Birstwith climbed up to third in the Theakston Nidderdale League Division One standings thanks to a stunning captain’s innings from Jon Millward.
The defending champions were 4/3 at one stage during Saturday’s home clash with Kirk Deighton, but recovered in quite spectacular fashion to put a mammoth 362/5 on the board, skipper Millward plundering a sensational double-century.
He found the boundary no fewer than 35 times, clearing it on 13 occasions as he raced to 202 from only 129 balls.
And Millward was not alone in producing a big score, Sam Ryan playing his part with 120 in a stand worth 332 for the fourth wicket.
Deighton were always going to be up against it when they took their turn at the crease and they could only progress as far as 201/8 in response.
Jon Watkins hit an unbeaten 50, while Michael Malthouse contributed 43 and Richard Ward added 42, but their efforts weren’t enough to prevent the visitors from slipping into the drop zone.
Elsewhere, Jordan King took centre stage as Darley extended their advantage at the top of the table to nine points.
The Australian all-rounder smashed a ton then went to work with the ball in his team’s 111-run mauling of Ouseburn.
King’s knock of 115 included 11 fours and a trio of sixes and saw the hosts to 194 all out, Chris Morrison claiming three of the wickets to fall.
The away side made a steady start to their reply and got to 36 without loss, however they then collapsed to 83 all out in the face of some fine bowling by Joe Furniss (5-20) and that man King (4-22).
Burton Leonard began the weekend in second position following a decent run of form, however they dropped two places as a result of their surprise reverse at the hands of Masham.
The Dalesmen came into the fixture having won just one in five this season and another loss looked on the cards when they were sent back to the pavilion on 128, skipper Craig Broadley (59) the only visiting batsman to do himself justice.
That first-innings score was however to prove more than sufficient as Broadley completed a brilliant individual performance by knocking over five of Burton’s top order.
Harry Hill (4-6) also shone for Masham and the home team were all out for 100 despite the best efforts of James Townsend (59).
Taking full advantage of Burton’s slip-up were Goldsborough, who move into the runners-up spot having eased past Helperby on home soil.
A half-century from Jeff Rosolin (57) laid the foundations for the visitors’ score of 167 all out, Henry Saul (3-27) and Graham Shorter (3-33) both performing well with ball in hand.
Aussie Jarrod McPhee then struck 76 from only 62 deliveries to guide Goldsborough over the line at 168/4 in the 37th over.
Tom Messenger did pick up a couple of early wickets to give Helperby hope, however they now find themselves bottom of the pile as a result of their winless start to the campaign.
Having spent a good chunk of the early weeks of the campaign rooted to the foot of the table, Dacre Banks' recent resurgence has seen them escape the relegation places.
They followed up their first triumph of 2019, against Helperby, by taking 15 points from their abandoned fixture with Masham last time out, before seeing off Pateley Bridge in dramatic style this weekend.
Stephen Ellison (44) and Waqas Rasheed (43) got Dacre to 206, Tom Fryer grabbing 3-27 for the Badgers.
Ben Mountain (95) seemed destined to lead Bridge home, however he was dismissed five runs short of his ton and the visitors’ innings ended with them agonisingly short of their victory target on 205/8.
West Tanfield were another side to boost their survival hopes with a much-needed 10-wicket success.
They stunned Wath & Melmerby, Jonny Luty wreaking havoc with an unplayable spell of 7-8 as Ben Kettlewell’s team were blown away with only 36 to their name.
Knaresborough Forest finally recorded their first win of 2019 when they shocked Studley Royal II.
The Nidderdale League second division’s bottom side had lost all six of their completed fixtures prior to Saturday’s victory, an 18-run win away from home.
Jono Bradley played a big part in the strugglers’ success, taking 4-36 as Studley were dismissed for 136 in reply to Forest’s 154/9, Chris Marston (29) the hosts’ top-scorer.
Earlier, Matthew Parker had hit 35 as the visitors made it into three figures for the first time this term, Bradley (27) and Eliot Addison (25) also chipping in, while Max Marston scooped 4-28.
That win breathes new life into Forest’s hopes of avoiding successive relegations and sees them close the gap on second-bottom Raskelf to 19 points.
Sam Porter’s men were routed by Alne at the weekend, going down by 138 runs.
Eddie Myers (94 not out) narrowly missed out on a ton as he guided the home team to 230/9 alongside Owen Vaughan (58).
Ten-man Raskelf were then sent packing with only 92 to their name despite Robert Galtrey’s defiant 41 at the top of the order.
At the other end of the division, Blubberhouses emerged triumphant from their top-of-the-table showdown with Harrogate Strays.
Bash Khan (74) and Muhammad Ayaz (51) steered the hosts to 226/8, Ben Jowett bagging 4-51.
Matt Roberts made 38 when ‘Gate responded but they ended up well short in the end, Lee Platts (3-10) and Blake Raper (3-45) helping get rid of the away team for 140.
Third-placed Scotton missed the chance to close in on the summit, losing out to Killinghall, who posted 197 thanks largely to Dan Atkinson’s innings of 56.
Callum Halliday hit 33 in response, though a trio of wickets apiece for Bryson Lush, Andy Thompson and Ben Atkinson ensured the visitors made it no further than 101.
Boroughbridge & Staveley are up to fourth having skittled Burnt Yates for just 61, Karl Young helping himself to 4-19.
Connor Eddlestone’s unbeaten 32 then steered ‘Bridge to an eight-wicket triumph inside 29 overs.
George Sowray’s fine knock of 69 wasn’t enough to save Bishop Thornton from defeat to Thornton Watlass.
The Curlews were dismissed on 135 before Kevin Kean (83 not out) and Ned Hillsborough (42 not out) led the hosts over the line for the loss of only two wickets.