Featured Image: Will Fraine (Honley) fired his first century for the Far End Lane club away at rock-bottom Barkisland. His 139 runs came off 115 balls as Honley set a gargantuan 338-5 in a match reduced to 45 overs per side. Alex Scholefield also hit a century for the home side but his 116 was ultimately in vain as Honley cruised to the win.
Picture courtesy of Neil Cadd.
Two Premiership teams fighting at the wrong end of the table picked up wins to keep their dreams of safety alive with Kirkburton & Skelmanthorpe both boosting their chances after their new signings shined. Leaders Hoylandswaine cruised to a routine home win against Armitage Bridge and a Will Fraine century fired Honley to complete a double away at Barkisland. Meanwhile in the Championship; Mirfield Parish Cavaliers rediscovered their mojo in a win against Shelley and Rastrick maintained their lead at the top.
As the matches whittle away Kirkburton inflicted a first league defeat on Golcar in four matches to keep their survival hopes well and truly alive with an essential 6 points. Visiting Kirkburton set 170ao batting first following a half-century from Toby Booth (50) and a useful 43 from captain Craig Fletcher. The visitors, taking advantage of the availability of Yorkshire county bowler Jack Brooks, scythed through the Golcar ranks during their reply as the hosts were ruthlessly bowled out for 84. Brooks helped himself to 3-30 and Javaid Ahmad's (5-43) five wicket hall were enough to send Golcar to a damaging defeat to ensure they still have work to do if they want to play Premiership cricket next season.
Skelmanthorpe welcomed back Mike Kitson to the fold and his 82 proved pivotal in a win away at Broad Oak. Following the hosts one-sided victory in the Sykes Cup Semi-Final just 6 days previously, Skelmanthorpe were acutely aware of the dangers posed by Jack Hargreaves' side but bowled with great control to limit Broad Oak to 168ao, which was later revised to 148 due to second innings rain showers. Aizaz Khan (5-54) was the main man in the Skelmanthorpe bowling performance. Kitson's 82, with support from Allan Greenwood (25) saw Skelmanthorpe reach 149-7 and take back 6 precious points, though they remain in the relegation zone.
Barkisland fell further behind at the bottom following a dominant victory for visitors Honley. With two half centuries and a ton, Honley blitzed the Barkisland bowlers reaching 338-5 in a reduced 45 overs; Will Fraine's 139 off 115 balls, a maiden century for the youngster with good support from captain Simon Kelly (52) and Timmy Taylor (61). Barkisland's Alex Scholefield registered a century at both ends of the spectrum as after going for 100 off his bowling, he redressed the balance with a fine 116 with the bat but Barkisland fell well short on 239-9, even with Honley's total revised to 326 due to the elements.
Hoylandswaine romped to another victory and extended their lead to 21 points after second placed Moorlands failed to win in a profitable day for the leaders. Ryan Robinson's side have the title firmly in the cross hairs as they overhauled visiting Armitage Bridge's 227ao with consummate ease. Matthew West's (66) half-century and solid input from Andy Gledhill (46) wasn't enough for the visitors with Hoylandswaine's batsmen in rampant form. A fine century from Max Joice (117no) and 65no from opener SP Singh took Swaine to a triumph with 12 overs remaining.
Danny Glover put in a remarkable captain's performance to topple Moorlands from their lofty perch at Marsh Lane. The Shepley skipper helped shoot down the visitors to 152ao with 6-39 from his dangerous seam bowling and then followed that up with a superb 65no. Aqeel Muhtar (69no) was the only Moorlands batsman to offer resistance to Shepley's momentum.
Thongsbridge edged out Cawthorne to leapfrog them in the table and further strengthen their hand at the bottom. Richard Wagstaff's visitors set 183ao at Dark Lane thanks mainly to a solid 74 from Ben Raven-Hill taking him to over 800 runs in what's been a fine season for him. Cawthorne's reply faltered and they finished 28 runs shy on 155 following spinner Will Reeves' (8-40) eight wicket mauling of the home side.
