Clitheroe have one hand on the trophy after winning their top of the table clash at Chatburn Road on Saturday with Settle in the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League.
Even Clitheroe’s washout at Baxenden on Sunday, with Settle sitting out the latest round of fixtures, hardly improved their chances of upsetting the odds.
Indeed, Read have nudged into second place, though they have played a game more.
The champions’ 35-run win means only a dramatic set of results in the remaining five matches will deny them a third-successive title.
Jack Dewhurst was the star with bat and ball as Clitheroe took the spoils, bouncing back from their Lancashire Cup semi-final defeat by Bootle.
Former skipper Neil Bolton top scored with 34, sharing a 66-run opening partnership with Bilal Ahmed, before the hosts hit trouble.
Dewhurst contributed 31 as Clitheroe finished on 160, with Andrew Davidson the pick of Settle’s bowlers with 3-32.
Dewhurst then took over when Settle batted, finishing with 8-53 from 17 overs.
Tom Lord and Charlie Dewhurst claimed the remaining wickets.
Jordan Clark hit a half century and Andrew Rushton took 6-54 as Read beat Cherry Tree by 29 runs.
Earby’s bid to beat the drop into Section B wasn’t helped by defeat to Whalley, who boosted their own hopes of avoiding demotion, though they are in seventh spot, which would mean a play-off against second place in Section B.
Salesbury’s promotion hopes were hit by defeat against rivals Padiham.
Kyle Marshall produced his own ‘all-rounder of the day’ contribution with 87 and 5-38 in Barnoldswick’s 120-run crushing of Ribblesdale Wanderers.
All Senior League matches were washed out on Sunday.
On Saturday, Read are at Baxenden, Clitheroe host Oswaldtwistle Immanuel, Whalkley are at Settle, Ribblesdale make the trip to Brinscall and Salesbury are at Euxton.
On Sunday, Clitheroe are at Earby, Read entertain Settle, Whalley host Baxenden, Ribblesdale are at home to Edenfield and Salesbury host Brinscall.