Helperby CC finally got up and running for 2019, recording their maiden victory of the campaign to climb off the foot of the Theakston Nidderdale League Division One table.
Dan Marston’s men were genuine title contenders last year, only to be overtaken by eventual champions Birstwith during the second half of the season, but have struggled to replicate that form this term, losing all seven of their completed fixtures prior to Saturday’s win over Masham.
And it was skipper Marston who led the way for the hosts in what was an impressive all-round display.
He first struck a fine 85 to guide Helperby to 210/9 in 45 overs alongside Joe Corner (41).
Marston then snapped up 3-28 as Masham were all out on 145 despite the efforts of their own captain, Craig Broadley, who hit a half-century.
Yet, his knock of 67 was to prove in vain and defeat sees Masham take their opponents’ place at the bottom of the pile.
Just one place above them, Kirk Deighton are another side struggling for form.
The former Wetherby League champions were beaten for the seventh time since their promotion to the top flight when they visited leaders Darley.
Will Powell’s 55 not out saw Deighton to a competitive total of 191/9, Rob Nelson the pick of the home attack with 3-33.
Darley are top of the division for a reason, however, and they managed to knock off the required runs in 37 overs thanks to a superb 89 not out by Jim Grainge and Bailey Nylander’s 38.
Richard Ward did match Nelson in the bowling stakes, also finishing with 3-33, though he couldn’t prevent the early pace-setters from recording a seventh consecutive win in as many completed fixtures.
Goldsborough sit nine points futher back in second spot after their five-wicket triumph over 10-man Pateley Bridge.
Graham Shorter (3-32) and Henry Saul (3-67) were among the wickets as the Badgers were bowled out for 179/9, Ben Mountain climbing to the top of the scoring charts with a rapid 76 from just 63 deliveries, an innings that included seven sixes.
Will Pleming (55 not out) and Gavin Hodson (46) then eased Goldsborough to 180/5 and a maximum-point haul in the 39th over.
Burton Leonard stay third, but are still potentially within just one victory of taking over at the summit following their 172-run crushing of Wath & Melmerby.
Laurie O’Connor paved the way for his side’s triumph, hitting 109 at the top of the order before Chris Jackson followed up with a useful 36 in a total of 257/6.
Wath were blown away when they took their turn at the crease, only two away batsmen making it into double figures while Sam Crompton helped himself to a memorable return of 5-6 and Jackson bagged 3-23 to help dismiss the visitors for 85.
Fourth-placed Birstwith remain well-placed to capitalise on any slip-ups by the teams above them.
The defending champions made light work of chasing down Dacre Banks’ 172/7, needing just 22.4 overs to complete their task.
James Riley (99) was the star of the show, blasting 14 fours and four maximums, only to miss out on his century by a single run.
In-form Waqas Rasheed did his best to stem the flow with 5-45 after Dacre had earlier put 172/7 on the board, Chaudhary Anwar-Ul-Haq contributing 81 and Tim Carrington 32.
George Hirst performed well with the ball in hand for Birstwith, claiming 4-43.
The mid-table clash between Ouseburn and West Tanfield ended in a four-wicket win for the latter.
Elijah Panetta’s 40 was the highlight of the hosts’ 176 all out, Angus Shaw and Richard Harland taking three scalps apiece.
Samuel Hoddinott (50 not out) and Harry Abel (48) then ensured that Tanfield made it over the line, despite 3-38 from the hand of Ouseburn’s George Pears.