Theakston Nidderdale League: Helperby sink rivals Birstwith on way back to the summit

Dan Marston's Helperby CC side are back on top of the Theakston Nidderdale League Division One standings. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Dan Marston's Helperby CC side are back on top of the Theakston Nidderdale League Division One standings. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Helperby re-claimed pole position in Division One of the Theakston Nidderdale League courtesy of a 38-run success over title rivals Birstwith.

Dan Marston’s side began the weekend trailing the men from The Moss by 10 points, but overtook them after successfully defending their first innings total of 241/9.

A half-century from Joe Corner (58), plus 44 by Dan Spink and Tom Messenger’s 37 left the visitors in a strong position at the halfway stage of the game, Sam Barker claiming three wickets for Birstwith.

The hosts remained in the hunt for a good period of their run-chase thanks to Tom Croston (47), Craig Robinson (47) and Dan Riley (40), but were eventually bowled out on 203.

Corner was the pick of the Helperby attack with a return of 3-39.

Burton Leonard sit just four points off the pace in third after a comfortable win over struggling Knaresborough Forest.

An 82-run stand between Aussie Jayden Harris (58) and Elliot Addison (30) was the only highlight of the visitors’ 127 all out.

Sam Crompton (4-21) and Jon Duffy (4-25) caused second-from-bottom Forest’s batsmen all sorts of problems, before Toby Drummond (40 not out) and Peter Townsend (37) eased Burton to a seven-wicket win with plenty of overs to spare.

One place further back, Darley kept up the pressure on the top three when they overcame Wath & Melmerby in comprehensive fashion.

Jordan King continued his fine form with the willow in hand, going one better than the previous weekend’s half-century by hitting an unbeaten 108.

Chris Gill also stuck 49 for Darley as they racked up 250/8 from their 45 overs.

Wath skipper Bobby Hilton scooped a four-wicket haul, but the visiting batsmen failed to fire and they were dismissed with only 120 to their name, 130 runs short.

All-round ace King completed a splendid afternoon’s work with 5-55, while Joe Furniss also impressed, finishing up with 4-25.

Sam Mooney and Stephen Ellison produced a fine 166-run first-wicket partnership to pave the way for Dacre Banks’ home victory over Masham.

Mooney smashed (85) and Ellison (80) of the hosts’ 184/2 in a match reduced to 30 overs per side.

Bailey McCourt (53) and Brodie Eccles (30) ensured that Masham made a decent start to their reply, but they were unable to finish the job, running out of deliveries on 153/6.

After just one victory from the first 11 rounds of fixtures, Bishop Thornton find themselves cut adrift at the foot of the table.

An excellent knock by Steve Sowray (59) steered the basement boys to 175 all out at home to Ouseburn, Chris Morrison wreaking havoc with 5-20.

The defending champions wasted no time in knocking off the required runs, however, and a stunning, quick-fire 113 not out from opener Matthew Nichols paved the way for a nine-wicket triumph inside 22 overs.

Defeat leaves Thornton 15 points behind nearest rivals Knaresborough Forest and a further 12 away from safety.

Josh Barrett shone as West Tanfield pulled 40 points clear of the drop zone after getting the better of Goldsborough in a low-scoring affair.

The opening batsman’s innings of 40 was the top score in the hosts’ 157 all out, David James bagging 4-53 with the ball.

The away team will have fancied their chances of chasing down that total, but 4-35 from Barrett ensured that they didn’t make it.

James (29) and Graham Shorter (26) were Goldsborough’s leading lights, but slow progress meant that they only got to 145/8 in response.

Blubberhouses remain rooted to the foot of Division Two following an eighth reverse in eight completed fixtures this year.

None of their batsmen managed more than Mark Leahy’s score of 18 as they were bowled out for 126 by Harrogate Strays on Saturday, George Horbury snapping up 4-41 and Alfie Weaver 3-8.

A knock of 46 not out from Toby Eastaugh and 32 by Horbury then steered ‘Gate to a seven-wicke triumph inside 32 overs.

Just above Blubberhouses but still inside the drop zone are Alne, who lost out to Studley Royal after being dismissed with just 107 on the board.

Alex Buteux struck 29 of the strugglers’ runs while Royal skipper Michael Litterbach returned excellent figures of 4-13.

The home team had no trouble completing their chase, and an unbeaten 55 from Colin Smith saw them close the game out.

At the other end of the table, leaders Pateley Bridge squeezed past third-placed Raskelf in an extremely close encounter.

Colin Chadwick made 45 of the Badgers’ 176 all out with Sam Porter effecting a trio of dismissals.

A fine 72 from the bat of Robert Sigsworth seemed as if it would see Raskelf home, but they slumped from 153/6 to 174 all out, missing out on victory by just three runs.

Kirk Deighton remain hot on Bridge’s heels after skittling Burnt Yates before they could even reach three figures.

Simon Dwyer helped himself to 5-27 and Jon Watkins chipped in with three wickets to send the visitors packing with only 93 to their name.

If the Deighton batsmen were expecting to complete an easy win, any such hopes were dashed by Carl Brockhill who bowled superbly to keep Yates in with a sniff.

He claimed seven scalps all by himself, however the hosts eventually edged to a 16-point haul eight wickets down.

Killinghall leapfrogged opponents Scotton into fourth position courtesy of a narrow eight-run triumph.

Tom Stanford (73) was the mainstay of 10-man ‘Hall’s 204/9, Callum Halliday impressing with four wickets for the home side.

Sam Halliday struck 48 and Blake Dobbin 44 when Scotton went out to bat, but they ended up eight runs shy of the mark on 196/9.

Spofforth secured back-to-back victories for the first time this season, overcoming Markington at School Lane.

Jack William (29) was their best performer with the bat as Graham Bassitt and Dave Askew each knocked over four home players.

What should have been a straightforward run-chase for Markington then proved to be anything but with Ethan Westerman (3-11) and William (3-35) combining nicely to get rid of them for 90.