SETTLE 2nd XI won the Division One title for the second season running with a nine-wicket win at Oswaldtwistle.

Just two points clear at the top going into the game, only a win would guarantee Settle the trophy.

Ossy put themselves in to bat and were immediately in trouble at the hands of John Tarbox. As so often this season the veteran swing bowler knocked the stuffing out of the opposition. He took four top-order wickets while conceding just ten runs from 12 overs.

The hosts were seemingly on the ropes at 40-7 but Haroon Yaqoob held out for an unbeaten 55 to drag his team to 126 all out. Gus Ogden (2-23) and Paul Dockerty (2-29) ensured the innings was finished inside 37 overs.

Settle skipper Daniel Strickland moved quickly to 23 in the reply before departing lbw. His was the only wicket to fall as Paul Clarke (43no) and Joseph Pickles (31no) calmly steered the Dalesmen home for a nine-wicket win and a historic Division One championship. Strickland became the first captain in the club’s history to receive the cup two years running.

The Ribblesdale League is now at a crossroads with its 17 second teams. Because of the pandemic and clubs pulling out, last season’s Divisions One and Two collapsed this year into a bizarrely named “Junior” Division. This has unfortunately left the bottom sides with almost no wins and the top sides sometimes short of challenging opposition.

However, this will not be on Settle’s minds as the second team celebrate matching the first team’s achievement in retaining their cup.