AT the half-way point in the Ribblesdale League season, Settle are moving even further out of reach of the field after two more Senior Division wins.

But the weekend started with a T20 clash at Marshfield with Craven rivals Barnoldswick, a game Settle had to win to go through to the quarter-finals. The visitors put on 138-6, thanks to a half-ton from Adil Ali, but Dante Niles kept a lid on things with 2-12 from his four overs.

Settle’s top order immediately rose to the challenge as pro Ashen Silva (40), Robbie Davidson (35no) and skipper Will Davidson (34 in 17 balls) went on the attack. The hosts won by six wickets in 16 overs.

Saturday’s home league match against Feniscowles did not go entirely to plan, with Settle’s batsmen making starts and getting out in single figures or teens, but Will Davidson, going in at eight, hit a steady 26. The highest stand of the innings was for the last wicket, with Harry Snowden and Eddy Read making 30 from seven overs to reach an acceptable total of 146.

This score was way more than needed, however, as Snowden clean bowled the top three, finishing with 4-25, while Niles took 3-31 to reduce Feniscowles to 88 all out.

Sunday’s match at second-placed Padiham was billed as the Lancastrians’ last chance to damage Settle’s unbeaten run. The visitors elected to field and simply ran through Padiham in 23 overs. Harry Snowden (5-63) was unstoppable, adding another five-wicket haul to last week’s bag, and Tom Davidson backed him up with 3-30.

A target of 105 was never going to be a problem with Settle on such a roll. John Davidson was top amateur run scorer in the league last season, but has found it hard to get established this year. He put all that behind him with an amazing Jonny Bairstow-style blast of 58 unbeaten runs from 18 deliveries, including 14 fours. The record books are being searched to see if this was the fastest league half-ton. Silva was also unbeaten with a more sedate 33 runs. This nine-wicket win from 20 overs puts Settle 30 points clear of Padiham.

The second string were up against Stacksteads 1st XI who posted 181-8, but not before Gus Ogden kept up his fine form with 4-42 from his left-arm spin. The reply saw solid knocks from John Tarbox (38), Paul Clarke (37) and Ryan Sumner (25) but with no-one else in double figures, Settle’s innings ended at 154 all out.

Settle’s Development XI had their best day in years, rattling up 235-8 against Barnoldswick in Division Three. Callum Mathew led the way with an outstanding 82, strongly supported by 39 off 28 from Richard Bradley, 35 from Elliot Marklew and 28 at a run a ball from Connor Stubbs.

Marklew then took 4-46 and Ogden 3-22, but Harris Dinsdale’s 2-9 from seven overs put the visitors under heavy early pressure. A 97-run win was the reward.

The pace is still relentless for the 1st XI with yet another double-header this weekend, away at Baxenden and at home to Cherry Tree.

The Development XI travel to Oswaldtwistle.

Both the 1st XI and Development XI will be eager to continue with their fine starts.