Theakston Nidderdale League: Birstwith and Ouseburn continue to lead the way

Ouseburn's Alex Heptinstall in action during Saturday's victory over Spofforth. Picture: Adrian Murray
Ouseburn's Alex Heptinstall in action during Saturday's victory over Spofforth. Picture: Adrian Murray

Birstwith remain in pole position in Division One of the Theakston Nidderdale League after a five-wicket win over struggling Knaresborough Forest.

A devastating spell of bowling from Mike Hennings (5-24), combined with Craig Robinson’s 3-28 saw Forest all out for 161, Aussie opener Aaron Brunner (54) once again carrying his side to a respectable total.

Craig Armitage (39), Tom Croston (37) and Jon Millward (34) then got the high-flyers to 164/5 with 15 of their 45 overs to spare, despite Fraser Kitching’s impressive four-wicket haul.

Second-placed Ouseburn cruised to a nine-wicket success on the road at second-from-bottom Spofforth.

Opener Joe Horne (66) hit a half-century for the hosts and James Roberts (33) and Tom Lawson (29) also contributed to their side’s 196/9, Chris Morrison claiming 3-42.

Defending champions Ouseburn had no trouble in knocking off the required runs, however, and Dan Brunton (66 not out), skipper Adam Fisher (54 not out) and Sam Parker (50) all looked in good touch as they eased home inside 30 overs.

Three players made centuries as third-placed Helperby got the better of Burton Leonard in a run-fest at Ispahan Wood.

Captain Matt Cavanagh struck 127 not out and Luis Rees-Hughes weighed in with 102 to help the home side post 276/4, despite three wickets from Tom Stanley.

Burton’s James Townsend then hit 122 at the top of the order and Michael Wray added 52 to put the visitors in a decent position in reply, but they eventually ran out of overs and ended up 14 runs short on 262/8.

Simon Webster was the pick of the Helperby bowlers, returning figures of 3-52.

Goldsborough’s first innings total of 229/8 proved enough for them to get the better of West Tanfield.

Jarrod McPhee (51), Luke Bickers (42) and Andy Ward (39) all fared well with the willow in hand for Graham Shorter’s troops, while Mungo Fawcett claimed 2-34 for Tanfield.

Andrew Ganderton’s 41 was the best that the away team had to offer in response, and they were dismissed for 179, McPhee completing a fine all-round performance with 4-42 and Shorter snapping up 3-42.

An unbeaten ton from Andrew Taylor was to prove the cornerstone of Hampsthwaite’s maximum-points triumph over Darley.

Taylor made 107 not out in his side’s 234/6, Ross Sands taking 2-25 for Duncan Naylor’s charges.

Rob Hainsworth then struck 55 in reply, but received little by way of support from his teammates and 5-32 from Robbie Jamieson saw Darley bundled out well short of their victory target.

Rock-bottom Alne were skittled for just 79 by Masham on their way to a ninth successive loss of the campaign.

Having blown away their visitors, the men from the Recreation Ground needed only 13.1 overs to chase down the win at 80/1.

Dacre Banks closed the gap on second division pace-setters Studley Royal when they humbled bottom side Newby Hall in an incredible fixture where 13 wickets fell for just 29 runs.

Second-placed Banks are now just two points shy of the league leaders after bowling Hall out for the meagre total of 14 in 11 overs, Waqas Rasheed claiming 6-6 and Shaun Marshall 4-8.

Tim Carrington’s men then lost three wickets in reply before reaching their target of 15, Newby’s Darren Sidwell knocking over a couple of batsmen.

Studley Royal kept themselves ahead of the chasing pack courtesy of an eight-wicket success at Ripley.

Matt Roberts’ 42 and James Keane’s 40 were the biggest contributions to the hosts’ 152/9, Michael Litterbach grabbing 4-27.

An innings of 79 not out from Rob Broley and 44 from Jon Coates then propelled Royal to 158/2 and five points.

Andrew Hyland’s century was not enough to save Bishop Thornton from defeat to Scotton.

The opener made 109 of the visitors’ 207/9 as they looked to chase 228/7, Iain Campbell returning 3-46.

Earlier, Sam Halliday (86) and Campbell (71) had shone with the bat for Scotton as Jack Kellett took 3-45.

Wath & Melmerby’s fine run of form came to an end when they suffered a first defeat in six games, losing out to Blubberhouses.

Mitchell Cross was left stranded on 48 not out as the hosts were sent back to the pavilion with 153 on the board, Aamir Rehman bowling superby for a return of 5-50.

Rehman then top-scored with 36 not out as Blubberhouses made it to 156 for the loss of just four wickets.

Bash Khan (35), Rob Lowe (32) and Tom Noble (32) also chipped in for the victors, while Wath’s Bobby Hilton took three scalps in a losing cause.

James Johnson (5-31) and Joe Preece (4-19) combined to take Pateley Bridge to a seven-wicket win over Burnt Yates.

Steven Light (31) was the only batsman to impress in the away team’s 119 all out as Johnson and Preece ran riot.

Preece then completed an excellent afternoon’s work by opening the batting and smashing an unbeaten 79 not out to help the Badgers get to 120/3.

Markington were victorious over Raskelf by a five-wicket margin.

Matt Sigsworth made 67 and Brad Clark 46 for the men from Easingwold Road, but 4-36 from Peter Johnson restricted them to 158/9.

Markington reached 161/5 in 36 overs in reply, Johnson (55) again leading the way, while Wayne Dennis hit 41.

Clark took 2-36 for Raskelf, but his efforts proved to be in vain.