Read set sights on runners-up spot

Warren Eastham

Warren Eastham

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READ are now looking to secure runners-up spot in the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League afters seeing Baxenden clinch the title on Saturday.

All the games in the Senior League were washed out, leaving Baxenden with an unassailable lead with one game remaining.

But Read made the Back Lane side sweat before they could celebrate.

Warren Eastham’s side were heading for an easy win at Earby before the rain intervened.

The home side had been dismissed for a paltry 59, but a victory procession was halted by the weather.

Baxenden’s game at Padiham was abandoned earlier in the afternoon, with the locals on 42-2, but after waiting for Read’s game to suffer a similar fate, they could celebrate a second title in three years.

Baxenden skipper Andy Caunce said: “It was a horrible hour after our game waiting to find out how Read had gone on.

“You’d obviously want to win the title on the field. But I don’t think we minded too much.”

Read had briefly topped the table as they and Barnoldswick took charge of the title race following Baxenden’s July slump, which saw them lose five times in the league and cup.

But when Read and Barnoldswick began to wobble, Baxenden took full advantage to finish the season strongly.

They hold a 13-point lead going into the final weekend despite winning one fewer game than Read and losing two more than their Whalley Road rivals.

However, they have amassed 50 bonus points compared to Read’s 20 - the story of Read’s season.

Read are favourites to finish runners-up as they did in 2010.

However, any slip-up at home to Oswaldtwistle Immanuel will let in Barnoldswick, who are at Great Harwood.