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Theakston Nidderdale League: Birstwith boost title hopes

Pete Hardisty and his Birstwith team-mates are back up to second in the top-flight standings after getting the better of Ouseburn. Picture: Adrian Murray
Pete Hardisty and his Birstwith team-mates are back up to second in the top-flight standings after getting the better of Ouseburn. Picture: Adrian Murray

Birstwith recovered from consecutive losses to haul themselves right back into contention at the top of Theakston Nidderdale League Division One.

Jonathan Millward’s troops are up to second place following Saturday’s 35-run success over fellow title contenders Ouseburn.

James Riley was the star of the show, smashing 15 four and no fewer than 11 sixes in a stunning knock of 148 from only 85 deliveries.

The visiting wicket-keeper-batsman’s score was the mainstay of his team’s 242 all out, Liam Blacker-Meek bagging 3-50.

Ouseburn opener Matthew Nicholls (104) did his best to keep the hosts in the game with a ton of his own, but only Jamie Bryant (34) offered him any real support.

A fine return of 4-4 from skipper Millward and Nick Wain’s 3-16 eventually saw the home side dismissed on 207.

The result leaves Birstwith 15 points behind leaders Helperby, who continued their impressive form in 2018 when they bowled Dacre Banks out for 134.

Captain Dan Marston led by example once again, knocking over four of the wickets to fall, while Joe Corner did his bit with 3-29.

Stephen Wyss was Banks’ leading light, making 34 at the top of the order, but the visitors’ run-chase fell away dramatically from a position of real promise at 85/1.

Earlier, high-flying Helperby had been indebted to Tom Messenger, who struck an unbeaten 59 in the absence of notable contributions from the majority of his team-mates.

Joss Spillman did manage 33, and in the end the home total of 152/9 proved sufficient.

Darley are still very much in the mix and finish week 13 in third spot having inflicted yet another defeat on Knaresborough Forest.

Joe Furniss helped himself to 4-33 and Michael Beecroft 3-51 to get rid of the strugglers for 185.

Aussie Jayden Harris did make 63 for Forest and Joe Stanley 39, but their total did not prove to be enough.

An unbeaten innings of 70 by skipper Duncan Naylor allied to Scott Clark’s 61 guided Darley over the line in the 39th over with four wickets to spare.

Burton Leonard lost further ground and dropped down to fourth spot after being blown away by Masham.

Four scalps at the cost of only 15 runs from Derek Chapman, plus a brace of dismissals apiece for Ben Fielding, Craig Broadley and Kieran Bramley saw the visiting team sent packing with just 78 on the board.

Masham then eased to 79/3 in 24.4 overs, Andrew Smith contributing 22.

A comprehensive 10-wicket reverse at the hands of Goldsborough means that basement boys Bishop Thornton now find themselves 48 points from safety.

The Curlews could only muster 130 all out batting first, Rob Nelson hitting 32 and Steve Sowray 28, while Jarrod McPhee (4-19) and David James (3-22) shone with ball in hand.

Damon Ive (82 not out) and Luke Boniface (39 not out) then led Golsborough home without the loss of a single wicket.

An excellent all-round display by Jonny Luty paved the way for West Tanfield’s success over Wath & Melmerby at Witherick Lane.

He struck 72 of the visiting side’s 143 all out in the face of some fine bowling by Ben Kettlewell (4-20) and Bobby Hilton (3-49).

Luty then scooped three wickets, as did Angus Shaw, as the Wath reply was ended only 11 runs short on 132.

Mitchell Cross (45) was the pick of the home batters, Dan Harris chipping in with 36.

Blubberhouses finally got their season up and running, claiming their maiden victory at the 10th attempt.

Following nine consecutive defeats from as many completed fixtures, the second division’s bottom side eased to a six-wicket success at Spofforth, ending their hosts’ three-game winning run.

Skipper Bash Khan smacked a rapid 86 not out alongside Umaid Sajjad (33) and Aussie Odin Duesbury (30) as the visitors made it to 200/4 with almost five overs in hand.

Earlier, Oliver Connew (85) and Joe Horne (55) had both hit half-centuries in Spofforth’s 196/4.

Blubberhouses are now just five points from safety and sit only three behind nearest rivals Markington, whose winless streak stretched into a seventh weekend.

They were bowled out by Burnt Yates for 161, Tom Lloyd (38) their top-scorer while Rich Smale bagged 5-47.

Jason Chyer then raced to 80 not out and Ryan Lamb contributed 56 as Yates wasted no time reaching their target, doing so within 20 overs.

At the other end of the division two standings, Pateley Bridge strengthened their grip on top spot, bagging 19 points at struggling Alne.

The Badgers skittled their hosts with just 94 runs to their name thanks largely to 4-45 from James Johnson and Joe Preece’s 3-29.

Leaders Bridge made short work of knocking off the required runs and Miles Sutton (54 not out) combined with Luke Clarke (37 not out) to complete the job three wickets down with 31 overs to spare.

Kirk Deighton began the weekend in second place, but an 81-run loss to Raskelf saw their opponents leapfrog them in the table.

Lindon Giuffrida (63 not out) and Robert Galtrey (50) were the mainstays of the victors’ 189/7, Henry Blythe grabbing 3-42 for Deighton.

Last season’s Wetherby League champions were then cleaned up for 108 in reply, David Bowes (30) their highest-scoring batsman as home bowlers Sam Porter, Stephen Burn and Jake Petty each effected a trio of dismissals.

Scotton climbed up to fourth spot courtesy of a comfortable triumph away at Harrogate Strays.

Ian Morland was in stunning form with the ball, wreaking havoc with 7-27 as the Roosters’ third team went from 149/3 to 194 all out.

Opener George Horbury (54) hit a half-century at the top of the order, but he was outdone by Scotton’s Blake Dobbin (87) and Sam Halliday (59) who guided the away team to 198/2 in the 34th over.

Killinghall’s recent march towards a promotion place was halted by Studley Royal 2nds.

Dan Atkinson’s knock off 33 was the best that the hosts had to offer batting first, and 4-28 from Michael Litterbach saw them back in the pavilion for 134 all out.

Dan Coad’s unbeaten 36 then guided Royal over the ljne with six wickets in hand.