Theakston Nidderdale League: Youngster Bird stars as Spofforth stun title-chasers

James Riley smashed a quickfire 85 not out as high-flying Birstwith beat Hampsthwaite by nine wickets. Picture: Adrian Murray
James Riley smashed a quickfire 85 not out as high-flying Birstwith beat Hampsthwaite by nine wickets. Picture: Adrian Murray

Young bowler Matty Bird was the star of the show as Theakston Nidderdale Division One’s bottom side Spofforth stunned title-chasing Masham.

Despite his tender years, the 14-year-old seamer snapped up a five-wicket haul to help dismiss the visitors for just 148 as they attempted to chase down Spofforth’s 161/7.

Bird, who started playing senior cricket at the age of 12 and has been a 1st XI regular in 2017, finished up with figures of 5-23, while Devon Nightingale and James Roberts also effected a pair of dismissals each, skipper Phil Newton top-scoring for Masham with 40.

Earlier, Nightingale had made 40 and and Steve Ward 34 as the hosts batted first, Nathan Kleinig claiming 3-31.

Spofforth remain eight points from safety despite the win, while Masham, who began the weekend level on points with league leaders Ouseburn, drop to fourth place.

The defending champions consolidated top spot when they eased to a comprehensive victory over struggling Knaresborough Forest.

Centurion Chris Morrison (102) and Jamie Bryant (68) came together to put on a 122-run stand for the third wicket as the hosts posted 236/8 from their 50 overs.

Joel Ainsley (4-45) and Australian Aaron Brunner (3-42) both bowled well for Forest, but their batsmen failed to fire and they were all out for just 108.

Brunner hit 46, however, 4-40 from Bryant and Morrison’s 3-19 took Ouseburn to a 128-run victory.

Birstwith climbed up to second in the table and now sit just two points off pole position after their nine-wicket home success over Hampsthwaite.

Craig Robinson and Mike Hennings shared six wickets between them to get rid of the home team with only 127 on the board, Christos Vayonitis (35) offering a measure of resistance.

A fine knock of 85 not out from James Riley then guided Birstwith to 129/1 inside 16 overs.

Helperby sit a mere point behind Birstwith in third place having beaten second-from-bottom Alne by a six-wicket margin.

An excellent return of 5-35 for captain Matt Cavanagh saw the men from the Magic Circle back in the pavilion with just 124 to their name, Chris Beaumont (55) striking a defiant half-century.

All-rounder Cavanagh then demonstrated his batting prowess, smashing an unbeaten 80 to take Helperby to maximum points at 128/5.

There was a fifth successive triumph for fifth-placed Darley, who are the division’s form team.

The Crake Lane outfit dismissed West Tanfield for 123 as Peter Hughes (2-1), Mike Beecroft (2-5), Brad Stephens (2-26) and Joe Furniss (2-40) all contributed with ball in hand.

An unbeaten 70 from Furniss and Gary Muff’s 41 not out got Darley to 127/1 in reply.

Damon Ive narrowly missed out on a ton as Goldsborough got back to winning ways when they overcame Burton Leonard.

The experienced opener finished on 97 not out, while Adam Voakes contributed 40 in the visitors’ 229/6, Max Crompton grabbing 2-50 for Burton.

Captain James Townsend made 67 in response, but the home side were dismissed for 169, thanks largely to Voakes (5-27) and Dave James (3-33).