Hoylandswaine Negotiate Tricky Test
Tom Denton (Shepley) led his side to a superb win at home to Honley with a hard-earned century. His 102 took the game away from the visitors and meant that Shepley overtook Honley in the table into 4th place.
Scholes continued their meteoric rise up the Premiership table by manufacturing a win away at Broad Oak while there was a thriller at Cawthorne and Golcar came out on top in a 'must win' at home to Barkisland. Elsewhere Hoylandswaine reinforced their grip at the summit as they narrowly secured a vital win at home to second placed Moorlands whilst third placed Delph emphatically got back to winning ways by ruthlessly putting struggling Kirkburton to the sword.
Hoylandswaine's relentless assault a the top of the table took on a new dimension as they faced down second-placed Moorlands at home. Hoylandswaine, normally one of the most fluent-scoring sides in the top flight had to dig deep into their reserves to acquire six points after first bowling Moorlands out for 177 and knocked off the runs for the loss of eight wickets. It was winter signing from Denby Adnan Ghani (4-48) who tormented Moorlands with the ball and the leaders were indebted to the reliable SP Singh (73no) who dropped anchor and along with Max Joice (57) steered Hoylandswaine home.
One of the closest matches of the day was at Dark Lane where visitors Skelmanthorpe threw away an excellent opportunity to pick up a huge win in their battle against the drop. The Sykes Cup semi-finalists bowled Cawthorne out for 131 with Abbas Ahmed's five wicket haul being the pick of the bowling. They squandered six points and had to settle for two as they agonisingly fell five runs short of the hosts total, all out for 126. Daniel Stickland (5-42), another bowler in amongst the wickets for Cawthorne.
After being skittled for a low score in the previous gameweek, Delph went runs crazy at home to Kirkburton who are facing their own struggle against the drop. Craig Fletcher quickly rued the decision to bat first against a Delph team benefiting from the availability of Lancashire County cricketer Arron Lilley. It was Lilley (179) himself who revelled in an unfamiliar opening batsman role, proving just as devastating as he and Premiership leading run scorer Mosun Hussain (81) set about the Kirkburton bowling attack from the get go in a breathtaking opening partnership of 233. It was to Kirkburton's credit that they tightened up their bowling as Delph threatened to run amok but it was all too little, too late and Delph settled on 378-7. Kirkburton in reply had to recover from losing both openers early but managed to earn a modicum of self respect thanks to overseas Like Williamson (79) with the visitors bowled out for 165. Luke Procter, also off from county duty, followed up his 30 with the bat with 4-43 with the ball.
Golcar were triumphant in a 'must win' bottom of the table clash at home to Barkisland by racking up 241-9 after the Swallow Lane side took first knock. James Howson (67) but there were important contributions throughout the Golcar innings as they gave themselves a decent total to defend; one of the key reasons which has left them languishing at the lower reaches has been their brittle nature with the bat. Cometh the hour, cometh the club man and Craig Ruscoe (5-57) came up with the goods in timely fashion as he helped restrict Barkisland in their chase with Darren Robinson rueing more lost opportunities after the visitors pulled up well short of the target, all out for 169.
Two Sykes Cup semi-finalists were pitted against each other and it was in-form Scholes, who's control with the ball ensured their hosts Broad Oak never got away as they were penned down to 166-7 from their innings, despite a battling half-century by Tom McCreadie (57). Devon Smith is enjoying life in the Huddersfield League since his mid-season arrival and his 90 runs was key to the Scholes chase as they registered another comfortable win.
Shepley's fearsome home form continued apace as they carved out a winning score in a reduced overs (40) match against Honley. Both sides are enjoying strong seasons and opener Tom Denton (102) grafted out a remarkable century for Shepley as they put up more than enough to defend reaching 162-6. Honley's challenge was eroded throughout by the prolific Nasir Jamal (3-17) and youngster Ellis Booth (3-34) as they succumbed to 105ao in reply.
