Nidderdale League: Pannal defy rain to move closer towards crown

West Tanfield's Andrew Hogan with wicket-keeper Craig Robson watching on. (1508255AM11)

West Tanfield's Andrew Hogan with wicket-keeper Craig Robson watching on. (1508255AM11)

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Pannal can seal the Nidderdale League crown this Saturday after beating the weather and bottom side Newby Hall to further their lead at the top of the table.

The Harrogate side stretched their advantage out to 16 points over second-placed Ouseburn, who were left cursing the thunderous weather at old rivals Spofforth.

Should Pannal see off Burton Leonard at home this weekend, or Ouseburn fail to collect maximum points over Hampsthwaite, the title would be decided with two weekends left to go.

In collecting the points on Saturday, Pannal dealt a blow to Newby Hall’s survival hopes, leaving them 12 points away from safety.

Adelvin Phillip, Carl Wilson and Rob Ellis were at the forefront of Newby’s demise with three wickets each to bowl the hosts out for 120.

Ellis then compiled a 41-ball half century in a 94-run partnership with brother Andy (41) as Pannal overturned the score in 15 overs, with eight wickets in hand.

Knaresborough Forest's Aaron Brunner. (1508255AM8)

Knaresborough Forest's Aaron Brunner. (1508255AM8)

Ouseburn were in trouble at 33-3 in pursuit of Spofforth’s 183/7 when the rain clouds circled above and the match was abandoned.

Pat Gannon (42), James Kean (31) and Tom Lawson (30no) had kept Ouse’ at bay in the opening innings before Tom Clark took two wickets to sting the title chasers in the reply.

Blubberhouses are directly above Newby at the bottom, and were left agonisingly short of victory against their nearest challengers Darley when the rain arrived.

A seventh-wicket partnership of 162 between captain Lee Platts (83no) and Kamran Khan (63) rescued Blubbs from 80-6 and hammered them to a lead of 250.

Rob Lowe looked to have bowled a match-winning opening spell as he removed the top four Darley batsmen. But on 89/7, the weather saved Darley.

Darley will fancy their chances of moving further ahead in the survival race with a home tie against Newby Hall this Saturday, while Blubberhouses tackle Spofforth.

However, Blubbs meet Newby in their penultimate game of the season, the following week.

Bishop Thornton had Hampsthwaite in dire trouble at 38/7 in reply to 145, but again the weather came to Hamps’ rescue.

Other than Pannal, Burton Leonard were the only team to wrap up a victory in Division One with a six-wicket win at Killinghall, easing past a target of 148.

Helperby’s batsmen didn’t get chance to strap up their pads against Alne, who had totalled 186/9 in the first innings.

The rain stopped the leading contenders in Division Two delivering a knock-out blow to their rivals.

League leaders West Tanfield were halted in their tracks in pursuing second placed Knaresborough Forest’s imposing 195/9, after rattling up 118/2 from 17 overs.

Australian Aaron Brunner was Forest’s top dog once again as he made his eighth century to take his run tally for the summer over 1,500.

Brunner was unbeaten on 101 as he resisted the potent Tanfield bowlers, led by Angus Shaw’s 3-40. Sam Abel had compiled a run-a-ball 46 while Andy Hogan was unbeaten on 34 when the rain came down.

Pateley Bridge rubbed hands at the result, especially after the weather stopped them from losing to Dacre Banks.

Having been bowled out for 102, with Mark Peachey taking (4-32),

Dacre were easing to victory on 70/0 when the match was abandoned.

No matches were completed in Division Two.

Jarrod McPhee (74) took Goldsborough to 193/7 but Masham did not get a chance to bat.

Studley Royal 2nds had Scotton 48/5 in reply to 166 all out, while Ripley were cantering towards Ripon 2nds’ 155/5 when the umpires brought them off at 92/0.

Thornton-le-Moor will be replacing Ripon 2nds in the second tier next year, subject to ground clearance.

But the Division Three leaders had to thank the weather as they survived defeat against Markington on Saturday.

Peter Johnson’s unbeaten 64 took Markington up to 233/6 in the first innings, and Thornton were looking unsteady at 97/6 when the match came to an early end.

On 70 points, Markington can still catch second-placed Raskelf (79) for promotion, however Harrogate 3rds are inbetween on 76.

Galphay and Winksley are without a win in Division Three and will fall into the fourth tier, with Wath and Melmerby guaranteed to replace them as champions.

Following Saturday’s concession to Darley, Dacre Banks 2nds’ relegation from Division Seven has been confirmed.

Ripon 3rds confirmed promotion from Division Nine despite a chase of Whixley 2nds’ 139 falling foul of the weather.