Rain wreaked havoc again across the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League’s Premiership as the round failed to produce a positive result, despite a couple of near misses.

The top-of-the-table clash between Little Lever and closest challengers Farnworth was one of five matches abandoned without a ball bowled on Saturday.

The others were Barnoldswick versus Brinscall, Baxenden versus Kearsley, Farnworth Social Circle against Blackrod and Walkden against Padiham.

The rest started yet failed to finish, resulting in three points apiece for all sides.

This was the third round of the season which has been completely washed out, all coming in the last four weekends.

The first of those - washed out on July 15 - has been rescheduled to be replayed a week on Sunday (August 20).

That means while the league table shows all teams having played 17 matches, there are still seven matchdays of the 23 remaining in the season.

Little Lever have a 37-point lead at the top over Farnworth with 84 to play for.

The closest to victory on Saturday were Earby. They were 56-2 after 11 overs (20 need to be bowled in the second innings for a result) chasing a revised target of 68 in 21 at Ribblesdale Wanderers when rain returned.

Earlier, Ribblesdale had been bowled out for 99, including Luke Hipgrave’s 4-33.

Settle were also on course for a victory at Whalley, who they had bowled out for 76. The visitors were 21-3 after nine overs chasing a revised target of 58, with a top order wobble unlikely to cost them had the rain stayed away.

Sri Lankan pro Ashen Silva and fellow spinner Tremaine Dowrich, Settle’s overseas amateur, claimed four wickets apiece.

The clash between Feniscowles and Oswaldtwistle Immanuel was bubbling up into a fantastic finish.

Feniscowles’ Pakistani professional Naveed Malik claimed a superb 7-25 from 15 overs to bowl Oswaldtwistle out for 111.

The visitors were indebted to number 10 Oliver Lowe, who came in at 49-8 and hit 31 not out off 69 balls to help more than double their score.

Professional Brad Boddie then claimed 3-13 from five overs as Feniscowles slipped into early trouble at 25-4 after 10 when rain returned.

Malik’s superb seven-for was actually the third best bowling analysis in the Premiership this season.

Farnworth’s Indian overseas amateur Yatin Mangwani claimed 9-34 in a home win against Eagley on Saturday, May 6. On the same day, across town, Farnworth Social Circle’s Chris Barrow claimed 8-41 in a victory against Read.

In terms of the other matches which started on Saturday, Eagley were 92-3 after 27 overs at Astley Bridge and Lostock were 95-6 after 21 at Atherton, whose Pakistani pro Zain Abbas struck three times. Lostock slipped from 43-0.

Like Astley Bridge, Salesbury were well-placed at home to Cherry Tree.

The visitors were 89-7 in the 34th over, with Ollie Wetton claiming 4-33. The left-arm spinner is now the leading wicket-taker in the Premiership with 47.

And finally, Tonge were bowled out for 137 inside 40 overs at home to Read.

Matthew Heap, Mini Bhada and Dominic Heyes claimed three wickets apiece.