With just 10 points separating the top six sides, this season’s senior division title race is wide open.
In the past two seasons, Hyndburn teams have clinched the crown with a bit of breathing space - Baxenden winning by 25 points last season and Great Harwood by 23 the year before, having the title sewn up before the final day.
This could still happen if any team can put a run together but so far no one can steal a march on anyone else.
Baxenden dropped from the top spot at the weekend after a fourth straight league defeat - something unimaginable after they have occupied pole position for most of the season.
Ian Austin’s side had a battle in their third encounter on the bounce with fellow title chasers Padiham - it was one-all in the league and cup until the Arbories side celebrated doing the league double over Bash on Saturday.
It was tight with pro Baber Naeem (52) and Austin (53) solid in Baxenden’s 205 target - 130 fewer than they made in their Ramsbottom Cup semi-final victory at Padiham the previous Sunday.
However, on the small Arbories ground, runs are not hard to come by and Umar Saddique had a big impact.
He had made 126 the week before and been on the losing side but this time his 54, and Callum Clarke’s unbeaten 53, helped Padiham to ta six wicket win with nearly 10 overs to spare and moved Padiham within two points of third placed Bash to signal their title intentions.
Oswaldtwistle Immanuel had moved into a commanding position in the league but have dropped off in the last couple of games.
They faced Edenfield on Saturday and were torn apart in the early stages at 1-1, 1-2 and 9-3 and were always going to struggle despite Oliver Jones hitting a half century.
They were 95 all out - with a rare duck for pro Chris Cook-Martin - chasing 213. Pick of the Ossie bowlers was Kurt Smithson with 5-60.
And it’s Clitheroe who are back at the top of the league after Great Harwood couldn’t do the double over them. Clitheroe restricted Harwood to 168-7 and achieved their target with just a few blips along the way. Top scorer for Harwood was Paul Houldsworth with 38 while pick of the bowlers was Stuart Maher with two.
Elsewhere former Rishton bowler Richard Rostron turned on the style for league new boys Salesbury.
He took 7-28 to bowl out Earby for 65 as the bottom club chalked up only their third win of the season.
BASH are in Twenty20 action tonight as they look to do the treble this season (6pm). They are through to the final of the Ramsbottom Cup, where they face Settle, and will hope to find their form in the league. And tonight it’s the last four of the quick-fire competition where they travel to Read who are currently second in the table.
IN THE Reader Lancashire Inter League competition, the Ribblesdale League lost to the Manchester Association by 70 runs at the semi-final stage.