READ showed just why they are so many people’s favourites to dethrone Clitheroe as Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League champions with another powerhouse display on Saturday.
Kyle O’Connor’s men overcame a sticky spell to put Great Harwood away at The Cliffe – but Clitheroe too put down another marker of their own intent with a big win on the road at fancied Settle.
At 101-6, Read could have folded in the face of yet another fine bowling display from Stuart Maher (3-32) and the returning Jason Kayley, who also chipped in with three wickets.
But Warren Eastham’s 36 not out gave them impetus to reach 169 with O’Connor (22) and Thomas Turner (24) also contributing.
Then South African professional Brandon Scullard claimed six wickets as Harwood were skittled for 75.
Over at Marshfield, Clitheroe – who beat Harwood last week – put Settle under pressure from the off and restricted the Dalesmen to 109-9 thanks to an impressive display in the field.
There was the odd scare for Paul Gaskell’s men as they batted but eventually got over the line with four wickets to spare.
The season is in its infancy but Whalley are looking a danger. They brushed Brooksbottom to one side with consummate ease at The Brox to make it two wins from two.
Classy professional Wilkin Mota made 54 and Simon Gorton an entertaining 38 not out as Whalley posted 196-7 and with David Howard ripping through the Brox top order the home side were 80 all out.
Padiham were stung by late drop-outs from their side for the clash with Brinscall – and skipper Callum Clarke took his frustration out on the bowlers.
He made a boundary and six-laden 62 as Padiham recovered from a sticky situation to post 184 all out.
They then stepped up to the plate with the ball and Brinscall were 153 all out to give Padiham a first win of the season.
Like Padiham, Cherry Tree were only saved from relegation by a winter reshuffle of the league structure.
They lost their opener to Baxenden but were big winners against Barnoldswick.
Pro Ruan Sadler claimed 6-30 and Mark Hadfield 3-27 as Barlick were hustled out for just 82 with only Sean Lemon (21) and Umar Saddique (16) managing double figures. Sadler then hit 38 not out and Amer Ullah 25 not out as Cherry dashed home.
Aneeq Hassan made 92 and James Watson 73 as Salesbury rocked Baxenden at Back Lane.
Their efforts, and 34 from Susantha Pradeep, saw the Red Caps pile up 241-6 and despite 94 from Asif Iqbal Bash were 179 all out with Pradeep and Steve Brown each claiming three wickets.
Matt Wilson hit 68 as Earby eased past Ribblesdale Wanderers despite the best efforts of Ian Britcliffe.
He claimed 7-55 as Earby were bowled out for 137 but the veteran was outdone by Lee Parkinson, who returned 6-10 as Wanderers collapsed to 62 all out.
Euxton claimed a first win as they beat Edenfield by 26 runs at Balshaw Park in the day’s other game.