READ CC’s annual team BBQ wasn’t the only thing cooking at the weekend.
The club’s event provided the perfect base for celebration for the senior squad, led by skipper Kyle O’Connor, after their fiery performance reduced Edenfield to cinders at Gincroft Lane.
The 48-run victory ensured the heat is still on at the summit, though the gap remains at 17 points after Barnoldswick maintained their unbeaten run in 2012 with an eight-wicket triumph over Salesbury.
Read began the clash rather hesitantly and plummeted to 40-4.
Joe Marshall was in blazing form, smashing a quick fire 26, but on his exit the prolific pairing of Jon Harvey (52) and Andrew Laycock confidently rebuilt the innings as the visitors finished on 180.
“Jon and Andy batted really well,” said Kyle.
“We didn’t bat as well as we have been doing, despite setting off like a house on fire, but we did enough.
“The pair rebuilt the innings for us after we struggled at the start.”
In the reverse, Marshall stepped to the fore as he deputised for the absent Warren Eastham with the ball.
Marshall formed part of a destructive three-pronged bowling attack alongside Harvey, who claimed two victims, and Elliot Lowes (3-17).
“Joe Marshall was the pick of the bowlers,” beamed the Whalley Road skipper.
“He didn’t bowl badly once in 11 overs.
“He’s only bowled in Twenty20 competitions before but we needed a slow bowler with the absence of Warren so he stepped in and took his chance.
“He’s been working hard in the nets and he got his reward with 4-38.
“If he bowls like that next time he can keep his spot for the rest of the season.
“He was class.
“We worked hard as a unit to gain victory, we stuck at it in the field and worked hard. It was the team performance we’ve been looking for.”
Elsewhere in the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale Cricket League, Padiham skipper John Bushell was left frustrated again as his hunt for fourth place went begging once again.
Fellow competitors Settle did the damage at the Marshfield Ground, recording a 59-run victory. Chasing a 188-run total, Padiham were extinguished for 129 which now sees them 16 points shy of Clitheroe, who occupy the final Lancashire Cup spot.