CHERRY Tree moved to the top of the Vaux Ribblesdale League after surviving the rain to take maximum points Read.

Professional Naeem Ashraf (87) continued his outstanding form and John Hughes was the Read destroyer with a personal best 8-76.

At one stage, after a heavy shower late in the day, Read looked to have won on the faster run rate.

But the skies quickly cleared, allowing the teams back onto the field with enough time for Cherry Tree to capture the final two wickets.

Clitheroe are just one point behind after Phil Bishop (64no) led the way as they set Padiham a target of 217-7.

Substitute professional Darren Shadford rattled up 80 not out after regular professional, Mark Harvey had been called up for duty with Lancashire, but they were left holding out at 142-8 after Jonathan Fielding took 5-65.

Heavy thunder showers wrecked the rest of the league programme.

Mick Verden hit a half century before Earby's game at Settle was brought to a halt when hailstones and torrential rain flooded the ground.

John Kershaw (55) and John Ashley (87) top scored as Edenfield rattled up 211-5 and Great Harwood were thwarted on 88 without loss when the rain came after 16 overs. Oswaldtwistle Immanuel were also in the runs with a total of 218-7 thanks to professional Matthew Lawrence (56) and Phil Myers (50no). Barnoldswick professional Bruce Hara was going well on 48 not out when the game was halted with their total on 82 without loss.

Blackburn Northern professional Chetan Sharma captured 6-62 as Whalley were held to 143-9, but the reply had only just started when storms hit the ground.

Ribblesdale Wanderers were frustrated after bowling Baxenden out for 91. They had reached 54-4 when the weather came to Baxenden's rescue.

Read cruised through to the quarter finals of the LCB knockout at Lindal Moor.

The home side set a target of 188, Graham Bardsley taking 3-34, Shaid Nawaz 3-53 and Jon Longden 1-14.

And professional Nawaz was in stunning form, hammering 122 not out as Read reached their target with just one wicket down, Nick Marsh making 54.

Barnoldswick were 123-6 when the rain washed out their game against St Annes in the same competition.

A stunning catch on the boundary edge by Mark Fallon was the highlight of the Vaux Ribblesdale League's seven-wicket victory over the North Lancs League yesterday.

Graham Monk captured four wickets as the home side were dismissed for 142 at Furness in Cumbria and Scott Pearce claimed the man of the match award with an impressive 68.

Earby's Nigel Pickles scored 45 as they pushed through to the next round of the Lancashire Inter-League competition.

Results - Manchester Evening News Inter-League competition: North Lancs League 142, Vaux Ribblesdale League 145-3.

League: Barnoldswick 82-9 (2 pts), Oswaldtwistle Immanuel 218-7 (2); Baxenden 91 (2), Ribblesdale Wanderers 54-4 (2); Blackburn Northern 11-0 (2), Whalley 143-9 (2); Great Harwood 88-0 (2), Edenfield 211-5 (2); Padiham 142-8, Clitheroe 217-7 (5); Read 128 (2), Cherry Tree 184 (7); Settle 143-6 (2), Earby dnb (2).

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.