Chris Walmsley (Cawthorne) put in a captain's innings of 93 with the bat as he led his team to an emphatic victory at home to Barkisland who themselves stay in trouble just above the drop zone.
Picture courtesy of the Huddersfield Examiner
In a battle of the divisions top two teams, something had to give way as Hoylandswaine exacted Delph & Dobcross's first defeat of the season. On a rain affected afternoon, Honley registered a thoroughly emphatic victory and Scholes welcomed the return of the prolific Joe Carter with a win away at Skelmanthorpe.
Hoylandswaine and Delph & Dobcross were locked together, separated only by a runs per wicket average before the days play. It was Hoylandswaine that gave themselves daylight between the sides in the table and inflicted a first defeat over visitors Delph on the field in all competitions for 20 months. Rain on the day reduced the match to 40 overs each with Delph inserting the home side first. Ironically it was Hoylandswaine that were the last team to defeat Delph in the 2015 season and they gave themselves a solid platform to exert their authority. Gharib Nawaz (92) was the man who gave the innings a solid backbone as Delph tried in vain to keep a potent scoring side in check. Swaine set a formidable 262-9 helped along by Chris Holliday's 43 with Lancashire all-rounder Luke Procter (3-72) making his mark for Delph. In reply, Delph were facing scoreboard pressure almost all innings with just 29 runs off the first ten overs. The real turning point came when two of Delph's most prominent batsmen Mosun Hussain (23) and Shreevats Goswami (9) were both dismissed within an over and from then on Hoylandswaine suffocated Delph with some solid bowling by Rhandawa (3-37) and Imran Arif (3-50). It was a damaging afternoon all-in-all for Delph as they fell just a couple of runs short of a useful batting point. The sides will meet again at the same venue in the Sykes Cup quarter finals in a weeks time.
Honley tempered their recent slump with a fine win at a tough ground; Armitage Bridge. The hosts have been excellent on home turf this season but were overpowered by a Honley side that moved up a place with a convincing 9 wicket win. With the weather cutting short the innings by three overs, Armitage Bridge were behind the barrel early on after Honley reduced them to 23-3 but the recovered enough to make the game seem competitive reaching 134-7 indebted to Jaycob Curtling's battling 61no. Honley's skipper, and prolific opening batter Simon Kelly is in danger of being labelled an all-rounder after his 3-17 curtailed Bridge's recovery. He led the way with a half century in reply as Honley romped to victory reaching 135-1. Will Fraine (55no) was another half-tonner who's enjoying a brilliant season so far.
Cawthorne bounced back to winning ways by dispatching inconsistent Barkisland, who still managed to steer clear of slipping into the bottom two. Captain Chris Walmsley (93) led his side to a superb win, ably assisted by Iqbal Khan's half-century. Their total of 219-7 wasn't challenged by Barkisland as their upper order failed to spark. They recovered slightly from 48-5 but the damage had already been done by Cawthorne with Faisal Hussain (4-24) being the star man with the ball.
Scholes welcomed back their talisman batter Joe Carter, responding with 55 as they put on 158-9 in a weather-enforced 30 over thrash away at Lidgett Lane. James Crossland (4-51) and Abbas Ahmed (3-50) the Skelmanthorpe bowlers attempting to keep the lid on Scholes' talented batting power. The hosts couldn't stop leaking wickets in the second innings and Tom Chadwick's (5-20) "five-fer" secured a good result for Scholes as they will look to rise up the table after a disappointing first half of the season.
Golcar's troubles deepened away at third placed Moorlands. James Howson (41) must have watched on in despair after Golcar were blown away by bowlers Nicky Smith (4-32) and Michael Padgett (3-28), finally dismissed for 116. Moorlands reached their target with ease, led by captain Andrew Fortis (43) as they narrowed the gap to second-placed Delph by 6 points.
Kirkburton missed a big opportunity to scramble out of the drop zone after they were defeated away at Thongsbridge who have thoroughly impressed on their first season back in the Premiership for over 15 years. The visitors were bowled out for 154 despite Siraj Sajid's 40. Tom Raven-Hill (3-36) and Saqib Iqbal (3-39) kept Kirkburton under the cosh and Ben Raven-Hill (78no) followed up his excellent 148 the previous Sunday with another impressively applied knock as Thongsbridge raced to victory.
The only match that failed to beat the weather was at Broad Oak where a brilliant contest looked to be shaping up. Visitors Shepley displayed their proficiency with the ball by bowling out their hosts for 135; a lower order rearguard action by Tom McCreadie (27) and Adam France (25) ensuring it wasn't an even lower total. Shepley were at 38-3 when a deluge from the skies came in and finished the match before a rain-rule result could be achieved. Both teams took away 2 points each but lose ground to Honley and Moorlands who both won.
1st met 3rd in the division's top match and it was leaders Mirfield Parish Cavaliers who extended their cushion by defeating visitors Almondbury Wesleyans after second-placed Shelley lost at Rastrick. Nazar Hussain (81no) and Tim Orrell (50) made Wes suffer and the Parish wrapped up the win by bowling their rivals out for 130.
Shelley slipped up away at improving Rastrick which now stretches the gap to Mirfield Parish Cavaliers to ten points. After being asked to bat first Shelley were bowled out by Rastrick for 183. Louis Sykes (46) top scoring for Shelley but missing out on a half-century. Rastrick made no mistake in chasing down that total for the loss of 4 wickets. Ovais Hussain's solid fifty was the key to their success.
Elland slumped to a damaging defeat in their quest for a quick return to the Premiership after they lost at home to Clayton West who moved ahead of them in the table. Skipper and overseas pro Kyle Hitchman was the man of the match for Clayton West after his 4-40 with the ball helped bowl Elland out for a low score of 114. The Kiwi import fired 37no with the bat as the away side took back six welcome points with a 6-wicket win.
Holmfirth registered a 35-run win in a low scoring affair at home to struggling Kirkheaton and two more matches in the Colne Valley were cut short. Slaithwaite made 169-9 at home to Lascelles Hall and had their visitors toiling at 32-3 when rain stopped play for the final time. Meanwhile Meltham reached 201-7 at home to Linthwaite and must have been even more frustrated after they reduced their cross-valley rivals to 19-5 in reply but had to settle for two points each.
Cedar Court Conference
The main match in the Conference didn't even get going as leaders Lepton Highlanders were called off against second-placed Marsden without a ball being bowled in anger disappointingly.
Third placed Cumberworth United weren't able to take advantage of their peers lack of activity as they fell to a narrow defeat to Thurstonland on the rain rule. Hosts Thurstonland were bowled out for 164 and this was revised to 124 following rain interruptions after tea. Kaleel Ahmed (39) being the highest scorer for the home team. Cumberworth's reply was steady and they were looking to pace their chase well but when more rain ended the match they were just 9 runs short of the revised total. George Parkes was left high and not very dry on a frustrating 49no for Cumberworth.
Elsewhere Upperthong knocked off a quickfire win, bowling out hosts Birkby Rose Hill for 58, reaching 60-0 in good time and sending their hapless hosts to the foot of the table in a miserable day for Birkby. Denby (185-8) got themselves off the bottom of the table with a battling win away at fellow strugglers Emley Clarence (184-9). Almondbury registered a solid win away at Denby Dale, all-out for 240 in the first innings but bowling out their hosts for 155 in the second. There was no play at Hall Bower against Mirfield.