Lewis Evans, one of three centurions on a run-filled afternoon at Lidgett Lane, drove Honley to a sensational run chase at Skelmanthorpe to keep tabs on runaway pair Hoylandswaine and Scholes, who both swept to victory. Thongsbridge blew away Kirkburton to propel themselves into the top six and send their opponents tumbling into the drop zone.
Skelmanthorpe were left stunned as Honley mounted a fierce run-chase to overhaul the home side’s imposing 277-3 total. Paul Cummins and Jack Newby laid on 244 runs for the first wicket, a record for an opening wicket stand which they themselves set earlier in the season. Cummins stroked a patient 127 from a mammoth 172 ball stay (18 fours, no sixes) whereas his partner kept a run-a-ball strike rate by hitting 122 in 121 balls (10 fours, 6 sixes). A surely-exhausted Cummins then sent down 14 overs for just 49 runs but was unable to prevent visitors Honley maintaining a assiduous pursuit, led by Honley’s Australian import Evans (pictured above). The South Australian was a stubborn presence by finishing the match on an unbeaten 124 from 143 deliveries. He sent 13 fours to the boundaries and added four maximums to wrestle the game back into Honley’s favour. Jeremy Hackett (37), Isaac Eustance (33) and Lewis Kenworthy (49no) all crucially contributed as the visitors completed the win with two overs to spare on 279-4.
Roscoe Tahhtil took six wickets for Kirkburton but wasn’t able to prevent Kirkburton slipping into the bottom three for the first time this season. The Sri-Lankan took 6-55 but was expensive as Thongsbridge targeted the spinners. In-form batsman Kai Greig worked his way to another half-century with 64, to go alongside 75no and 136no in his last three matches. Pragam Sharma (52) too was a big part of the hosts’ 254-9 total as the visitors toiled with the ball, conceding too many extras. Without Tahhtil’s 46, Kirkburton’s reply may have been embarrassing as they were tormented by veteran seamer Zafar Iqbal (5-48, pictured above). Kirkburton were eventually dismissed for 107 as Thongsbridge continued their rise with a third straight success.
Bottom side Delph’s woes continued at home to Barkisland who sneaked home by just one wicket. The visitors had control of most of the game after they had reduced struggling Delph to 95-7 but Xander Selby (32) and Isaac Jones (27) fought back admirably to reach 161ao in the final over. Luke Bridges (pictured above) took 2-34 with his spin bowling and his 67 off the bat looked to have put a routine win firmly within reach, particularly when he piled three towering sixes from young bowler Braeden O’Donnell. However the outcome looked less certain when Delph then took five wickets in the space of 18 balls starting with Bridges going for one too many, castled by the promising Lancashire bowler. Adnan Ghani (3-42), reintroduced to the fray, ran through a stunned Barkisland middle order but they managed to hang on sufficiently to get over the line on 162-9.
Moorlands let slip a solid start at Scholes who kept up the pace with Hoylandswaine at the top. Shoulkat Ali (65) and Michael McEwan (45) shared 102 runs for the second wicket partnership but they unravelled under pressure from Scholes’ Australian spin bowler Jack Shelley (4-54, pictured above). Chasing Moorlands’ 188ao, Yorkshire duo James Wharton (54no) and Benji Birkhead (51) was key to their seventh victory of the season as Scholes responded with 192-3.
Bowlers Junaid Khan (pictured above) and Muhammad Azzharullah made light work of sweeping aside Shepley as Hoylandswaine emphatically responded to their previous week’s loss at home to Scholes. The pair dismantled Shepley inside 25 overs as Khan took 4-53 and Azharullah made his third 5-wicket haul of the season with 5-35, placing him well on course to eclipse the 78 wickets he took in 2021. Former Hoylandswaine man Max Joice top scored with 30 but Shepley’s 96ao was quickly settled with opener Furqan Shafiq finishing with 71no in Swaine’s 99-2 reply.
Broad Oak’s Ben Lowden carved a precise fifty to lead his team to a 40-run win at Almondbury Wesleyan. Lowden (50) and Tom McCreadie (32) helped Oak set a first innings score of 188-9 but they needed a 36 from no. 10 Adam France to negate nagging bowling by the hosts, with four Wesleyans’ bowlers taking two wickets each. Daniel Taylor (4-48, pictured above) claimed his 36th wicket of the season as the home side frittered away a decent start to the reply by falling from 51-2 to 98-7. Stephen Lane’s spirited 22 wasn’t enough as Oak completed the win by bowling out Wesleyan for 148.
A remarkable run of form for Jack Mcnamara’s Golcar has seen them rise out of the bottom three to eighth and they ruthlessly demolished visiting Armitage Bridge in their latest success, who remain in the drop zone. The evergreen Steve Whitwam (pictured above) celebrated his best day out of the season with the ball as he took 6-19 to concuss Bridge, who were dismissed for 83. Opening bat Whitwam also made 36 in a reply of 86-1 to seal a fourth consecutive win.
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