A new signing inspired Delph to an invaluable victory as they outmanoeuvred Barkisland to draw closer to the teams above them in the relegation drop zone with rivals Slaithwaite, Mirfield Parish Cavaliers and Shepley all suffering damaging defeats. Hoylandswaine seized on the opportunity of topping the table by beating Scholes after former leaders Thongsbridge slumped to only their second defeat of the season leaving Golcar and Moorlands in hot pursuit.
Sarfraz Inspires New Delph Teammates To Vital Success
Old boy Sarfraz Ahmed was drafted in during the week to help turn around Delph’s worrying run of form and his input, in addition to a battling team performance, was enough to secure a pivotal victory at home to mid-table Barkisland. Delph have not been adverse to bringing in older heads at important points of a season that has swung from dramatic highs to crushing lows. Jon Selby and Grant Jones have been utilised sparingly, yet essentially and this time, the inclusion of the vastly experienced 53 year old plugged a gap at the top end of the order that has at times exposed them. Barkisland’s 233-8 first innings score - boosted by an excellent first century of the season for the talented Matty Weston (119no) - was enough to test most clubs. Delph, already six points adrift, could ill afford another consecutive loss as Weston and Jake Finch (36) stymied the hosts' positive start with Barkisland reduced to 89-5. The duo put on a defiant partnership of 97 runs, however tight bowling particularly from Xander Selby and Nathan Jones prevented the visitors from taking the game away from them. Bowlers Umer Yaqoob (3-81) and Rizwan Ali (4-54) took wickets at vital intervals but a solid start to the reply was still required. Ahmed, the former Skelmanthorpe and Denby batsman, put in a dogged performance for 41, helping Delph to 88-2. His dismissal allowed both Nathan Jones and Lucas Selby to roam freely for a fluent 39 and 37 respectively. However Harry Partington’s cool half-century - his first ever for the 1XI - saw the result home. His 61-ball 51no completed a critical victory as Delph replied with 234-5 with two overs remaining.
Charlie Strikes Hard To Plunge Parish Towards Jeopardy
Broad Oak’s Charlie Roebuck hammered a supercharged ton to drive a wedge between themselves and Mirfield Parish Cavaliers at the bottom of the Premiership table. The hosts scored freely with Jon Hellings’ 58 at the forefront of several destructive displays with the bat. Replying to Parish’s impressive 211-9 total in a match reduced to 30 overs, Roebuck then thrashed an unbeaten 122 from 74 balls drilling 10 fours and 9 sixes. Conor Woodruff (24) and Harvey Anderson (39no) were useful foils to Roebuck’s aggressive approach as Oak knocked off the chase with minimal fuss to reach 216-2 in 24 overs to open up a nine point gap between the two teams.
Thongsbridge Toppled In Heavy Defeat at Kirkburton
Thongsbridge were knocked off from pole position following a crushing subjugation at Riley Lane at the hands of Kirkburton’s potent overseas Roscoe Tahttil. The Sri Lankan tore into Thongsbridge’s bowling attack with a ruthless display as he chalked off his sixth century since arriving at the club in 2019. His 120 from 79 balls was backed up by a fluent 72 from opener Andrew Smith to once again put on show the terrific understanding the pair seem to have fostered. A run-a-ball 37 was added by Matt Crookes before Chavez Younes piled up a destructive 45 from 18 balls to set the leaders a massive 307-6 from 40 overs. Openers Ben Raven-Hill and Richard Marshall were removed early by the Kirkburton bowling pair Tom Burkinshaw and Aaron Moore which further signalled their intent as Thongsbridge struggled to match their opponents. Ben Balmforth (54) battled gamely for a half century which restored some pride with skipper Alex Kemp adding 38 but ‘Burton ran out worthy winners to dismiss the lofty visitors for 209.
Hoylandswaine Take Over At Top After Semi-Final Rehearsal
Champions Hoylandswaine took full advantage of Thongsbridge’s slip-up by putting Scholes to the sword in a dress rehearsal of their semi-final clash at Chapelgate, 24 hours before they do battle once again. Scholes could take heart from a bowling performance where they dismissed the visitors but weren’t able to replicate their efforts following on with the bat. Shakeel Ansar hit a second half-century of the campaign and Leicestershire’s Arron Lilley added 41 where Scholes bowlers Wasim Javed (4-45) and Yaasir Imtiaz (5-27) accounted for the majority of the wickets. The hosts will need to find a better way of keeping out opening bowler Muhammad Azharullah when the sides meet again later. The veteran pace bowler took 7-43 in a devastating 9 overs to give the result a decidedly one-sided look as Scholes were soundly beaten. Louis Brook (38) flexed a degree of stubbornness but the hosts were eventually dismissed for 87ao.
Moorlands Close In At Top With Win At Bridge
Title hopefuls Moorlands put in an efficient performance to win away at Armitage Bridge and lie just four points from the top in third place. The hosts, missing talismanic skipper Jaycub Curtling and overseas Joshua Taylor, were forced to tough it out following a tight opening salvo by opening bowlers Darrell Sykes (3-22) and Andrew Walker (1-25). Musa Ahmed’s diligent 20no was the top score of a testing first innings with Armitage Bridge setting 127-6 from their 30 overs. Moorlands openers Shoukat Ali (33) and James Rawlingson (35) swiftly got into their stride before Siraj Sajid (20no) and James Stansfield (29no) brought the game to a close, replying with 128-2 in 20 overs.
Talismanic ‘Cobber’ Destroys Slaithwaite As Golcar Soar Again
The league’s record-holding batsman Steve Whitwam was once again at his best with both bat and ball to consign rock-bottom Slaithwaite to another defeat and keep alive his own side’s title drive. In a loss that left them rooted to the foot of the table, adrift by 12 points, Slaithwaite were boosted by the return of their own talented youngster Harrison Quarmby following a spell at Barnsley Woolley, however his own impressive one-man show was overshadowed by the talents of all-rounder Whitwam on this occasion. Quarmby (43) top scored in Slaithwaite’s 144ao with Whitwam taking 6-32 to top the bowling charts with 45 wickets. It was the popular all-rounder’s half-century which anchored Golcar’s reply, despite the efforts of Quarmby (3-34) as Whitwam (52) continued with pernicious consistency. Jack McNamara then finished the match with an unbeaten 24 to shepherd his side to a 146-6 reply with seven balls remaining.
Shepley Left Short-Changed As Honley Win Reduced Bash
Bad weather reduced Shepley’s clash at home to Honley to 20 overs as the visitors excelled again in similar circumstances to their impressive win at Hoylandswaine the week before. Honley’s two most experienced players Simon Kelly (34) and Danny Howard (29) led the way in this success as Honley hit their way to 117-6 batting first. Shepley’s reply hit the buffers as the Honley bowlers put the hosts under early pressure but Greg Wood’s 36 got them back on an even keel. Wood’s dismissal by Sam Denton (3-23) served to be a pivotal moment as Shepley started to lose momentum under tight bowling by skipper Timmy Taylor (2-15). They ran out 13 runs short as wickets tumbled, despite Luke Patel’s stoic 23no, missing out on a precious point by just one run as their innings closed on 104-7.