Theakston Nidderdale League: Birstwith CC make perfect start to title defence

Tom Croston struck a half-century as Birstwith got the defence of their Theakston Nidderdale League title underway with a comprehensive victory over Dacre Banks. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Tom Croston struck a half-century as Birstwith got the defence of their Theakston Nidderdale League title underway with a comprehensive victory over Dacre Banks. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Birstwith made the perfect start to the defence of their Theakston Nidderdale League title, beating Dacre Banks by 115 runs on the opening weekend of the 2019 season.

The reigning champions posted 263 all out from their 45 overs thanks to half-centuries from Sam Ryan (54) and Tom Croston (51), plus Jon Millward’s knock of 42.

Waqas Rasheed and Chaudhary Anwar-Ul-Haq each claimed four wickets for Dacre, though their batsmen fared less well.

Skipper Shaun Marshall (62) was the only visiting player to really impress with the willow in hand as Pete Hardisty’s 4-35 helped Birswith to victory.

Helperby, last year’s runners-up, got off to a disappointing start, failing to chase down Masham’s 155 all out.

Dan Marston and Al Darnell helped themselves to a trio of scalps apiece, but 39 from Tom Smith ensured that the hosts had some kind of a score to defend.

Matthew Poulter hit 40 in reply to keep Helperby in touch, only for a lower-order collapse to leave them 15 runs short in the end.

Kieran Bramley (4-13) shone with the ball for Masham, as did Harry Hill (3-32).

A thrilling contest at West Tanfield went right down to the wire as visitors Ouseburn completed a three-wicket win with just two balls to spare.

Will Shaw (48) and Nick Virr (43) guided the hosts to 186 batting first despite some unplayable bowling by Chris Morrison, who finished with figures of 5-4 from 9.1 overs.

Ouseburn skipper Adam Fisher then produced a captain’s knock of 64, laying the foundations for a successful run-chase.

Juvan Gericke snapped up 4-31 for Tanfield, though his efforts proved to be in vain.

Both of the sides promoted to the top-flight at the end of 2018 began life in Division One with a defeat.

Kirk Deighton were bundled out with just 107 on the board when they entertained Darley.

Australian import Bailey Nylander did much of the damage for the away team, knocking over the first four wickets and snapping up 4-20 on debut, while Joe Furniss (3-18) and Rob Nelson (3-30) also impressed.

Another Aussie, Jordan King, led Darley’s reply with 34 and Nylander also chipped in with 23 not out to wrap up a five-wicket success despite Deighton’s Jon Watkins’ 3-37.

Last season’s Division Two winners Pateley Bridge managed to compile a first innings score of 170 at home to Goldsborough, but that total did not prove to be enough.

Opener Luke Clarke struck 51 for the hosts, however their lower order had no answer to the bowling of Jarrod McPhee (4-11).

A fine 79 from McPhee allied to Luke Bonniface’s 68 then saw Graham Shorter’s men to 172/4 with 15 overs to spare.

Burton Leonard eased past Wath & Melmerby, bowling their opponents out for 180 before cruising to 181/1 in response.

Newly-promoted Boroughbridge & Staveley made a stunning start to their Division Two campaign, thrashing relegated Bishop Thornton by 220 runs.

Mark Burniston (67) and Luke Fletcher (58) both impressed with the bat before Karl Young’s stunnning haul of 8-13 sending the Curlews packing for 37.

Thornton Watlass could not emulate Boroughbridge’s success, losing out to Alne, who posted 225/9 thanks largely to Alex Buteux (56) and Cameron Spence (51).

The visitors were then dismissed for 195 despite Andrew Cooper’s 51.

Bryson Lush’s knock of 80 paved the way for Killinghall’s home win over Harrogate Strays.

Although new ‘Gate signing Ethan Westerman snaffled five wickets, the hosts made it to 209/9, Dan Atkinson also contributing with 63.

Atkinson then got rid of four batsmen as the away innings ended on 176, Rob Stanworth top-scoring with 41.

Carl Brockhill’s fine return of 5-19 saw Knaresborough Forest blown away for 97 chasing Burnt Yates’ 268/8.

Earlier, Matt Rogerson had struck 68 and Ryan Lamb 60.

Callum Halliday hit 52 of Scotton’s 147 all out against Studley Royal II, but his efforts did not prove sufficient.

The Ripon outfit completed a two-wicket win in the 42nd over with Will Wray (46 not out) finishing the job.

A half-century from the bat of Mark McEneaney (56) saw Blubberhouses (129/5) to a five-wicket win at Raskelf.