Featured Image: Wasim Qasim (Delph & Dobcross) produced an irresistible spell of seam bowling with 5-30 to blow away shell-shocked Moorlands at the Memorial Ground. His opening bowling partner Shakir Muhammad (3-27) also tormented Moorlands who slipped down to fourth after Shepley collected two points in defeat at Skelmanthorpe.
Picture courtesy of Neil Cadd.
The situation is getting very tight at the bottom as Skelmanthorpe pulled out a momentous victory in a local derby at home to Shepley and Kirkburton made it back to back wins away at Honley. Elsewhere Delph & Dobcross's razor-sharp bowling blitz saw off Moorlands, Hoylandswaine edged to a win away at Thongsbridge and Scholes just keep on winning, this time at home to stricken Barkisland. In the Jedi Championship Rastrick remain at the top after edging home against Almondbury Wesleyans and in the Cedar Court Conference Lepton slipped to a surprise loss at home to Emley Clarence but stay at the summit.
Moorlands slipped to fourth in the Premiership table as second-placed visitors Delph & Dobcross dished out a ruthless performance with the ball. A decision to bat first by home captain Andrew Fortis held disastrous consequences as Wasim Qasim's (5-30) fantastic five wicket blast and Delph's leading wicket-taker Shakir Muhammad (3-27) terrorised Moorland's with an fierce display of seam and swing. Stunned hosts Moorlands crashed to 36-8 following the opening bowlers' chaos-causing spell and whilst lower order batsmen Michael Rounding and Andrew Walker gave the innings a modicum of respectability, Michael Finan took the final wicket with his only ball of the match to wrap the innings for 70ao up in the 23rd over. It took Delph a brisk 12 overs to overhaul Moorland's meagre total which pushed them 7 points ahead in second place and kept them clinging on to the coat-tails of runaway leaders Hoylandswaine. Mosun Hussain (30no) and Shreevats Goswami (34no) making little fuss with the bat.
Skelmanthorpe's second win in two has arrived just at the right time to enable them to climb out of the danger zone as they fought hard to see off near neighbours Shepley in one of the division's closest matches of the afternoon. A delayed start due to an unfit pitch didn't stop visitors Shepley heaping misery on their hosts in the first innings as Skelmanthorpe were shot down by bowlers Nadim Hussain (4-25) and Nasir Jamal (3-26), bowled out for a low score of 140. Abbas Ahmad (4-35) meanwhile had the last laugh as he routed the Shepley batting as they fell 31 runs short of the target for their second defeat in two matches on the road.
Kirkburton are another team who are falling into a timely winning habit and their latest lifeline came in an impressive win at Honley. Batting first, the visitors set 199ao thanks to Andy Smith's excellent half-century and a fifty from overseas professional Luke Williamson (56). Timmy Taylor (6-51) added to his splendid season with a six wicket plundering. Honley got themselves off to an express start racing to 50-0 off the first five overs. But it's fair to say the arrival of Yorkshire's Jack Brooks has lifted spirits amongst the Riley Lane men and the pacey strike bowler was on-form again with 6-33 to take apart the Honley challenge despite decent inputs by Simon Kelly (40) and Bjorn Taylor (41). Honley were finally dismissed for 155.
Hoylandswaine edge closer to the coveted Byrom Shield title with their latest conquest coming at the expense of Thongsbridge whose spirited display gave them a close game for the second time this season. Hoylandswaine set a challenging 268-7 with SP Singh (113) continuing his marvellous season opening the batting with a vital century. Max Joice added a half-ton as Hoylandswaine set a solid total to defend. A pair of fine knocks by Phil Visser (69) and Alex Kemp (85) kept Thongsbridge firmly in the hunt right up until the final few overs where they eventually subsided to 235ao in reply with paceman Adnan Ghani (4-40) becoming the standout bowler for Swaine.
Broad Oak headed to Armitage Bridge in buoyant spirits following their recent Sykes Cup semi-final win whilst looking to bounce back from their home defeat in the previous gameweek. The visitors took back 6 points after out-muscling the hosts by 30 runs. Batting first, Broad Oak put on 175-9 after Ben Hyde (42), Matty Butters (31) and Sean Mee (25) accumulated with the bat. Bridge recovered from a disastrous start of 2-2 but were eventually bowled out for 145. Robin Broom (29) top scoring.
