Theakston Nidderdale League: More twists and turns in title tace

Masham's Ben Fielding celebrates after helping his side to victory over Goldsborough. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Masham's Ben Fielding celebrates after helping his side to victory over Goldsborough. Picture: Caught Light Photography

There were more twists and turns in the battle for the Theakston Nidderdale Division One title on Saturday afternoon.

Defeats for Ouseburn and Helperby, the sides that began the weekend occupying the top two, combined with victories for Helperby and Masham mean that just four points now separate first and fourth place.

Ouseburn remain in pole position despite suffering a narrow defeat to Burton Leonard.

A fine century from Dan Thirkell (100) allied to 68 from in-form Burton skipper James Townsend helped them post a more-than-useful 263 all out from their 45 overs, despite 4-42 from Chris Morrison.

A 92-run stand between openers Peter Carr (104) and Sam Parker (66) then got Ouseburn into a fantastic position in reply, but once the pair had departed, wickets began to fall at regular intervals.

The match went down to the final over, but the visitors eventually ended up just five runs short on 258/9.

Iain Barker, Thirkell, Tom Stanley and Max Crompton each effected a brace of dismissals for Burton.

Birstwith are hot on Ouseburn’s heels in second place after they ended bottom side Alne’s mini-resurgence, condemning them to a first loss in three outings.

Jon Millward (80 not out), Craig Armitage (54) and Tom Croston (44) all contributed as the high-flyers compiled 293/7.

Toby Stirke snapped up three wickets for the men from the Magic Circle, but their run-chase never really got going.

They were sent back to the pavilion inside 30 overs with only 121 on the board, Cameron Spence (29) their top-scorer as Nick Wain helped himself to 4-26 and Craig Robinson took 3-17.

After five straight wins, Helperby dropped down to third position when they suffered a surprise loss at the hands of West Tanfield.

Adam Hodgkinson’s team went into the game without a victory to their name since May, but managed to restrict their title-chasing opponents to 168/7.

Joss Spillman was Helperby’s leading light with a knock of 37 as several batsmen made starts but failed to convert them in to big scores.

Jonny Luty (2-42) was the pick of the Tanfield attack and an unbeaten 89 from Sam Abel then saw them over the line at 170/8, with only three deliveries to spare.

Joe Corner impressed with the ball in a losing cause for the hosts, claiming 4-37.

Fourth-placed Masham continued their recent good form, chasing down Goldsborough’s 160 all out in another evenly-contested affair.

Another stellar batting display from Knaresborough Forest talisman Aaron Brunner guided his side to a 36-run success over Hampsthwaite and away from the relegation zone.

The Australian opener, who is averaging more than 67 in 2017, smashed 141, while Joel Ainsley contributed 42 to a total of 274/8, Robbie Jamieson and Sam Dabin both taking 2-42 for the home side.

Dabin then completed an impressive all-round display when he struck 94 with the bat, but those runs and 34 from Max Beeley weren’t quite enough, Hampsthwaite running out of overs at 238/8.

Ainsley and Brunner also displayed their all-round capabilities, bagging a pair of wickets each to help Forest to a five-point haul.

Relegation-threatened Spofforth slipped further into the mire when they went down to a ninth loss of the season, at the hands of Darley.

Opener Devon Nightingale’s 33 was the best that the strugglers could muster on their way to being bowled out for 140, Ross Sands (3-15) shining for the hosts.

Darley wasted no time in knocking off the required runs, taking less than 14 overs to reach 141/1 thanks to 54 not out from Chris Gill and Rob Hainsworth’s 46.

Studley Royal returned to the top of the Division Two standings courtesy of their comfortable win on the road at Burnt Yates and Blubberhouses’ loss to Bishop Thornton.

Royal managed to bowl Chris Triggs’ troops out for 148, Michael Litterbach (4-54) and Oliver Simenacz (3-26) doing most of the damage as only Jason Chyer (54) showed any form with the bat.

Simenacz and Litterbach also impressed while at the crease, striking 64 not out and 50 respectively to earn their side maximum points at 149/4.

Yates’ Javed Slater returned 2-31 in a losing cause.

Blubberhouses failed to extend their impressive run of recent form, coming up well short chasing Bishop Thornton’s first innings total of 263/8.

An opening stand of 102 between Rob Nelson (67) and eventual centurion Andrew Hyland (109) laid the foundations for the away team’s score.

Tom Davis (3-49) and Qamar Ayub (3-53) both bowled nicely for Blubberhouses, but their batsmen fared less well, and even though Bash Khan made his way to 49 they were dismissed 108 runs short with 155 on the board.

Matt Varley knocked over four home batsmen, while Hyland claimed 3-30.

Dacre Banks’ promotion hopes were dented when they suffered a second successive loss.

Tim Carrington’s men were restricted to 141/9 by Ripley, Chris Eckford responsible for a big chunk of his side’s runs with a knock of 64.

Ian Robinson took 3-46 for the away team before 45 from Michael Sacchetta helped them scrape over the line with just one wicket in hand, a brilliant spell of 5-26 from Steve Ellison almost saving the day for Banks.

Having amassed a huge total of 308/0 in their previous game, Scotton were skittled without reaching two figures on their way to a comprehensive defeat at Raskelf.

Having bowled the away side out for 99, the hosts cruised to 100/3 in 24 overs.

Pateley Bridge boosted their chances of beating the drop with a 123-run triumph over fellow strugglers Markington.

Tom Fryer (80), Miles Sutton (47), Jonny Goldsbrough (46 not out) and Joel Bienefelt (44) all weighed in to take the Badgers to 293/7, Dave Askew claiming 2-62.

Cecil Gordon (47) and Matt Robertson (46) looked in decent touch as Markington responded, but Fryer capped an excellent afternoon’s work by returning figures of 5-43 to help bowl the visitors out for 170.

Newby Hall are now 15 points from safety following a home reverse at the hands of Wath & Melmerby.

The division’s bottom team could only muster 124, Craig Griffin their top-scorer with 27 as Wath skipper Bobby Hilton (5-17) ran riot.

A rapid 48 hot out from Dan Harris, plus Mitchell Cross’ unbeaten 38 then guided the away side to 128/2 in 17.1 overs.