Ribblesdale Wanderers shed themselves of the only winless record across both first-team divisions of the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League with victory at Lostock during a soggy Saturday.

At the start of a double header weekend - league fixtures on both Saturday and Sunday - Ribblesdale boosted their fight against relegation from the Premiership with their first win in nine games, defending a revised target of 151 in 29 overs.

This was a clash of second-bottom v third-bottom, and Wanderers (33 points) are now only five points behind Lostock, who were bowled out for 123 to lose by 27 runs.

Sri Lankan sub professional Anuk Fernando (Rawtenstall) hit 54 in the visitors’ initial 162 all out inside 45 overs before rain interrupted things. Fernando then struck once in the defence, but father and son Ian and Jordan Britcliffe equally shared six wickets.

At the other end of the Premiership, Little Lever and Blackrod maintained their blow-for-blow title race with their eighth victories, the teams only separated by a point after a pair of eight-wicket successes which yielded the maximum 12 points apiece.

Champions Little Lever are top on 98 points after beating Astley Bridge at home chasing 136, Indian overseas amateur Nipun Gaikwad and Australian professional Sam Fanning both starring.

Bottom side Bridge were bowled out for 135 as Gaikwad put them in a spin with a superb 6-39 before opener Fanning hit a bruising 107 not out off 84 balls with seven sixes in a successful response which lasted only 23 overs.

Blackrod (97 points) won at mid-table Kearsley, who they bowled out for 114. New ball seamer Matthew Readey claimed four wickets before Sri Lankan pro Navod Paranavithana top-scored with 53 in reply.

In the Championship, Read strengthened their position at the top of the table with their seventh win in eight games. They beat Brinscall away from home by seven wickets.

Brinscall were bowled out for 72 as Matthew Heap and Chris Holt claimed four wickets apiece. In a routine reply, South African pro Blayde Capell top-scored with 27.

Read have 85 points, and they sit 13 clear of second-placed Walkden, who were also Saturday winners.

Before we get to them, back to the Premiership, where all teams have now played nine games.

Fourth-placed Padiham claimed an impressive six-wicket win at Farnworth as Indian sub pro Chirag Khurana (Bacup) hit a fabulous 96 not out off 62 balls to anchor a pursuit of a revised 176 in 29 overs.

Khurana struck twice in Farnworth’s 262-5 from 45 overs, including 92 for Nakash Qamar and 84 from Simon Booth.

Padiham (74 points) won for the sixth time and are two points behind third-placed Salesbury, who were beaten by seven wickets at Farnworth Social Circle.

The hosts won for the fifth time, by seven wickets chasing a revised target of 97 following rain.

Dave Mather (5-36) and Bajan pro Jameel Stuart shared nine wickets as Salesbury were initially bowled out for 104. New Zealand OA Nathan Elliott top-scored with 34 in the chase.

Tonge jumped into the top five with their fifth win - by 21 runs at home to Eagley as they defended a revised target of 171 in 38 overs.

Half-centuries from South African OA Justin Gilliland (70) and Sri Lankan pro Hashan Dumindu (54) underpinned an initial 186-5 from 45 overs before the latter also claimed three wickets in Eagley’s 149-9. Hasib Patel struck four times.

Second-placed Walkden continued their strong promotion push in the Championship by chasing a revised target of 128 in 28 overs at Owaldtwistle Immanuel, winning by six wickets to stay second with a sixth win in eight games.

New ball seamer Mustafa Bashir returned 5-28 in Oswaldtwistle’s 156-7 in 39 overs before Ammad Afzal top-scored with a breezy middle order 43, steering the chase from 63-3.

While Walkden are 13 points behind leaders Read, more importantly they have a 17-point cushion to third-placed Brinscall.

The only game on Saturday which didn’t finish was the Championship clash between bottom side Cherry Tree and Barnoldswick, their game abandoned as it neared a conclusion.

Charlie Elwood hit 60 in Cherry Tree’s 169 all out, three wickets apiece for Sajid Akhtar and Jonathan Beech. Chasing a revised 108 in 22 overs, Barnoldswick were 92-4 after 18. Five points apiece.

Mid-table Feniscowles won their fourth match in eight - at Atherton by five wickets chasing a revised target of 141 in 31 overs.

Atherton pro Shayne Moseley’s opening 116 not out underpinned 172-6 in 45 overs, but it wasn’t enough as Imran Mehmood top-scored with 52 in Feniscowles’ chase.

Also in mid-table, Earby won for the fourth time in nine - by 24 runs at home to Whalley.

Pro Raveen Yasas top-scored with 34 in Earby’s 138 all out before Luke Hipgrave took four wickets for them in bowling Whalley out for 114.