UNBEATEN Settle have had a fairly untroubled ride in the Ribblesdale League Senior Division this season, but they had a game on their hands at Cherry Tree on Saturday.

The first blow came when they lost both openers cheaply, so they turned to Ashen Silva, their professional in every sense of the word, to restore order.

A model pro is asked to come in at three, get a fifty and hang around long enough to support the middle order, which is exactly what Silva did.

His 55 came in 89 balls, chalking up his seventh half-ton of the season, while Robbie Davidson (17) and Dante Niles (24) ticked over at the other end.

Settle were still not sure of a comfortable score, however, but with overs running out due to rain, James Snowden took the initiative and launched a ferocious assault on Cherry’s bowlers.

His unbeaten 58 from just 27 balls, a maiden fifty at this level, included eight fours and two sixes and propelled the visitors to 200-7 from 40 overs.

The hosts rose to the challenge but were contained by Harry Snowden (3-31) and Silva (3-46) until Charlie Elwood passed his fifty. In the hectic scramble for runs, Elwood was run out for 62 by Harry Snowden and Tom Davidson picked up the Cherry skipper Jon Baldwin, caught and bowled for 25.

Settle held their nerve to win by ten runs, their narrowest victory of the season.

In the corresponding second team match at Marshfield, Settle’s openers put on 64, Paul Clarke (23) and Robbie Pickard (34) batting with due care.

The middle order kept their wickets intact but were restricted in their scoring by a steady Cherry attack. There followed a rousing unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 86 by captain Dan Strickland (19no) and the long-serving John Tarbox (54no).

Tarbox dashed to his half-century in 42 balls with seven boundaries on the way, hitting the landmark in the last over to general acclamation by the crowd.

Play was briefly halted as two formations of the Red Arrows, fresh from the Jubilee, flew low over the Marshfield ground as if to salute Tarbox’s achievement.

The man himself then put in a seven-over shift, conceding just seven runs and claiming the first Cherry Tree victim. At the other end, Harris Dinsdale was unlucky not to pick up a wicket as his seven overs of real pace made the batsmen struggle.

Paul Dockerty and Joseph Pickles took two wickets apiece, Gus Ogden the one, leaving spinner Will Tyrer to mop up the remainder with a fine return of 4-35 and give Settle a 66-run win. They are in joint second place in Division One, behind Padiham.

In Division Three, the Development XI made it three wins for Settle’s teams with Richard Bradley’s four wickets reducing Salesbury to 82 all out.

Harvey Green top-scored with an unbeaten 38 in the reply, with a six-wicket win the reward.

This Saturday the first team entertain mid-table Baxenden, with the seconds on the road over there.

The Ramsbottom Cup quarter-final at Marshfield on Sunday will give Cherry Tree another crack at Settle.

In other news, Settle announced that last week, Archie Phillipson signed his EPP contract with Yorkshire CCC.

Players are selected for the EPP based on outstanding ability and previous performances on the Performance Pathway.