SETTLE entertained old foes Salesbury in the NWCL Senior Premiership to produce a pulsating match with dramatic final overs and a tie as a result.

The hosts were delighted to win the toss for a change, sending in Archie Phillipson (33) and John Davidson (41 with seven fours) to put on an impressive opening stand of 79. It was slow but steady going in the face of accurate pace bowling, but their departure led to a middle order slump. Skipper Will Davidson then seized the innings with 41 from 31, sharing a fifty partnership with James Snowden (16). The last four men scrambled a dozen runs to leave Settle on a below-par 172 all out.

The visitors themselves got off to a promising start with a fifty opening stand against the quicks, before pro Ashen Silva swooped for a sharp caught-and-bowled. Overseas amateur Tremaine Dowrich (4-47) now produced a golden over of nagging left-arm spin. He yorked Salesbury skipper Peter Richardson for a first-ball duck, then had pro Zunaed Siddique - also first ball - brilliantly caught in the gully by Callum Mathew. Will Davidson (2-32) kept up the pressure and Eddy Read picked up a wicket with his second spell, but Salesbury gradually took back control, only for Ben Hulse to run out the number nine and set up the finale.

After seven hours in the Marshfield sun, it all came to this - two overs to go, nine down, 15 to win. Davidson himself shouldered the responsibility, delivering an over which might come back to haunt him. Six, six, dot, wide, single. But with the scores now level he held his nerve for two dots before handing the final over to Read. His first ball was somehow hacked square by the last man who set off optimistically for a winning single. With Read following through, only a direct hit from the field would do. Step up Ben Hulse with yet another deadly throw to smash the stumps and tie the game, greeted like a victory by his team and the enthralled home crowd. Settle and Salesbury took seven points each and a lot of credit for a thrilling game.

In Conference North, Settle's second string were at Barrowford for the first time, but were missing two key bowlers after a car breakdown. The bowling was spread around with Paul Dockerty taking 2-42, while third change Paul Clarke, only previously known as an opening bat, picked up his first five wicket haul in two decades of league cricket. His 5-61 came as the hosts amassed 241 all out, but Settle took on the challenge.

Skipper Elliot Marklew (17), Dockerty (26) and Harvey Green (14) set the top order running, with Adam Strickland and Richard Bradley each making 29 lower down. However, the visitors were finally 193 all out, leaving Alex Dew unbeaten on 34 to claim a consolation three points for his side.

The action this weekend is non-stop as Settle 1st XI trek to Feniscowles for a T20 on Friday, followed by another long haul on Saturday to Brinscall in the league. On Sunday they are home at last to welcome Cherry Tree in the first round of the new Hamer Cup. The 2nd XI are at home to Brinscall while the Development XI take on Whalley away.