PADIHAM slipped to a first defeat in four games after failing to overcome a strong Earby side.
Despite restricting the fourth-placed side to 196, the Arbories team fell short of a revised target of 173, as they were bowled out for just 144.
Professional Chris Holt was the pick of the bowlers finishing with figures of 4-60, but was unable to prevent Earby’s paid man Ali Azmat from smashing his way to 77 off 85 balls.
In reply, Padiham got off to a good start and were 78-3 at one point, thanks largely to a steady 48 from opener Kevin Hitchon.
However after a middle order collapse, which saw them lose four wickets for just 12 runs, captain John Bushell admitted he was disappointed with the outcome of the game.
“We felt we had got them in a position where we should have gone and won,” he said.
“Our batting let us down though and we lost too many middle order wickets for too few runs.
“We were only chasing a run rate of five an over so it was very disappointing. I think, because of the threat of the weather, we were concentrating too much on getting ahead of the run rate and that is why we started losing wickets.
“Earby are one of the stronger sides that we have faced in the league, and we did really well to restrict them to 196, which was then reduced to 173.
“We couldn’t get there though, and so obviously the lads are disappointed.”
He added that his young team would learn from this game though and were now looking forward to a mouth-watering Ribblesdale League double header at the weekend.
“We’ve learnt one or two things from the game and now we’ve just got to move on and prepare for the next one.
“We have a double header this weekend up against Clitheroe and Read, and it’s a great couple of games for us to have.
“Like I’ve been saying all season, we’re a young side and a lot of the lads are looking to establish themselves in the league this year so there’s little pressure on us.
“Hopefully we can win these games and get back on track for achieving a top four finish this season, which is what we are aiming for.”
Padiham are away to Clitheroe on Saturday and the following day take on Read, also away.
out: Padiham are pictured celebrating taking the wicket of Earby’s captain Craig Walton