Theakston Nidderdale League: Forest off the mark for 2017

Australian batsman Aaron Brunner helped Knaresborough Forest to a first win of the 2017 season
Australian batsman Aaron Brunner helped Knaresborough Forest to a first win of the 2017 season

Stewart Pyke and Aaron Brunner combined to help Knaresborough Forest to their first Theakston Nidderdale League Division One victory of 2017.

Captain Pyke starred with the ball, taking 4-28 as visiting Masham made 178/8 in 32 overs at the Calcutt Oval, thanks largely to Bailey McCourt’s knock of 81.

Australian opener Brunner then finished unbeaten on 45 to guide Forest to a long-overdue triumph with just seven balls to spare, Matt Parker contributing a useful 37 in their 179/6.

Ben Fielding and Nathan Kleining both bagged a brace of wickets in a losing cause for Masham.

Burton Leonard lost ground at the top of the table when they suffered a second reverse in as many games, going down by 34 runs at home to West Tanfield.

The away team posted 201/5 from their 34 overs with Sam Able (62) and Stuart Clark (59) both weighing in with half-centuries, despite four wickets from Tom Stanley.

Burton slumped to 81/8 in reply as Nick Virr wreaked havoc with a spell of 5-47, and although Sam Crawshaw (50) and Ian Crapper (29 not out) ensured that the tail wagged, they finished up well short on 167/9.

Ouseburn’s improved recent form continued with a win on the road at Hampsthwaite.

Batting first, the home side got to 147/3 in 30 overs, Sam Dabin producing a captain’s knock of 65 while Jamie Bryant took two wickets.

An unbeaten 68 from Peter Carr and Sam Parker’s 61 then saw Ouseburn home in 24 overs for the loss of just one batsman.

Struggling Spofforth were beaten once again, Helperby emerging victorious by nine wickets at Ispahan Wood.

Paul Old (48) and Steve Ward (36) looked in decent touch with the bat in the away team’s 116/5, Dan Marston claiming 3-33.

Luis Rees-Hughes then struck 55 not out and Matt Cavanagh 37 not out as Helperby made 118/1 to take the points.

Alne remain winless after they lost out on the road at Goldsborough.

Gavin Hodson’s innings of 37 was the highlight of Graham Shorter’s side’s 173/9 in 31 overs, Toby Stirke helping himself to 5-64 and Shaun Foulds grabbing 4-48.

Alex Buteux hit 40 and Alastair Jackson 30 for Alne, but the men from the Magic Circle ended up on 144/8, 30 runs shy of the total that they required for victory.

Bad weather meant that no play was possible in the match between top-of-the-table Birstwith and their nearest challengers, Darley.

Wath & Melmerby made it three wins on the bounce when they beat Scotton by 33 runs in Division Two.

Tom Hogg (39), Paul Richardson (31) and skipper Bobby Hilton (30) all contributed to the hosts’ total of 177/9 in 30 overs, Rich Ellerker (4-33) impressing with the ball in hand.

Australian Will Cunningham (59) and Sam Halliday (46) then got Scotton’s reply off to a great start, putting on 103 for the first wicket, but a collapse followed and the away team ended up well short on 144/6 at the close.

Ben Kettlewell was the pick of the Wath attack with a superb 5-23, while Hilton took 3-58.

Bishop Thornton are another side to have recovered from a slow start to the campaign and registered three successive victories.

Matt Varley’s men saw off Raskelf at Easingwold Road, running out victorious by 48 runs.

There were no surprises at Newby Hall, where the division’s bottom team suffered a defeat at the hands of leaders Studley Royal.

Tony Sidwell top scored with 26 for Hall as they struggled to 116/8 in 33 overs, Olly Schofield taking three wickets.

Michael Litterbach (47 not out) and Matt Harris (32) then led Royal to 117/2 and an eight-wicket success.

Markington got back to winning ways, courtesy of a narrow triumph over Burnt Yates.

Javed Slater hit 41 and in-form opening bat Jason Chyer struck 37 as the hosts posted 138/9 from their 35 overs, Cecil Gordon causing plenty of problems with a spell of 4-48.

The visiting side then chalked up their first victory since week two as Wayne Dennis made 37 of their 140/8.

Carl Brockhill bowled brilliantly to record figures of 5-23, but his efforts were not quite enough, Markington reaching their target with 2.1 overs to spare.

A trio of early wickets from Pateley Bridge’s Joe Preece (3-18) had Ripley in trouble at 46/3 before their game was abandoned, while Blubberhouses were 36/2 at Dacre Banks when the rain came.