Theakston Nidderdale League: Another twist as Darley CC leapfrog Birstwith at the summit
There was a twist in the Theakston Nidderdale League Division One title race as Darley CC took over at the top of the table.
Duncan Naylor’s men edged ahead of rivals Birstwith courtesy of Saturday’s seven-wicket success over Kirk Deighton.
Rob Nelson claimed four wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 219, Will Powell (77) and Henry Blythe (45) both batting well.
Nelson then completed a superb afternoon’s work by opening the batting and smashing a fine century to set Darley on their way to a crucial victory.
His knock of 113 alongside Jordan King (58) saw the high-flyers to 220/3 in just 28.1 overs.
Birstwith began the weekend in pole position having lost just three of their previous 20 games this term, but had no answer to Masham’s batsmen.
The away team racked up a sizable total of 272 having won the toss, Sam Ambler (77) and Tom Smith (57) combining in an opening stand of 154.
Craig Robinson and Jack Sheridan both took five scalps for Birstwith, who have plundered plenty of runs during 2021, though on this occasion they were dismissed well short on 196.
Pete Hardisty struck 63 and Robinson made 45, while Oliver Ambler became the third player to knock over five wickets in the match.
Third-placed Helperby kept themselves just about in contention at the top by piling more misery on rock-bottom Burton Leonard.
Matthew Morton was the only batsman to impress for the basement boys, hitting a defiant 52 in a first-innings score of 91 all out.
Simon Taylor shone for Helperby with a haul of 5-19, though the hosts did not have things all their own way.
In the end, they limped over the line, eventually reaching 92/8 as Max Crompton wreaked havoc, snapping up a fine 6-39.
Fourth-placed Goldsborough got back to winnings ways, only just seeing off Harrogate 3rds in what was the closest of contests.
Mark Roberts (62 not out) and Charlie Holtham (44) led the Roosters to 200/9 from their 45 overs, Australian ace Jarrod McPhee scooping 4-38.
Opener James Wood (44) got the Goldsborough response off to a decent start, but at 133/6 they looked to be struggling.
Wickets continued to fall, with Holtham knocking over four and Matt Ingham three, however Oscar Murray (33) kept the visitors in the contest.
The game went right down to the wire, but Goldsborough got the job finished with just two balls to spare.
Relegation-threatened Ouseburn boosted their survival hopes by seeing off Blubberhouses in comprehensive fashion.
Jonathan Webb (4-33) and Will Bennison (3-33) did the damage with the ball, getting rid of the away side for 121 as Lee Platts struck 38.
Bennison then demonstrated his ability with the willow in hand, smashing 72 to guide second-from-bottom Ouseburn to an eight-wicket triumph which keeps their hopes of catching 10th-placed Pateley Bridge alive.
The Badgers missed out on the opportunity to put some daylight between themselves and the drop zone when they were turned over at home by West Tanfield.
Louis Foxton (57) and George Rounthwaite (36) put on 86 for the first Bridge wicket, paving the way for a score of 199/6 while Angus Shaw grabbed 3-17.
Harry Lamb then hit 72 for Tanfield before Reece Farren (35 not) out wrapped up a four-wicket win.