Read’s Kyle O’Connor has hailed the club’s victory over league leaders Settle as ‘one of the best performances’ he’s experienced during his tenure as skipper.
The Whalley Road outfit, which hasn’t lifted the Ribblesdale Cricket League trophy since 2004, kept the pressure on at the top of the table after registering their first league win against their opponents at the Marshfield Ground in over a decade.
Joey Marshall’s knock of 56 coupled with paid man Keegan Petersen’s 39 helped the visitors to a 171-6 total at the close of their innings before Read’s bowling attack forced the hosts to fall 43 runs short of their target. Elliot Lowes claimed figures of 4-29 while Andrew Rushton added debilitating numbers of 4-23.
“It’s possibly one of the best performances I’ve been involved in as captain,” beamed O’Connor. “It topped the performance when we beat Settle in the cup four years ago.
“I think the last time we beat them at their place in the league was when we had Akram Raza as professional - and that was 12 years ago! It must just be a psychological thing because we’ve always struggled there.
“You can imagine how happy we were when we sealed the deal. It felt like we had won the Twenty20 all over again. You could see what it meant to the players. It meant a lot.”
Having moved to within seven points of defending champions Clitheroe, O’Connor added: “We were perfect and the bowling figures tell you everything you need to know.
“We stuck to the plan and we controlled the entire game. Joey’s 56 with the bat was faultless before he was ousted and the pro did what we needed him to do.
“It opens our season up and it gives people something to think about. It shows that we do mean business this year. We need to continue to play that way. Every single player put in a performance in some aspect.”
However, Read were dumped out of the LCB Knockout Cup after a 105-run loss against Bradshaw on home soil.
Younis Anwar top-scored for the away side with 91 while familiar face Kamran Younis contributed 67 in a total of 239. Lowes picked up another five wickets for the weekend and Petersen added three.
In reply, Read surrendered as Michael Whalley’s top knock of 36 wasn’t substantial enough to impact on their opponent’s tally.
“We took a bit of a beating,” O’Connor said. “We didn’t play too badly but we didn’t play like we know we can do.”
Meanwhile, Padiham earned their first triumph of the campaign as professional Ben Heap smashed an unbeaten 150 against Brooksbottom at the Arbories.
The hosts thrashed the division’s basement side by 201 runs after posting 288-4. Brannon Varley’s sensational five wicket haul at the expense of just 15 runs limited the away side to a total of 87.