Read face a fourth successive season of finishing in the runner-up spot in the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale Cricket League after losing to leaders Clitheroe at the weekend.
The Chatburn Road side opened up a 13 point lead with a five wicket triumph over their fierce rivals at Whalley Road. Jack Dewhurst claimed 5-52 off 14 overs as the hosts were dismissed for 116 with paid man Mohammed Jamal hitting 43 while Warren Eastham added 22 at the tail end.
The visitors reached their target for the loss of just five batsmen as Thomas Lord took the 2010 champions over the line, culminating the innings with an unbeaten knock of 31 alongside Matthew Coulter (10).
Elsewhere, Padiham remain cemented to the bottom of the hierarchy despite recording their second win of the campaign.
Callum Clarke’s side recorded a crucial three-wicket win at the Arbories after surpassing struggling Cherry Tree’s total of 182 to move to within 13 points of safety.
Meanwhile, Settle’s Mansoor Amjad struck the highest score of the season yet, alongside fellow centurion Ben Dougall, finished on the losing side.
Amjad amassed 17 fours and five sixes in a 135 ball innings of 161 not out but in a match that produced 570 runs, Settle fell 24 runs short against Earby at the Applegarth.
The home side’s massive first innings total of 297-3 was largely down to Matt Wilson’s contribution of 140. Wilson hit 11 boundaries and seven sixes in his 108 ball knock, receiving excellent support from Chris Walton (62) and Fahid Rehman (59 not out).
South Australian Dougall, who hit 123 against Early back in April, passed three figures again with 104 out of Wanderers 206-9 at Barnoldswick.
However, the champions stayed in the title race with a five wicket victory thanks to Imran Khalid’s undefeated 107. Khalid scored 64 of his runs in fours or sixes during a 97 ball occupation of the crease.
Fourth placed ‘Barlick’ trail Clitheroe by 35 points but are one adrift of third placed Oswaldtwistle who were 27 run winners at Salesbury.
Much improved ‘Ossie’ were dismissed for 168 as Salesbury paid man Susantha Pradeep took 6-65. But it proved a defendable total as the home side were dismissed for 141.
Closest finish came at Back Lane where Great Harwood registered their sixth league win at Baxenden’s expense off the last ball. Chasing 164 for victory in 36 overs, Stuart Maher (20 not out) struck the winning runs off the final ball.
The day’s other winners were Whalley who beat Brooksbottom and Euxton who saw off Edenfield.
*The funeral of Houldsworth Ribblesdale League life member, Jack Cross, will take place on Thursday. Jack, who died on June 4th, was league secretary from 1974-77 and again from 1983 to 1997.
He also served as press officer, treasurer and umpires’ secretary. The service will be held at Central Methodist Chapel, Chapel Street. Glossop, from 3 p.m.