Last season's champions Delph & Dobcross could only lament the dividing Pennine hills as rain set in just too much in their match at home to in-form Scholes. Umpires Steven Sykes and David Nunns couldn't foresee any chances of play and called off the match, but the inactivity wasn't all bad news for Delph who managed to move up a place into second following Moorlands' defeat.
The Championship's match of the day fell down at Wellhouse Lane as second placed Mirfield Parish Cavaliers took on third placed Shelley. The hosts shook off a wretched run of recent form and posted a menacing 275ao with Terrance James (56) & Nazar Hussain (63) top scoring for the home side. Shelley's challenge subsided despite a fine century from Hasnat Yousef (112) and with James Hardcastle (5-83) in impervious form with the ball Shelley slumped to 250ao, but collected two points for their efforts which may still prove crucial in the final reckoning.
Rastrick kept up their assault at the top. After cruelly missing out last season, Rastrick are well-placed to go one better as they swept aside bottom club Kirkheaton. The travellers put Kirkheaton well under the cosh from the start with only Nathan Swift (42) offering hope to the struggling hosts as they were bowled out for 154. Asif Afridi put in a strong all-round showing after taking 4-57 with the ball and smashing a 92no with the bat as Rastrick reached 157-6 and took away 6 more points.
Clayton West hammered the afternoon's largest total as they made sorry Linthwaite toil at home. The visitors, who went into play on the back of a confidence boosting win against Almondbury Wesleyans, were deflated once again after Clayton West reached 374-5 batting first. Kyle Hitchman (118) was destroyer-in-chief with opener Alex Clegg (88) and Tom Barber (62) also filling their boots in a rampant first innings. Linthwaite still showed heart and reached 237ao from their innings with Greg Alexander (94) also enjoying a good afternoon for batsmen. Tom Barber (4-75) and Dan Barber (4-69) both sharing eight wickets for the T20 finalists.
Holmfirth boosted their survival chances and moved out of the bottom two as they shot down inconsistent Elland at home. Khalid Mehmood (68) and Elliot Santner (46) helped the hosts reach 205-7 from their 50 overs and Max Gummerson (4-34) wrapped up a vital victory as they bowled Elland out for 143 in reply.
Almondbury Wesleyans completed a straight-forward win at home to Lascelles Hall with Jacob Gibson (76) starring with the bat. Wesleyans set 204-7 from 50 overs with Sheheryar Hassan (5-68) keeping the home side in check. It was far too many in the end for Lascelles Hall who could only make 119ao after Ben Shufflebotham's (5-24) shift as first change bowler.
Melthem have been sucked back into trouble in the bottom two as they crashed to defeat against near neighbours across the Colne valley Slaithwaite. Melham were skittled for 175 as James Moulson (49) top scored and Harrison Quarmby (4-24) inflicted damage with the ball. Slaithwaite's innings was flourished by a superb century from Abdul Rehman (110no) helping his team romp to a dominant 7 wicket win reaching 176-3.
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Both 2nd placed Marsden and 3rd placed Cumberworth suffered defeats as Lepton Highlanders put more daylight between them as they routed Denby Dale to extend their lead at the top to 13 points. Lepton mercilessly put Denby Dale to the sword at home after bowling them out for 149 and Jacob Mulhall's (52no) unbeaten half-century completed the win.
Marsden in second placed crashed to a defeat at improving Emley Clarence, posting 249-5 with Imran Malik (99) frustratingly missing out on a century for the visitors. Safraz Ahmed (110) still showed he had a lot to offer as the elder statesman fired a century as Emley put on 253-3 to secure the win.
Third-placed Cumberworth United fell just 11 runs short of Upperthong's 208-7. Henry Frankland (4-40) restricted Cumberworth's challenge to 197ao in reply. Elsewhere, bottom-placed Denby secured a good win away at Thurstonland, chasing down their score of 190ao for the loss of 7 wickets. Hall Bower record a thrilling 3 wicket win at home to Birkby Rose Hill as 147ao played 144ao and Mirfield overhauled Almondbury's 161ao for the loss of four wickets at the Memorial Ground.