Read skipper Kyle O’Connor hailed his side’s performance against Barnoldswick as the best he’s witnessed at the club.
The Whalley Road outfit dismantled last year’s Ribblesdale Cricket League champions with a 57-run triumph following a glittering display on home soil.
Joe Marshall was the stand out performer in Read’s tally of 283 as he fired 88 while Jon Harvey contributed 66 to the total. And Andrew Rushton ensured the home side defended their impressive innings toppling five of the away side’s batsmen at the expense of 47 runs.
“It was a massive win for us,” beamed O’Connor. “It was a great display. Joe Marshall was absolutely outstanding against Barnoldswick and got us off to a superb start alongside Elliott Artingstoll. We lost the pair in quick succession at one point but Jon Harvey and Mohammed Jamal steadied the ship and rebuilt the innings.”
He added: “That was our best performance as a side that I’ve witnessed at Read. Every amateur performed unbelievably. Jon Harvey got us off to a great start with the ball before Andrew Rushton and Warren Eastham took over. Andrew has been brilliant and really strengthened our bowling attack.”
Read remain hot on the heels of Clitheroe with the gap still two points while the duo face each other at the weekend.
Elsewhere, Padiham sank to the bottom of the division after being hammered by Whalley at Station Road.
The hosts opened impressively as Richard Lamb (55), Martin Davies (66) and an unbeaten knock of 70 from pro Saurabh Bandekar helped them to a formidable 240-run finish with just three wickets down. In reply, Kevin Hitchon opened with 24 for the visitors, paid man Chris Holt added 27 and Kurt Robinson hit 33 but they consequently fell 137 runs short.
Captain Callum Clarke, who rued a number of absentees after a poor run of results, said: “It’s a tough time for us at the moment. We’ve got a lot of absentees which is punishing us because there’s no consistency in the team selection. But there’s been a lot of players out of form as well and nobody has been backing our pro Chris Holt.
“We’ve had Duncan Hall, Nesir Mehmood, Tom Mustoe, Peter Shirtcliffe, Anthony Hall and Lee Anderson all missing at various points so it’s hurting us. It’s not through a lack of effort because everybody is committed, working hard in training and trying their best.”