RIBBLESDALE Senior League defending champions Settle carried on where they left off from last season, with two emphatic home wins over the Bank Holiday weekend.

First on the list were last year’s runners-up Read, whose bowlers struggled in the face of dominant innings by Settle skipper Will Davidson (69 including nine fours) and returning pro Ashen Silva (53).

Overseas Amateur Dante Niles weighed in with a breezy 32 from 22 balls, partnered by Ben Hulse, unbeaten on 20 at a run a ball, Settle closing on 206-5.

This target was not a daunting one but after the pacemen Eddy Read and Harry Snowden made inroads into the top order, with catches by stand-in keeper Hulse, it was to be the spinners’ day.

Silva took 4-13 including a sharp diving caught-and-bowled, while Niles claimed 2-5. The pair only bowled 7.3 overs between them, but Read were reduced to 85 all out.

It was more of the same on Sunday, with Oswaldtwistle at the receiving end. In Settle’s innings, reduced to 37 overs.

John Davidson (21) and Silva put on 55 for the second wicket with Niles (17) adding another entertaining knock. Silva moved relentlessly to 64 while Robbie Davidson (28no) and Hulse (19) took Settle to 164-6 with some lively running.

Read and Snowden picked up an opener each after which Niles (5-29) and Silva (2-28) spun their way through the remainder.

Niles’ second five-wicket haul for the club included three clean-bowled as the visitors struggled to 86 all out, leaving Settle with full 24 points for their weekend’s work.

Not to be outdone, Division One champions Settle 2nd XI gained maximum points at Read, though the match was far more even. After a shaky start by the dalesmen’s top order, Andrew Fry struck nine fours on his way to 69.

Fry and Tom Strickland put on 122 for the fourth wicket with Strickland’s dashing 71 including four sixes and seven fours. Joseph Pickles made a career-best 73, his first half-ton for the club, supported by 37 at a run a ball from Robbie Pickard as Settle racked up 344-8.

On a rapid outfield, Read’s openers gave Settle similar treatment though Pickles (3-78) and fellow spinner Angus Ogden (4-74) stuck to their guns as the hosts went for broke in the last few overs, ending on 304 all out.

Both teams delivered 82 wides between them, with the new leg-side wide rule clearly causing difficulties.

This Saturday Settle firsts travel to mid-table Whalley, while the 2nd XI have another crack at Read on their patch.

The firsts will be looking to build on their impressive start to the campaign.