Featured Image: Tom Brook (Scholes) submitted an early bid for performance of the season after first stunning Kirkburton with a brutal 116no (13 fours, 8 sixes!) and then performing the coup de grace with the ball finishing with 3-59.
The two pacesetters in the Premiership are Hoylandswaine and current champions, Delph & Dobcross. Both registered wins to maintain their 100% records as 3rd placed Thongsbridge fell to their second straight defeat.
Hoylandswaine; division leaders on average runs per wicket rate took care of in-form neighbours Cawthorne in the typically ruthless style that has benchmarked their season so far. Cawthorne were restricted to 165ao having been inserted by their visitors with just Ben Simpson (54) inflicting any serious damage with the bat. It took Hoylandswaine just 32 overs to coast to a comfortable victory as they made 166-4 in reply. Former Shepley all-rounder SP Singh (65) and Chris Holliday (54) continued their strong form with the bat to ensure they came home with six points.
It wasn't quite so cut and dried for Delph & Dobcross who won away at Skelmanthorpe in a tight game at Lidgett Lane. It looked to be anything but that as Delph got off to a flyer, making early inroads with the ball since Skelmanthorpe elected to bat first after winning the toss. An excellent 6th wicket partnership of 137 by wicketkeeper Luke Webster (77) and all-rounder Aizaz Khan (59) got the home side out of peril at 61-5, eventually going on to set a testing 243-9 total with Shakir Muhammad (5-43) starring with the ball. Skelmanthorpe will have been heartened by their 2nd innings performance and had Delph under the cosh early in their reply. Lancashire County pair Luke Procter (68) and Arron Lilley (85) settled the ship with a fine partnership of 126 and despite a nervy finish where three quick wickets fell they eased home with an over to spare. Skelmanthorpe skipper James Crossland the stand-out bowler with 4-76 off 14 overs.
Thongsbridge's second defeat of the season came in the shape of a revitalised Broad Oak at home. Jack Hargreaves' side have themselves had the tonic of back-to-back victories to move up to fourth after setting Thongsbridge a tough 276-6 chase with several key contributions in particular Hargreaves (63) and wicketkeeper Matty Butters (77). Thongsbridge were unable to draw upon the batting prowess of the previous weeks exploits at Hoylandswaine as they finished well short on 148ao. John Keeling keeping the hosts in check with 3-11.
Honley leapfrogged both Thongsbridge and Cawthorne into third with a crushing win at home to struggling Golcar who have yet to taste victory in the league since the opening day. After winning the toss they failed to set a good enough total on Honley's spacious ground. Golcar captain Steve Whitwam (32) didn't receive as much support as he'd have liked as they stuttered to 134ao with Timmy Taylor's five wicket haul the main contributing factor. Honley are enjoying a much stronger start compared to last season's campaign and brushed Golcar aside breezing to 135-1 in a rapid 23 overs. Will Fraine (55no) and Simon Kelly (55) doing the damage.
Shepley's turbulent season hit another snag with a surprise defeat away at bottom club Armitage Bridge in a low-scoring match. batting first, the home side may have felt another defeat loomed after limping to 130ao as Nadim Hussain (3-24) and Oliver Davidson (4-17) tormented them with the ball. A complete middle-order collapse in reply did it for the visitors as Shepley went from 46-3 to a shell-shocked 70ao. Overseas Matthew Wallbank (5-33) and captain Daniel Moorhouse (3-8) ensured Bridge climbed out of the bottom two for the first time this season.
Moorlands bounced back in convincing style by defeating visitors Barkisland by six wickets. Barkisland who batted first were bowled out for 236 with visiting captain Darren Robinson falling one run shy of a century and overseas Tinofara Mafusire's 65 helping them on their way. The home side paced their reply well ensuring precious wickets were in the bank and reached 239-4 with four overs remaining. Contributions were spread across the board from Winn (49), Fortis (44), Mukhtar (74) and Liam Smith (31).
Kirkburton crumbled at Chapelgate in a lower-half see-saw match against Scholes. The visitors had Scholes in early trouble at 122-5 but a brutal century by Tom Brook (116no) led Scholes to a more solid 233-7 at tea. Kirkburton were looking in control for much of the second innings led by opener Andy Smith (67). Once Smith was out caught in the gully Kirkburton collapsed from 164-6 to 170ao as Brook (3-59) completed a man of the match performance for his team.
Joint leaders Almondbury Wesleyans and Mirfield Parish Cavaliers both slipped up and suffered inaugural defeats. Shelley took advantage of the situation by hammering Kirkheaton whilst Elland also got into the mix at the top of the table.
Meltham, bottom of the division at the start of play proved anyone can beat anyone on their day by overturning lofty leaders Mifield Parish Cavaliers at Mean Lane by the narrowest of margins with a ball to spare. Parish were missing their talisman Tim Orrell due to a hurt thumb and managed to reach 200ao in their innings. Meltham were thankful for several contributors with the bat as they reached the summit with only two wickets left to win a tight match.
Almondbury Wesleyans failed to take advantage of Mifield Parish's slip-up as they themselves succumbed to a loss away at Elland, despite Will Binns' 72. Thomas Haytack (4-25) the leading Elland bowler. Liam Fletcher (61) and Mitchell O'Brien (65) fired Elland to a five wicket win.
Shelley were in fearsome form with the bat as they put sorry Kirkheaton to the sword. A century from captain Louis Sykes (110) and Nick Sharp's 78 enabling Shelley to reach 309-6. Kirkheaton were never in the hunt crashing to 125ao thanks to Shelley overseas Matt Dyson's 5-34.
Rastrick and Linthwaite played out a thrilling tie at Round Hill. The evergreen Quasir Rashid (87) helped Linthwaite post 240-8 and the visitors held their nerve in reply as they took the last Rastrick wicket with the scores level.
Elsewhere Slaithwaite came out on top at home to lowly Holmfirth by four wickets and there was a late result from the Lascelles Hall vs Clayton West match.
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Leaders Lepton Highlanders powered to another win to maintain their 100% start. They were too strong at home to an inconsistent Hall Bower side who were bowled out for 145. Lepton glided to 147-3 thanks mainly to Muhammad Hussain's unbeaten 52.
Cumberworth United remain in hot pursuit as they saw off Birkby Rose Hill. Cumberworth put 268-5 on the board first up; Maskill (83no) and Brook (66no) the mainstays of the innings. Birkby put up a spirited challenge but fell short on 233ao after Chris Kilner's five wickets.
There were easy wins for Denby Dale over Thurstonland and Almondbury over Emley Clarence. Elsewhere Denby's luckless season continues as they failed to defend 290-7 at home to Mirfield and third-placed Marsden suffered a hiccup losing away to out-of-sorts Upperthong.