IN a home match distorted by several rain breaks, Settle lost to Farnworth Social by the narrowest of margins.

The visitors rank highly in the North West Senior Premiership but their lower order squandered their chances to post a decisive first innings total.

Eddy Read soon removed an opener, picking up two wickets in a relentless eleven-over spell, while Archie Phillipson took 1-17 in seven tight overs. Social’s middle order made solid progress but spinner Ashen Silva soon got a stranglehold, returning 4-33. At the other end, left-armer Tremaine Dowrich took 3-38 with his looping spin, reducing Social to 136 and four overs wasted.

After Settle’s openers fell, Silva skilfully masterminded the reply, hitting 41 in partnership with John Davidson (21) as the two left-handers sprinted between the wickets to frustrate the fielders. A long interruption for rain was followed by another hold-up while the new target was established, and shorter breaks in play caused more adjustments.

In the end it resembled a T20 finish, James Snowden (15) obliging with two sixes including one lofted high into the railway embankment.

Settle were just three runs short at the end, winning seven valuable points against Social’s ten, and showing they have nothing to fear in this Sunday’s Hamer Cup home semi-final against the same team. And The day before the cup game, Settle 1st XI travel to old rivals Whalley who are in nineteenth place, six spots below the Marshfield men.

In Conference North, Settle seconds were all out for 81 in their first trip to Foulridge, but skipper Elliot Marklew (12) showed resistance and ever-reliable John Tarbox struck six fours in his 32 from 47 balls. All-rounder Tarbox then took 2-15 from eleven frugal overs, backed by 2-24 from fellow paceman Harris Dinsdale. All Foulridge's top five were dismissed in single figures, but a mid-order blitz gave the hosts a six-wicket victory.