SETTLE’S 273-8 at Read was their best batting of the year so far, but it could not prevent a seven-wicket defeat in the North West Cricket League Senior Premiership.

An opening partnership of 55 got the visitors off to a solid start before Archie Phillipson went lbw for 22 leaving John Davidson (54) to compile his first half-ton of the season.

Tom Davidson hit nine fours and a six in his adventurous 63, racking up 103 for the fourth wicket with Tremaine Dowrich (55), both players dashing at a run a ball.

Ben Hulse (22) and skipper Will Davidson (15) kept up the rapid tempo to leave Settle in a seemingly strong position.

Read captain Will Wrathall had other ideas, opening the batting with 71, but it was pro Asad Shafiq who stole the show with an unbeaten 103 from 82 balls to ensure a win inside 36 overs.

Shafiq took Anderson and Broad for a century at the Oval back in 2016 and has 12 Test tons to his name, so credit goes to Settle’s bowlers for carrying on gamely.

The home Craven derby against Earby this Saturday gives the Marshfield men a chance to move up the table with both sides currently at parity.

And on Sunday they travel to Eagley, one of Bolton’s finest, in the hope of laying down a marker.

Settle 2nds had a similar experience against Read at home, putting on a decent total only to be denied in the end.

Richard Bradley made 19 before holing out at mid-off, followed by a 51-run partnership between Nick Cokell (32) and skipper John Tarbox who top-scored with 39. The innings ended with sparkling batting from Harris Dinsdale who smashed 25 from 18 and Will Tyrer (15 from 12), both unbeaten as their side reached 198-9.

Tarbox deployed eight bowlers in an attempt to defend the total, and capped a fine all-round performance himself with 4-25 from 10 tight overs, but Read took the honours with a four-wicket victory and three overs to spare.

There was better news from the Development XI as they bowled out Cherry Tree for 121 thanks to 3-10 from Richard Bradley and 3-12 from Gus Ogden.

The reply saw Freddie Spensley make 20 followed by Richard Bradley and Gym Mallalieu-Black contributing 17 apiece.

Ogden then struck 19 in even time, but Ed Bradley’s unbeaten 28 ensured a three-wicket win with 18 overs in hand.