Champions Barnoldswick fall off the pace after away setbacks

HALF CENTURY: Umar Saddique hit 58 for Barnoldswick at Clitheroe on Sunday
HALF CENTURY: Umar Saddique hit 58 for Barnoldswick at Clitheroe on Sunday
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Reigning Ribblesdale League champions have now lost three times as many games as they did last season after going down in both games at the weekend.

On Saturday, the Victory Park side were dismissed for just 83 at Settle, before the hosts cruised to a 10-wicket win.

And on Sunday, they fell eight runs short in an exciting game at Clitheroe, where both professionals impressed.

At Marshfield, Barnoldswick were in early trouble as Edward Read and Tom Davidson opened the attack and had the visitors at 15-4.

Captain Luke Hodgson and Paul Beech managed to steady things somewhat as they moved on to 41, before Read claimed his third scalp, having Beech caught behind for nine.

Hodgson and Sajid Akhtar managed to add another 30 before the skipper was bowled by opposite number Mansoor Amjad for 25 off 49 balls.

Akhtar followed 11 runs later for a brisk 256, again to Read, who then claimed a collection with his fifth wicket, bowling last man out Adil Khan for five, to finish with 5-43.

Settle needed only 17.2 overs to pass the target, as Peter Cook (36 not out) and Laurence Read (42 not out) saw the hosts past the post.

Then on Sunday at Chatburn Road, the locals fell just short, despite some notable performances.

Professional Imran Khalid was in inspired form with the ball, as he took 7-41 off 22.3 overs, with Clitheroe all out for 151 in the last over of the innings.

Only former Colne and Nelson man Stuart Lemon put up much resistance for the Ribble Valley side, top-scoring with 54, while former Seedhill skipper Thomas Lord added 22.

Akhtar, Matthew Nutter and Shoaib Khan also chipped in with a wicket apiece.

However, what Khalid could do, Kashif Siddique matched, also returning a seven-wicket haul, finishing with 7-47 off 22.4 overs.

Josh Marquet also added 3-40 off 14, as Barnoldswick were all out for 143.

Openers Liam Bedford and Abdul Saddique failed, and Khalid could only add four.

But Saddique’s brother Umar (58) gave the champions hope with a terrific half-century.

Only Hodgson could stay with him, however, making 33, before both were sent packing by Siddique.

Barnoldswick are at home to Salesbury tomorrow, before hosting Ribblesdale Wanderers in the Ramsbottom Cup on Sunday.