Helperby CC land early blow in Theakston Nidderdale League title fight
Helperby CC landed a significant early blow in the Theakston Nidderdale Division One title race when they got the better of fellow high-flyers Darley.
Dan Marston’s table-toppers went into Saturday’s contest just two points ahead of their rivals, but have now opened up a significant lead at the summit.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first, openers Joe Corner (46) and Luis Rees-Hughes (41) got the hosts off to a fine start with an 84-run partnership for the first wicket.
Dan Spink (39) and Jake Fletcher (35) then helped advance the Helperby score to 204/6 in 50 overs, Rob Nelson taking 3-47 for Darley.
Jim Grange hit 30 as away side replied, however 3-40 from Simon Taylor helped ensure that they did not progress any further than 153/9.
Up to second place and now level on points with leaders Helperby are Birstwith, who extended their 100 per cent start to the campaign courtesy of a comprehensive victory over struggling Harrogate 3rds.
Craig Robinson led the way with a knock of 65, while Jon Milward (48 not out), Sam Ryan (43) and Tom Croston (34) also contributed to a sizeable total of 286/8.
Barney Horberry (72) and Rob Stanworth (45) did their bit to keep the Roosters in the contest, though they were eventually sent on their way for 180 as Millward completed a fine afternoon’s work by scooping four wickets.
Pateley Bridge sit fourth after they completed a routine seven-wicket success over West Tanfield.
Oliver Fryer was in superb form with the ball for the Badgers, scooping 5-27 as the home team were knocked over for only 123, Jonny Luty top-scoring with 28.
Ben Mountain (40) and Chris Langley (34 not out) then led Bridge to their victory target in 29 overs.
Goldsborough occupy fifth position having beaten Ouseburn by eight wickets on their own patch.
John Moorhouse’s excellent unbeaten 85 allied to 40 from Ben Jones helped the home team post 202/7.
Jarrod McPhee was the pick of the Goldsborough attack, claiming 2-40 before going on to take centre stage with the willow in hand for the second week running.
His quick-fire score of 71 not out arrived in just 64 balls, finishing off a comfortable run-chase which was led initially by Mike Cockle (52).
Despite a slow start to the campaign, Blubberhouses are now up to sixth having made it three wins on the spin when they saw off Kirk Deighton.
Will Haines struck 90 at the top of the order, Sajid Khan adding 46 and Mark McEneaney 31 as the hosts made their way to 252 all out.
Rob Barker performed very well for Deighton, helping himself to 5-55, while Mark Harland took three wickets.
Will Powell’s innings of 71 ensured that the visitors remained in contention, though they were bowled out in the end 31 runs shy of where they needed to be, thanks in part to Khan’s 4-43.
Masham put 229 on the board at home to bottom-of-the-table Burton Leonard, and that total proved beyond their opponents, who were all out for 146.
Kieran Wordsworth scored 50 of the hosts’ runs, Chris Duffy snapping up 4-33.
Skipper Sam Crawshaw (49) narrowly missed out on a half-century, but received little by way of support from his team-mates as Joe O’Keefe (6-31) wreaked havoc.