Valley pair keep up pace at top of Ribblesdale League

Richard Lamb in action for Whalley against Barnoldswick on Saturday
Richard Lamb in action for Whalley against Barnoldswick on Saturday

Clitheroe and Read clinched double Bank Holiday wins to take control at the top of the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League Senior Division.

With 10 games gone, the pair boast a 17 points advantage over champions Barnoldswick.

Certainly, Clitheroe, champions in 2010, are good value for their lead and grabbed maximum 24 points with wins over Oswaldtwistle Immanuel and Ribblesdale Wanderers.

Ossie were swept aside by 144 runs before professional Kashif Siddique dominated Wanderers with a superb all-round performance.

The Pakistani star finished with 8-28 to help dismiss their visitors for only 95.

Siddique then hit an unbeaten 43 as Clitheroe passed their target losing only one wicket.

Read haven’t lifted the senior league trophy since the last of their three successive wins in 2004. But they have been runners-up in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and now hold an almost identical record to Clitheroe. Just two bonus points separate the teams.

Read amassed nearly 500 runs in two days, beating Earby and Padiham with something to spare. Joey Marshall (77), Mohammed Jamal (72) and Conor Lowes (70) helped them to 273-9 against Padiham despite Chris Holt’s best efforts.

Holt took 8-117 and made 68 but Padiham lost by 113 runs. Indeed, spare a thought for the Arbories outfit’s paid man.

Holt achieved another half century/fifer double (88/5-86) last Saturday only for Great Harwood to register a four wicket win.

Barlick doubled their win tally to suggest it would be foolish to write off their chances of retaining their title. Whalley were routed by 10 wickets on Saturday and Earby brushed aside by seven wickets 24 hours later.

Salesbury, the last club admitted to the top flight before this year’s additions of Brooksbottom and Euxton, now look to have found their feet.

Twice wooden spoonists after gaining promotion in 2010, and third bottom in 2012, the Ribchester Road side are mid table with four wins from their 10 games with only three defeats.

Professional Susantha Pradeep was too good for Cherry Tree with 5-49 followed by a match winning 84 out of 148-6.

Salesbury then ensured a victoryless weekend for Settle in a tense match when all 20 wickets fell.

Settle, beaten at Ribblesdale Wanderers the previous day, fell six runs short in their bid to overhaul 114.

Wanderers made 171-6 against Settle, with opener Charlie Jackson (34), Brannon Varley (39) and Martin Briggs (39 not out) top-scoring.

Ian Britcliffe then took 7-53 as Settle were dismissed for 131.

On Saturday, Clitheroe are at Padiham, Read host Brooksbottom, Ribblesdale Wanderers entertain Euxton, Salesbury are at home to Barnoldswick, and Whalley host Settle.

Sunday is the Ramsbottom Cup second round, as Wanderers host Oswaldtwistle.