A STRONG batting performance by Settle made sure their Division One title defence got off to a pleasing start.

The 2nd XI hosted Burnley Belvedere in the season opener, giving Archie Phillipson an early chance to show his Yorkshire Under-15 credentials. He hit a six and 13 fours including two sweetly timed boundaries in the first over, on his way to 88 from 92 balls. There was solid support from James Snowden (27) and a brisk 17 runs from Dante Niles. In the middle order, Joseph Pickles made 36 with some excellent running, while skipper John Tarbox hit 27 at a run a ball, his team closing on 229-7.

In the reply, Edward Bradley clean bowled the visitor’s opening bat with the first ball of the innings, but Settle at times made heavy weather of their catching and bowling. They fell foul of the new leg-side wide rule which boosted Belvedere and prolonged the final outcome. But they stuck to their task and Paul Dockerty had a fine return of 3-29 from seven overs and Will Tyrer cleaned up the tail with 2-6, a continuation of the success he had last season. Belvedere fought well for their 173 all out inside 39 overs, though Settle would like to have wrapped things up earlier. They travel to Read this Saturday where they expect a sterner contest.

Also on Saturday, Settle’s 1st XI begin their defence of the Senior League title with the return of their outstanding pro Ashen Silva. They host Read.