When it rains it pours for defending champs Burnley
The defending champions were unable to capitalise with their game in hand after rain prevented any play against Haslingden at Bentgate.
Burnley trailed leaders Ramsbottom by six points heading in to their 24 fixture of the term - the only game scheduled on Saturday - but their hopes were severely dented.
“We were disappointed not to get a game in,” said Tripathi. “We’ve been a victim of our own success really as the game was rearranged due to our involvement in the latter stages of another competition.
“It’s one of those things but it’s really frustrating. It’s been a terrible summer in terms of the weather and there was a spell where we didn’t play for five games on the bounce.
“That was at a point where we were starting to find our stride and looking to gain ground on Ramsbottom. We weren’t able to do that and it left things a little bit late for us.”
The gap now stands at five points ahead of the final weekend with both contenders claiming victory in their penultimate outings.
While Ramsbottom thrashed Rishton on home soil, Burnley battered Bacup at Turf Moor.
The hosts had 191 runs on the board before Adam Highley’s side were able to make a breakthrough as Vishal Tripathi and professional Chris Holt combined in a clinical partnership.
The opening batsman made 95 with six fours and four sixes while the club’s paid man added 93 with a dozen fours and a six.
David Brown then stepped in to add an unbeaten 75 to the total, smashing six sixes off one Matt Thompson over at one stage of the game.
Michael Kelly contributed with nine not out as Burnley finished on 298-2.
In the reply, despite Haseeb Azam’s half-century, Bacup culminated the innings 152 runs short of their target.
Elsewhere, Lowerhouse remain in the chase for third spot despite suffering an abandonment against East Lancs at Alexandra Meadows.
They go in to their final game against Rawtenstall just five points shy of local rivals Nelson.