READ took full advantage of Barnoldswick’s first slip of the season on Saturday.
Previously unbeaten leaders Barnoldswick suffered their first defeat of the season in the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League to offer a glimmer of hope to their title rivals.
Read and Baxenden both won, though Barnoldswick still lead by 26 points with five games remaining.
Read won at a canter at Ribblesdale Wanderers after restricting the home side to 152-9.
Joey Marshall (65 not out) and Jordan Clark (60 not out) made batting look easy as the visitors won by nine wickets.
Professional Chris Holt, pictured, (66 and 6-60) produced the day’s best all round performance as Padiham defeated Great Harwood by one wicket.
After an 18-match game unbeaten run, Barnoldswick were edged out in a tight finish at Clitheroe.
Batting first, the table topping visitors reached 175-5 but couldn’t shift Josh McDowell when Clitheroe batted.
McDowell was still there, unbeaten on 98, when the game was won, with one wicket remaining, in the penultimate over.
Callum Waddington top scored with 64 for Baxenden as they batted first at Salesbury.
And their total of 200-6 was 40 too many for the home side despite Susantha Pradeep’s 77.
Champions Baxenden are one point behind Read and 10 clear of fourth placed Clitheroe.
Aneeq Hassan hit the only century with a splendid 108 not out in Settle’s winning total of 241-7 against Cherry Tree.