The Scholes juggernaut continues apace as sorry Barkisland, marooned at the basement were swept aside despite a spirited innings from Jake Finch (82). Brook brothers Tom (4-35) and Josh (3-68) kept the visitors in check. Scholes made light work of the chase as Joe Carter (86no) hit his straps and is heading into the Sykes Cup final showdown in fearsome form. Devon Smith (42) offered good support too as Scholes eased to victory.
Golcar found themselves back in the bottom two and now have just eight matches to save themselves. Their latest defeat came at the hands of fellow strugglers Cawthorne who mercilessly slayed them to move into the safer reaches of mid-table after the sides above them lost. Golcar were bowled out for 112 with only captain Steve Whitwam (30) offering much in the way of defiance as Dan Stickland (3-13) worked them over. Cawthorne reached their target for the lost of four wickets and snare a huge win as they made almost certain of playing Premiership cricket next season.
Leaders Rastrick fought tooth and nail to overcome third-placed Almondbury Wesleyans and maintain their place at the summit. They bowled well to restrict their visitors to 155ao with Asif Afridi (5-21) doing most of the damage. But Wesleyans are a force to be reckoned with and showed that by working their lofty hosts hard. Afridi (51) followed his exploits with the ball up in fine style after his half-century put them on firmly course and James Anderson (31no) saw the job home at the end as Wesleyans just couldn't find that crucial breakthrough and missed the chance to get back into the top two.
Slaithwaite were the downfall of Mirfield Parish Cavaliers who have run into a catastrophic run of form at the business end of the season with this, their 5th defeat in 6 matches. Mirfield Parish batting first set a reasonable 161ao but Slaithwaite, led superbly by captain Chris Coleman (37) and Chris Shannon (29) made sure of a great win to topple Parish.
Shelley also missed a golden opportunity as they slid to a suprise defeat at home to struggling Holmfirth. The visitors were in trouble batting first but a battling last wicket stand of 66 pushed Holmfirth to a more defendable 206ao. Shelley, despite Joe Sykes (80) fine innings pushed them but ended a frustrating 9 runs short on 197ao in response.
Kirkheaton's position at the bottom looks increasingly perilous as they fell to defeat away at Elland. After restricting their hosts to 189ao; Liam Fletcher (80) top-scoring, Kirkheaton's fragility with the bat was ruthlessly exposed once again as rampant Elland led by Alistair Finn (3-10) and Tom Thornton (3-16) crushed the reply as Kirkheaton collapsed to 84ao.
Meltham remained in the bottom two after a crushing defeat at home to Clayton West. Kyle Kitchman (47) led the visitors to 204-9. Meltham's despondency with the bat became increasingly evident on this showing as they were sheared by a pair of Barbers; Tom (3-28) and Dan (4-39).
Linthwaite also remain in trouble third from bottom in their latest defeat away at Lascelles Hall. Sheheryar Hassan (3-24) added to Linthwaite's woes as they subsided to 139ao batting first. Zahed Ahmed (40) and William Simpson (40no) were both chief contributors to Lascelles Hall's comprehensive win.
Cedar Court Conference
Lepton Highlanders slumped to a shock home defeat against improving Emley Clarence who not long ago propped up the bottom division but now find themselves being a force to be reckoned with and move up to 7th place. They bowled out Lepton for 120 with thanks to overseas professional Shannon Clarke (5-30). Lepton consoled themselves with two points after Emley lost eight wickets chasing down the lowly total; Nabeel (37) leading his side to a memorable victory.
Marsden brushed off Almondbury by 12 runs in a crunch match to remain in second place in the promotion zone. Elsewhere bottom-side Birkby Rose Hill squeaked home by 7 runs at home to Thurstonland and Upperthong collapsed from 94-5 to 95ao at home to Mirfield, losing by 33 runs. Hall Bower kept in the hunt for a promotion spot after seeing off Denby Dale and second-bottom Denby scored a surprise win at home to promotion-chasing Cumberworth United by bowling out the visitors for 130 and reaching 134-4 in reply