Read’s ambitions suffer a blow

Read's Matt Walker
Read's Matt Walker

Read’s hopes of a top two finish in the Ribblesdale Cricket League hit a snag as they went down without much of a fight against rivals Whalley.

The visitors had put themselves in command at Station Road when sending their opponents packing with just 100 runs on the board.

Read owed the majority of that early success to professional Matt Walker who took his 47th wicket in the league with his third five-fer.

The former Lowerhouse amateur, now only four wickets behind Padiham’s leading man Brady Barends, accounted for the wickets of Kye Stevens, Sam Sweeney, Simon Crabtree, Toby Bulcock and Simon Gorton at the expense of 25 runs as the hosts endured a speedy demise.

Warren Eastham added 3-11 from 10 overs and Jamie Woodall contributed 2-27 from eight overs to add to Whalley’s misery.

Sweeney (22) and skipper Richard Lamb (14) were the only batsmen to enter double figures for the home side.

However, in Read’s response, nobody surpassed 10 runs as the visitors were wiped out for 51 inside 16 overs.

Toby Bulcock, who is now level on wickets taken with Walker, did the damage with scintillating figures of 6-25 off eight overs and he was aided by Sweeney who took 4-25 from 7.4 overs.

Read are now 13 points adrift of second place Whalley with just two games remaining, including Saturday’s home clash with Feniscowles.