Moorlands made their presence felt at the top of the table, emerging as three run winners in an epic tussle with fellow heavyweights Hoylandswaine thanks to James Stansfield's big hitting (main image). Thongsbridge increased their cushion at the top to eight points as they easily bypassed basement side Slaithwaite. Delph & Dobcross’ worries deepened after they were outclassed at home to Armitage Bridge with second bottom Mirfield Parish Cavaliers also tasting defeat at Golcar. Honley’s buoyant first innings total was enough to deny Scholes their fifth consecutive league win and Barkisland’s strong home record resumed with victory over Broad Oak. Shepley and Kirkburton’s match was called off following a positive Covid infection in the Shepley camp.
Stanfield And Sykes Stun Swaine As Moorlands Win Classic
Title holders Hoylandswaine were edged out in a pulsating thriller at home to Moorlands who claimed a vital victory to keep their objective of lifting a first ever Byrom Shield on track. Not for the first time this season have Moorlands had to dig deep to get over the line but on this occasion the reward was being thrust into the mix at the top of the table. Batting first, the visitors appeared to be wounded on 56-5 but the vastly experienced James Stansfield chose the perfect moment to score his biggest ever score for the team he’s been involved with since leaving Scholes in the Bradford League in 2018. His unbeaten 77, scored from 66 balls provided the bedrock of a remarkable recovery which lifted Moorlands to 193-8, aided and abetted by lower order batsmen Andrew Fortis (18) and Arsaan Razzaq (23). Adnan Ghani claimed a 25th wicket of the season by taking 4-50. Both teams are littered with matchwinners and Hoylandswaine once again relied on their lower order to dig them out of trouble once Darrell Sykes (5-47) had blown a gaping hole in Swaine’s gameplan. At 57-6 Christian Jackson stepped in to begin an incredible rearguard action as Moorlands bowlers continued to chip away. They had slipped further to 120-9 when he and Muhammad Azzharullah began to defy their opponents and had got to within 4 runs of winning an incredible contest when Siraj Sajid nabbed his only wicket of the day by snaring last man Azzharullah, caught behind for 41. Jackson’s 67no at least earned Hoylandswaine a couple of bonus points from a result that throws another layer of complexity into the title race.
Seven For Thongsbridge’s Tom In Slaithwaite Slaying
Tom Raven-Hill (above) enjoyed a personal best ever bowling return as he helped Thongsbridge move eight points clear at the top of the table. The one-club man has often been utilised for bowling support rather as a frontline attacker but he put his case forward in emphatic fashion in the absence of usual opener Zafar Iqbal. Raven-Hill savaged Slaithwaite taking 7-59 which moves him just behind Kirkburton’s John Keeling in this season’s best Premiership bowling performances. His fellow opener Ben Balmforth (2-26) help tidy up a satisfying afternoon’s work with the ball as visiting Slaithwaite struggled with Wajid Hussain (25) and Dale Brooke (21) the only players to make an impression in their 119ao. Runs were shared around the leaders’ reply of 121-4 inside 20 overs with Rory France (30), Kai Greig (24) and Richard Marshall (28no) leading the way.
Armitage Bridge Openers Deal Delph Harsh Lesson
Opening batsmen Jaycub Curtling and Alex Blagborough handed Delph a chastening lesson on their own ground as they racked up the Premiership’s highest score of the season. Captain Curtling (84) and Blagborough (83) took full advantage of a Delph bowling attack weakened by the absences of regular bowlers Xander Selby and Nathan Jones. Joshua Taylor totalled 44) and Andy Gledhill slammed a quick 31 in 14 balls at the end to push Bridge to an unassailable 299-8 with Umer Yaqoob (2-76) and Rizwan Ali (3-71) suffering the least mutilation. Bridge had not won in nine attempts on this ground but they emphatically completed the victory despite a 52 run first wicket partnership between the league’s leading runscorer Mosun Hussain (35) and opening partner Hassan Hussain (30). Visiting bowlers Jack Hinchliffe (4-54) supported by Taylor (3-36) and Musa Ahmed (3-2) quickly got into the rest as the hosts subsided to 106ao.
Late Rally No Use For Parish at Golcar
Mirfield Parish Cavaliers’ late first innings rally wasn’t enough to prevent them sliding to their seventh defeat of the season away at Golcar. Dan Hope’s half century helped wag the tail after Golcar bowlers Steve Whitwam, Jack McNamara and Will Hinchliffe gained control sharing eight wickets between them. Hope (52no) joined forces with Nick Sharp (35) to help the visitors reach a competitive 170-9 from a compromised position at 139-8. They were unable to defend this thanks to a solid reply from the home side. Several Golcar batsmen were in the runs as Golcar replied with 171-5 after 30 overs. James Howson (26), former Parish man Muhammad Ali (38), McNamara (31) and Jake Lockwood (32) all enjoyed profitable innings as Golcar rose to fourth in the table. Parish meanwhile remain in the bottom two.
Honley Back In Business To Scupper Scholes
Honley denied the divisions form team Scholes with a satisfying first innings performance with contributions spread across the top order. All seven Honley batsmen returned double figure scores as they made use of batting first. Charlie Jakeman (34) and skipper Timmy Taylor (30) were the biggest run-makers in Honley’s 199-5, but Bradley Birkhead’s side made a fist of the reply before they fell short by 14 runs. Their 185-9 reply was built solidly enough around a half century by opener Yaasir Imtiaz (65). However when he departed at 123-2, the visitors lost vital momentum as Honley stalwart Archie Moore’s son claimed his first five wicket haul for the first team. Harry Moore (5-61) and Taylor (2-21) put pressure on Scholes’ lower order who were unable to push on and had to be satisfied with two bonus points as they were held to 185-9.
Broad Oak Fall At Gates Of Fortress Barkisland
Barkisland’s impressive home record once again saw another visiting team run out of steam as Broad Oak became the home side’s fourth casualty in five league matches this season. Ben Heritage (40) and Seth Oddy (38) were key men in Barkisland’s 168ao first innings total with South African Alistair Snowden (5-40) making his best impression with the ball for Oak since joining in the winter. Barkisland bowlers Jake Finch (2-29), Cameran Van Rensburg (3-44) and Luke Bridges (3-15) ran through a below par reply of 117ao by the visitors with Charlie Roebuck (22) top scoring. Barkisland’s win moves them into mid-table as Oak look warily over the shoulders in 10th.