Earby start season with a win!

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On an otherwise soggy opening afternoon in the Houldsworth Ribblesdale Cricket League, Earby were one of only two winners.

Bottom of the table last season, with just four victories, Earby started this season on the right footing as they restricted Cherry Tree to 134-8 in their 45 overs at the Applegarth, with three wickets for Danny Kegg and two for Sajid Rehman.

The home side then reached 78-3 in 21 overs, thanks to 31 not out from opener Chris Walton, to achieve their win on a faster scoring rate.

Despite the unwelcome early bad weather, a number of batsmen still impressed - including Barnoldswick’s Luke Bedford, who made 106 as the champions began their defence against Ribblesdale League newcomers, Euxton.

Bedford’s century came in a total of 242, as Oliver Marsden took 6-85 from 16.3 overs for the visitors.

Euxton started their reply and were in trouble at 43-3 when rain forced the abandonment.

Settle were the only side other than Earby to win, beating last season’s runners-up Read by 12 runs at Whalley Road, with an unbeaten 145 from stand-in professional, and Lancashire all-rounder, Andrea Agathangelou.

Settle recruited the 23-year-old South African born, Cypriot as paid man professional for their visit to Read, and Agathangelou, who made his County Championship debut in 2012, didn’t disappoint, hitting a magnificent unbeaten 145 in a run feast.

The Red Rose star’s thrilling innings helped the visitors to 243-6 off their 45 overs.

Despite Elliott Artingstoll’s stubborn resistance with 98 not out, Read, despite managing a full second innings, eventually fell 12 runs short.

Brooksbottom, the top flight’s other new outfit, set-up camp at Rishton because of early season pitch problems at Rowlands Road.

Only one innings, however, was possible, with Padiham reaching 184-6.

Pakistani big hitter Babar Naeem, with 102 out of Baxenden’s 150-1 against Whalley, was the day’s other centurion.