IT’S as you were at the top of the Ribblesdale League but for differing reasons.

While it was leaders Feniscowles’ turn to sit out the action on a free weekend, second-placed Settle saw their match against Baxenden postponed in order to comply with Covid protocols.

It means Feniscowles hold a 15-point lead over the reigning champions with both teams boasting 100 per cent records. But something will have to give when the pair meet for the first time this season in a crucial top-of-the-table clash.

With the top two out of action, it gave the chasing pack the chance to close the gap – most notably third-placed Salesbury who hosted fourth-placed Earby.

And it was Salesbury who came out on top to move within 13 points of Settle in second.

Salesbury won the toss and elected to bat on a good-looking pitch and lightening fast outfield. Liam Bedford made 31 and Tom Wilson 41.

However, at 158-6 a big score was not guaranteed. Lewis Pearson (55no) was joined by Callum Grantham (44no) and they took the score up to 244-6 with an unbeaten seventh wicket partnership of 86. There were two wickets each for Harry Brindle, Luke Hipgrave and Prasansana Jayamanne.

Earby openers Adam Hodge (25) and Joseph Robinson (13) added 40 for the first wicket however the introduction of spin duo Liam Parkinson (3-28) and Oliver Wetton (3-48) dried up the runs and they took wickets on a regular basis.

Late runs from Michael Webb (17no) and Martyn Windle (19) gave the score a degree of respectability as Earby ended on 156-8 to give Salesbury a win by 88 runs.

The win takes Salesbury to 77 points behind leaders Feniscowles (105pts) and Settle (90pts).

Ribblesdale Wanderers moved up to fourth place after beating Padiham.

Batting first, Padiham were soon in trouble, losing wickets on a regular basis. They were indebted to a last-wicket partnership of 37 between Toby Muldoon (34) and Tom Shirtcliffe (11no) to at least give them something to bowl at with a total of 115 all out. Jordan Britcliffe took 4 -22 and Ian Britcliffe 3-30.

It looked like that last-wicket partnership might be vital as Ribblesdale were reduced to 47-4. However an unbeaten fifth wicket partnership of 69 between Ryan Canning (34no)and Andy Hutchins (25no) gave Ribblesdale a six-wicket win.

Read hosted Cherry Tree with both teams in mid-table and needing to put a run of wins together if they want to challenge at the top of the table.

Cherry Tree batted first, and openers Mark Hadfield and Jack Woolridge took the score to 62 when Hadfield fell for 33. Woolridge was then joined by Ross Bretherton, they added 129 for the second wicket – Woolridge making 77 including 10 fours and two sixes and Bretherton 63 including six fours and two sixes.

Joseph Ince (15no) and Louis Strand (16no) helped Cherry Tree close on 248-5. Warren Eastham was the star with the ball taking 4-64.

Read in reply were reduced to 40-4 and 74-6. Jack Wood and Duncan Bennett added 54 for the seventh wicket to take the score to 128 when Wood fell for 31. However, Bennett and Warren Eastham added 94 for the eighth wicket, Eastham making 56 off 31 balls including five fours and three sixes. He was followed soon after by Bennett who made 77 including nine fours.

In a tense finish, Read ended on 240-9, to give Cherry Tree a win by just eight runs.

It was a clash of 10th v 11th as Oswaldtwistle hosted Brinscall with both sides looking to move away from the bottom of the table.

Oswaldtwistle got off to a good start with Siraj Akhtar making 59 before retiring and 40 from Phil Howard. Daniel Metcalf (62no) and Haroon Yaqoob (26no) added an unbeaten 79 for the fifth wicket in a total of 236-4.

In reply, opener Zane Nirodi (25) was the only batsman in the top order to make any significant contribution as Brinscall slipped to 71-7 and 109-9. However, an unbeaten last-wicket partnership of 38 between Liam Winstanley (47no) and Alan Whalley (7no) took Brinscall to a score of 147-9 to deny Oswaldtwistle the two bonus points. Andeas Sudnik took 4-37.

Elsewhere, Barnoldswick sealed victory over Whalley.