Thongsbridge completed a double over local rivals Armitage Bridge at home. Good bowling, particularly from spinner Will Reeves (4-26), restricted the visitors to 156ao and with Ben Raven-Hill (71no) and Philip Visser (69no) in sparkling form they knocked off the total for the loss of only 3 wickets to keep Armitage Bridge peering over their shoulder at the chasing pack near the bottom.
Rastrick produced the performance of the season to topple runaway leaders Mirfield Parish Cavaliers and also add a little spice to the top of the table during the process. Third placed Rastrick bowled out their high-flying opposition for 86 with wickets shared right across the board as James Anderson (2-13), Wasim Javed (3-24), Asif Afridi (2-24) and Oliver Pearson (2-11) made life uncomfortable for the Parish. It was a straightforward run chase which Rastrick overhauled in just 91 balls as their 89-2 secured 6 points to take home. With second placed Almondbury Wesleyans slipping to defeat too, the day got even better as Rastrick lept above them into the promotion places.
Clayton West were Almondbury Wesleyans' scourges as they downed the visitors in a close 9 run victory. Wesleyans managed to restrict the home team to 166ao, a score that's always tough to defend on Clayton West's compact ground. However skipper Kyle Hitchman (3-39) and the experienced seam bowler Craig Glover (5-39) produced a magnificent bowling display in tandem to blow apart the Wesleyans innings and bag a memorable victory.
Shelley are also enjoying a positive season and made sure of victory away at Slaithwaite. Batting first, Shelley put on 185-9, with home bowler Sohail Butt (6-53) ensuring Shelley didn't run away out of sight. Slaithwaite however didn't quite apply themselves enough with only a half century from captain Chris Coleman (53) making a solid appearance with the bat. Slaithwaite were eventually bowled out for 148 following Martin Sykes (5-53) input with the ball.
A solid 95 from Liam Fletcher was the key to Elland's comfortable win away at struggling Meltham and Peter Dobson (5-40) made sure of a 6-point haul with the ball as the hosts were scuppered in reply, all out for 171.
Lascelles Hall are putting a strong run of form in at the right time and their latest victory came away at fellow strugglers Holmfirth. A slow wicket meant Lascelles Hall had to graft hard as they set 143-9 from 50 overs, middle-order batsman Tom Wightman (43no) hunkering down with a crucial knock. It was enough runs in the end as Holmfirth's laboured in reply and finished 18 runs short, thanks mainly to a fine six wicket return by Zeeshan Khan (6-44).
Bottom-placed Kirkheaton gave their survival chances a massive shot in the arm as they spectacularly downed second-bottom Linthwaite. Another low-scoring hard-earned innings saw Kirkheaton set 153ao; Raheel Akhtar (5-41) making the most impact for Linthwaite. A brilliant bowling return from openers Haydn Charlton (4-15) and Nathan Swift (4-31) blitzed Linthwaite's reply as they crumbled hopelessly to 50ao with only two batsmen earning double figures and four ducks.
Cedar Court Conference
Bottom-placed Emley Clarence registered a priceless win to haul themselves off the bottom of the table. They edged out Mirfield in an absorbing clash by ten runs, only possible by a stunning 82no by Shannon Clarke turning their innings around batting at number 9. Clarke then completed a fantastic all-round performance with 2-61 as Mirfield subsided to 206ao in reply.
Lepton maintain their lead at the top following a routine victory after racking up 284-6. Club secretary Daniel Mulhall drew from his plentiful experience to score a fine century before Jack Mulhall (5-27) and Jonny Waring (5-45) ensured another six points towards their promotion push as Denby slumped to the bottom of the table by being bowled out for 176.
Elsewhere 3rd placed Cumberworth United (217-7) overtook 2nd placed Marsden (116ao) and lept into the promotion zone. Upperthong snared a win away at Hall Bower, Almondbury muscled out Thurstonland by 31 runs and Denby Dale bowled out Birkby Rose Hill for 146 before knocking off the target for five wickets.