Theakston Nidderdale League: Struggling Curlews fall just short of much-needed victory

Rob Nelson's half-century wasn't quite enough to save relegation-threatened Bishop Thornton from yet another defeat
Rob Nelson's half-century wasn't quite enough to save relegation-threatened Bishop Thornton from yet another defeat

Bishop Thornton came within a whisker of securing their first Theakston Nidderdale League Division One win in 13 weeks when they traveled to Darley on Saturday.

The Curlews have been rooted to the foot of the table for some time now and look doomed to relegation, but almost managed to upset their title-chasing hosts after posting 245 all out.

Rob Nelson struck 62 at the top of the order and there were also useful contributions from Andrew Hyland (32) and Steve Sowray (32) as Jordan King snapped up 3-53.

King (92) and Joe Furniss (48) put Darley in a strong position in reply, though it looked as if the high-flyers were going to run out of deliveries.

They just about made it home in the end, however, Rob Hainsworth’s unbeaten 54 helping them over the line with only two balls to spare.

Thornton’s defeat sees them cut even further adrift at the bottom after the two sides directly above them in the table both won.

A second century in three appearances from Joe Stanley (102) helped Knaresborough Forest put 224/6 on the board before getting rid of defending champions Ouseburn for 198.

Victory would have lifted Joel Ainsley’s troops out of the relegation zone, only for Wath & Melmerby to register a first success in four thanks to the efforts of their batsmen.

Adam Newcombe (99) came agonisingly close to scoring a ton, while there were also half-centuries for Mitchell Cross (70) and Bobby Hilton (57) as the home team racked up 294/6 against Dacre Banks.

Salman Sayed (52) and Stephen Ellison (51) ensured that Dacre made a good fist of trying to knock off the required runs, however they closed on 270/9 with Ben Kettlewell scooping 4-67.

At the other end of the table, the top two remain neck and neck, Birstwith continuing to lead the way from Helperby in the closest of battles for pole position.

The men from The Moss began the weekend in first place only by virtue of their superior net run-rate, and moved a single point clear after seeing off West Tanfield.

Sam Abel weighed in with 78 for Tanfield, however the visitors had no answer to Will Hubbert (5-42) and were dismissed for 160.

The league leaders made short work of their chase and James Riley (77) and Tom Croston (54 not out) wrapped up an eight-wicket triumph inside 21 overs.

Simon Webster took five wickets as second-placed Helperby skittled Masham for only 78 to keep in touch at the summit.

Earlier, Mark Spilman (43) had made the most significant contribution to Dan Marston’s side’s 177/7.

Andy Heard was the pick of the Masham attack, finishing up with four scalps to his name.

A century from Jarrod McPhee paved the way for inform Goldsborough’s third successive win, a 38-run success over Burton Leonard.

The Aussie was the mainstay of the York Road club’s 219/8, striking 113 as compatriot Ned Vasey helped himself to 4-48.

Michael Wray’s knock of 81 kept the home team in contention, but four wickets from Goldsborough’s Henry Saul and a trio apiece for McPhee and Graham Shorter ensured that their response made it no further than 181.

In Division Two, top-of-the-table Pateley Bridge bounced back from consecutive losses, edging out Scotton in a close contest.

Tom Simpson’s 51 led the Badgers to 221/7 despite Blake Dobbin’s 3-45 and the hosts came up 14 runs short on 207/8, Sam Halliday hitting 75.

Joe Preece bagged 4-36 with the ball for Bridge.

Kirk Deighton kept pace with Pateley, compiling 281/6 then dismissing Studley Royal 2nds for 147.

Raskelf remain within touching distance of the top two having beaten Harrogate Strays by a 65-run margin.

Matt Goddard smacked an undefeated 115 in the promotion-hopefuls’ 261/7, Andy Scurr claiming 4-63.

And although George Horbury (115) matched this, the Roosters ran out of overs on 196/4.

Rejuvenated Blubberhouses secured back-to-back victories and leapfrogged opponents Alne, climbing out of the drop zone in the process.

Bash Khan’s side restricted their fellow strugglers to 213/9 then surpassed that score just four wickets down thanks to Mark McEneaney (75 not out) and Bill Davis (53 not out).

An innings of 56 from Ryan Lamb helped Burnt Yates to 152/9 and a fifth triumph in a row away at Spofforth, who were sent packing for 109 as Shaun Brockhill took 3-26.

Markington's dreadful recent run continued at home to Killinghall where five wickets for Dan Atkinson saw the hosts removed for just 77 despite opener Tyler McGregor's defiant 53 not out.

Stephen Lennox (38) then steered the away team to a nine-wicket victory.