Theakston Nidderdale League: Birstwith pull clear of Helperby as Curlews fall through trap door

Birswith CC
Birswith CC

Birstwith pulled clear at the top of Theakston Nidderdale League Division One courtesy of an eight-wicket success over Knaresborough Forest.

Jon Millward’s troops capitalised on a defeat for title rivals Helperby to open up an 18-point lead at the summit.

Craig Robinson finished with incredible figures of 4-1, blowing away the Forest tail as they were all out for 114, David Sykes managing a knock of 27.

An unbeaten half-century by opener Tom Croston then saw Birstwith finish the job in no time, the league leaders requiring just 12.4 overs to reach 116/2.

Second-placed Helperby suffered something of a shock reverse at the hands of West Tanfield, currently eighth in the top-flight standings.

Joss Spillman hit 56 in the high-flyers’ 164 all out, Andy McIntyre causing all sorts of problems with a spell of 5-47.

A score of 68 by Sam Abel, allied to Brendan Millar’s 38 then steered Tanfield to a four-wicket triumph despite the efforts of visiting skipper Dan Marston (3-44).

Third-placed Darley stayed in the hunt, seeing off Goldsborough on home soil.

Jon Hayton (69) and Rob Hainsworth (66) impressed for the hosts who compiled 237 all out.

Jordan King (4-23) then combined with Scott Clark (3-25) and rolled the men from York Road over for just 84.

The result leaves Darley 25 points off top spot and still in a position to pounce should the top two slip up.

At the other end of the division, a 15th consecutive Saturday without a win resulted in rock-bottom Bishop Thornton finally being put out of their misery following a season of real struggle.

The Curlews restricted Masham to 97/9 thanks in part to Rob Nelson’s 4-3, but then fell agonisingly short of victory.

They were sent back to the pavilion a single run shy of their visitors’ total, Craig Broadley producing a match-winning haul of 6-31 and rubber-stamping Thornton’s relegation.

Wath & Melmerby have hit form at the right time, registering a third triumph on the spin to leave them within touching distance of guaranteed safety.

Paul Richardson (45) and captain Bobby Hilton (40) led the way for the Witherick Lane outfit in their first-innings score of 137 all out at home to Ouseburn.

Josh Bennison scooped 4-7 for the reigning champions, however they failed to fire with the bat and only Jamie Bryant (33) made any real impression.

In the end, the away team were dismissed on 134 and slipped to a three-run defeat.

Phil Stones (3-20) and Ben Kettlewell (3-31) shone for Wath.

Toby Drummond (55) struck a half-century as Burton Leonard crushed Dacre Banks.

The opener put on 82 for the first wicket with Peter Townsend (46), laying the foundations for a total of 212/7.

Sam Crompton and Ned Vasey then effected four dismissals apiece as Dacre were sent packing for 56.

Having spent the majority of the summer looking comfortable in mid-table, Spofforth dropped into the second division relegation zone as a consequence of their fifth straight loss.

They were humbled by league leaders Pateley Bridge who completed a nine-wicket win after bowling their visitors out for just 65, Michael Eglin scooping 3-1.

Victory leaves the Badgers 18 points clear at the top.

Second-placed Raskelf kept Pateley within touching distance, beating Killinghall by 94 runs as Matthew Goddard’s 106 helped them rack up 251/9.

Just two points further back in the table, Kirk Deighton were also indebted to a centurion as they saw off Harrogate Strays.

Skipper Richard Ward hit 100 not out to help his team chase down a target of 200/6, Toby Easthaugh making 56 of those runs.

Burnt Yates (267/3) won for the fifth week in a row, Jason Chyer’s 143 paving the way for their success at Studley Royal who reached 238 in reply, Gary Nicholson weighing-in with a knock of 86.

Alne boosted their survival hopes as Ryan Raper’s 6-43 got rid of Scotton on 157 before Tom Jackson (102 not out) helped secure a five-wicket triumph.

Already-relegated Markington (144 all out) were dispatched by Blubberhouses (145/1), Muhammad Ayaz grabbing 5-24 as the visitors escaped the bottom two.