of the challenges his side will face.

He said: “It's going to be our first real test of the season. We play them the week after as well, so these next two weeks will be pivotal in deciding who wins the league."