Theakston Nidderdale League: Birstwith CC and Darley haul themselves back into contention

Round 13 of the 2022 campaign saw Birstwith and Darley hauled themselves back into the Theakston Nidderdale League Division One title race.

Adam Copeland hits out on his way to a score of 95 during Darley CC's Theaskton Nidderdale League Division One victory over Blubberhouses. Pictures: Gerard Binks
Adam Copeland hits out on his way to a score of 95 during Darley CC's Theaskton Nidderdale League Division One victory over Blubberhouses. Pictures: Gerard Binks

George Hirst's Birstwith are up to second place courtesy of a comfortable home win over struggling Goldsborough.

The visitors posted 202 all out, Paul Stalker top-scoring with 59 as Sam Ryan and Jack Sheridan took a trio of scalps apiece.

And that total was chased down easily by the home team, James Riley (47), Jon Millward (46 not out) and Tom Croston (33) all contributing to a five-wicket success that was secured with almost 10 overs to spare.

Sajid Khan is congratulated by his Blubberhouses team-mates after taking a wicket.

Fourth-placed Darley made it six victories in a row when they saw off the challenge of Blubberhouses.

Adam Copeland starred with the bat for the defending champions, narrowly missing out on a century as he struck 95 not out in a first-innings score of 195/4, Jim Grange adding 37.

Tom Noble (43) and Bash Khan (34) did their bit to keep third-from-bottom Blubberhouses in the contest, though their response ended with them 16 runs shy of where they needed to be.

Larry Audain (3-26) and Rob Nelson (3-43) bowled nicely for last season's title-winners.

Back-to-back losses for West Tanfield have seen them drop to third, where they sit on 192 points, four behind Birstwith and one ahead of Darley.

The men from the Sleningford Oval appeared to be on track for a 10th success in 12 attempts after restricting visiting Helperby to 136/8 from their 45 overs, Tom Messenger hitting 31 and Dan Marston 30.

But, an inspired bowling performance by Joe Corner went a long way to ensuring that Tanfield never got anywhere near their victory target.

He finished the afternoon with a haul of 5-35, while Messenger completed a solid day's work by bagging 3-15.

Harry Lamb (29) was the only home player to make any kind of an impression with the bat and one of only two men to reach double-figures before the hosts were sent packing for 89.

Yet, while there is now very little separating the chasing pack, pole position looks as if it is very much Killinghall's to lose.

The league leaders piled more misery on rock-bottom Harrogate 3rds, knocking their visitors over for just 112 as they pulled 31 points clear at the summit.

Dan Atkinson led the way with an impressive return of 4-7, while Billy MacGregor (3-30) and Andy Thompson (2-31) also chipped in.

Opener Ed Paxton then steered Killinghall to 116/3 in 27.1 overs.

Arthington stay fifth following their routine triumph over second-from-bottom Masham.

Anwar Ul Haq shone with ball in hand, helping himself to 6-48 as the hosts were dismissed on 120.

Umar Farooq (66 not out) and Sajid Hussain (44) then came together and put on a 113-run opening stand, paving the way for Arthington to complete the most straightforward of nine-wicket victories.

Kirk Deighton also won by a nine-wicket margin when they visited Pateley Bridge.

George Rounthwaite managed 44, however that was about as good as it got for the Badgers as they were restricted to 134/9, Thomas Conboy bagging three of the wickets to fall.

And such a total never looked like being sufficient to cause Deighton any problems once Henry Blythe (75 not out) and Louis Toseland (41) set about the home attack, laying the foundations for a chase that was successfully completed with 20 overs in hand.