Champions Barnoldswick leapfrogged in-form Oswaldtwistle Immanuel into third place courtesy of a nervy two wicket win over Settle.
Neighbours Earby did Barlick a favour, seeing off Immanuel by one wicket, and Luke Hodgson’s side took advantage to slot in behind leaders Clitheroe and Read.
Barnoldswick are now 35 points behind Clitheroe with 14 games remaining, but just seven behind Read.
Settle had first knock at Victory Park, and professional Imran Khalid moved onto 53 league wickets for the season with his haul of 4-79, as Settle were dismissed for 152.
Aneeq Hassan was the mainstay of the innings with 65, while opener Laurence Read (30) and Brad Moses (24) made valuable contributions.
But wicketkeeper-opener Liam Bedford edged towards 500 league runs as he top-scored with 44 in reply, backed up by 32 from fellow opener Abdul Saddique, laying the foundations.
Despite Umar Saddique adding 27, wickets began to fall as Eddie Read took 5-69, but Adil Khan (five not out) and Shoaib Khan (four not out) saw Barlick over the line with 2.1 overs to spare.
Tomorrow Barnoldswick host Padiham, before a first trip to Euxton on Sunday.
Earby entertain Whalley tomorrow, and are at Cherry Tree the following day.