CRAVEN'S Jennings Ribblesdale League trio suffered an embarrassing white-wash in Round One of the Ramsbottom Cup on Saturday, with all three sides being ousted in undistinguished circumstances.

Both Earby and Settle suffered from a poor display with the bat after the bowlers had done their stuff, while Barnoldswick were also going to be short of runs if Baxenden professional Jonathan Harvey was to occupy the crease for any length of time, which he duly did.

Earby professional Stephen Crook produced a hot pace off a damp wicket, bowling his eight overs for just 11 runs and taking two wickets to put visitors Cherry Tree on the back foot. Fellow opener Steve Rushton made an early breakthrough, with wicket-keeper Derek Proud taking a slick one-handed catch to dismiss Chris Riley with just two runs on the board, while veteran Ronnie Wiseman also bowled a very economical 10-over spell for just 14 runs.

With the early order becoming bogged down, Cherry Tree had to resort to some bold, aggressive action in an effort to rescue the situation, a strategy which played straight into the hands of spinner Andrew Jaggers. He took full advantage as the Cherry Tree batsmen sought to lift the tempo of the innings, picking up 6-20 as the visitors were dismissed for a modest 102.

However, the Blackburn side were determined not to go down without a fight.

Fifteen-year-old opener Scott Hudson looked to be settling in before being caught off the bowling of Nigel Robbins - he did rather better the following day with his maiden hundred for the Thirds - while Matthew Nutter, who has joined Earby from neighbours Barnoldswick, failed to trouble the scorer. Sam Munns suffered from a suspect lbw decision after two cracking boundaries.

Professional Crook tried to hold the innings together with a knock of 30 before falling to a rash moment, the pattern of the innings being some very tight bowling from the visitors and ambitious stroke-play being penalised.

Whether they might have followed the proverbial route successfully and reached their target by prodding and nudging singles is a moot point. They failed by 22 runs to get the winning total, Gary Bolton's figures of 10 overs for six runs underlining just how economical and controlled the Cherry Tree bowling was.

Baxenden's bowlers were also in miserly mood when they entertained Barnoldswick, their good work setting up a six-wicket win. Only opener Ian Scothern really managed a decent stay at the crease, but his efforts to anchor the innings went unrewarded. He had five fours in his top score of 33 as Barnoldswick closed at 141.

Key to success was the ability to capture the wicket of opener Harvey early in the piece, but that ambition was unfulfilled. Harvey had nine fours and two sixes in his innings of 63 before he was trapped lbw by David Scothern and with Martin Rishton (34) helping put together a 77-run stand for the second wicket, Baxenden moved to victory with 10 overs in hand.

Biggest disappointment of the day came at Marshfield, where Settle were probably guilty of believing their own publicity when they were beaten by eight runs by visitors Oswaldtwistle Immanuel in another low-scoring affair.

Standing atop the Senior League table and with an away win over Immanuel the previous week, Settle were bound to feel confident, a situation which should not have changed when the visitors were dismissed for 107.

Settle's reply, however, offered no hint of the qualities shown in earlier matches. No-one managed an innings of any substance, the visiting bowlers offered few cheap runs and as wickets fell steadily, Settle collapsed to be all out for 99.

Motivation should therefore not be much of a problem for either side when Barnoldswick visit Marshfield tomorrow.

Earby's chance to get back on the winning trail tomorrow comes in the shape of a home game against Clitheroe.