IN a wake-up call to the rest of the league, Settle 1st XI made short work of NW Premiership leaders at Marshfield on Saturday.

Ribblesdale Wanderers had been fortunate to complete three matches and win them, while the Craven side languished in tenth place thanks to two washouts.

Settle demolished the visitors’ line-up, even without the likes of Eddy Read (injured) and Harry Snowden (now with Burnley). Dan Strickland and John Tarbox saw off the openers, while Tom Davidson (2-12) and pro Ashen Silva (4-11) cleaned up. Making his 200th appearance for the first team, Ben Hulse celebrated with three catches behind the stumps as Wanderers struggled to 69 all out.

Yorkshire youth player Archie Phillipson took advantage of the sunny conditions and the match situation by playing shots around the wicket in his own good time, finishing unbeaten on 31 from 80 balls. John Davidson (12) and Silva (11) partnered him as Settle strolled to 71-3 from 23 overs.

If Settle can avoid too many abandonments, they should live up to early predictions of a top spot in the new league by September.

In the revamped version of the Ramsbottom Cup, Settle 2nds won comfortably at Baxenden to avenge their home league defeat last week. The Lancastrians were all out for 98 with Nick Cokell picking up 3-16, his best figures for the team despite not having bowled a ball for eight years. His welcome return to the ranks was backed up by 3-28 from Callum Mathew. The visitors only lost two wickets in reply, Paul Clarke making 38 not out and Paul Dockerty also remaining unbeaten on 22.

There is a busy weekend ahead for the Marshfield men. On Friday the Development XI host Craven rivals Earby in the inaugural T20 cup for that division, while Saturday sees the firsts away at Tonge and the seconds at home to Salesbury. On top of all that, Settle travel to old rivals Read on Sunday for the first round of the prestigious Lancashire Cup.

Hulse, who made his 200th 1XI appearance for Settle on Saturday,  came through the Junior ranks, earned his stripes in the 2XI and is now flourishing in the 1XI. A Swiss Army knife, he optimises what Settle CC is all about and truly is team first.
 With ten senior trophies to his name, and an increasing confidence with the bat, Chairman Andrew Davidson was full of praise for the star man.
He said: “I would like to congratulate our own Ben Hulse who appears in the 1st XI for the 200 time. He has risen through the ranks to cement himself as  regular selection. Bens versatility is astounding. Great fielder, solid middle order bat, line and length medium pacer and dependable keeper. Add to that great attitude, a competitor and great clubman. Well done Ben.
Settle professional Ashen Silva said: "He's a proper team man. He puts his team in front of himself. We are blessed to have someone like Ben, he is a top man. I wish him all the success; he can be the backbone of Settle's batting line for many years to come.”