By Jamie Harrison, media secretary, Huddersfield Cricket League
Spinner Max Morley claimed another five-wicket haul as title holders Hoylandswaine closed in on their fourth successive Byrom Shield.
Morley’s 5-33 helped see off Armitage Bridge and the inevitable title could be secured over next weekend’s double header.
Holmfirth-based Morley dominated after Muhammad Azharullah (3-49) took the heart out of the visitors and Bridge’s 112ao would’ve been worse had it not been for the 27 runs scored by penultimate batsman Jack Hinchliffe.
Asif Iqbal and Chris Holliday both scored 32 in the reply as the hosts cruised to their 15th win of the season with 113-4.
Delph & Dobcross all but made certain they will be playing Premiership cricket in 2022 after they fought back from a compromising position during a fierce ‘must win’ standoff at the bottom of the table at home to Mirfield Parish Cavaliers.
Nothing but victory would be sufficient for the visitors and their battling performance was eclipsed by a match-winning innings from Mosun Hussain.
Just about every player contributed for Parish with the bat on their way to a first innings score of 200ao, largely underpinned by Dan Broadbent’s 48. That they couldn’t bat out their innings, leaving nearly four overs unplayed, has been a nagging theme for Parish.
However on this occasion their lot was cut short thanks to the skill of Delph’s main prong of attack with the ball; Umer Yaqoob (4-51).
Delph were in dire trouble after slumping to 34-4 despite opener Will Mott’s rapid 20 that eventually proved invaluable. Whilst the classy Hussain – in his fourth season with Delph – stayed in, hope would remain on a batting surface perfectly suited to his abilities.
It took the addition of skipper Xander Selby to finally steady the ship as he and Hussain carved their way back into the match. Selby, who earlier had taken three wickets with his off spin, played the perfect foil to Hussain’s assertiveness.
When Selby was out after a 98-run partnership, the hosts had victory in their sights, driven by Hussain’s unflustered 88no with 14 overs left. The win took Delph 16 points clear with just 18 points left to play for, but for Parish defeat leaves them bottom of the table their fate virtually sealed.
Kirkburton won a nailbiter away at Golcar by one wicket in a clash between two teams that have impressed this term. Andy Smith and Roscoe Tahttil were prolific once again for Burton in pursuit of Golcar’s challenging total of 211-8 for whom Jack McNamara (31) and James North (32) top scored.
Opener Smith added to his two wickets with a sublime 80 to underpin their innings. Tahttil’s scored a nimble half-century but his departure still left work to finish at 166-6. Wicket Keeper Jonny Smith’s cool 27no steered them to the win before veteran last man Matt Garrity hit the winning runs with an over to spare.
Moorlands’ pursuit of Hoylandswaine looks in vain but they did all they could away at Barkisland. The visitors were out of the traps quick smart with Shoukat Ali racking up a 30-ball half century, complimented by Siraj Sajid’s steady 46.
Luke Bridges (3-44) and Cameran Van Rensburg (2-38) prevented it becoming a rout by restricting second placed Moorlands to 183ao. James Stansfield showed his class once again by taking 6-32 as the hosts faltered to 157ao in reply with opener George Hampshire (36) top scoring.
Charlie Roebuck was once again in dominant mood as Slaithwaite were outplayed by Colne Valley neighbours Broad Oak falling to a first defeat at home in three matches.
The bold, talismanic batsman followed up his previous performance at Moorlands with a 52-ball 70 as Oak overcame their hosts with a battling performance. Seven Slaithwaite bowlers were used in an effort to dislodge Tom McCreadie (37no) who steadfastly held together the run chase after Roebuck was dismissed.
Earlier, Brett Thornton (33) was one of seven Slaithwaite batsmen to hit double figures on their way to 176ao with spinner Dan Taylor taking 5-48 before Oak replied with 181-6.
Numan Akbar unleashed his best bowling performance of the season for Shepley who blew away visiting Scholes. It was a second consecutive deflating experience on the road for the Chapelgaters who held up scant resistance against the young Pakistani quick bowler who took 6-35.
Opening partner Nasir Jamal helped himself to a couple of wickets in the rapidly deteriorating Scholes reply as they were dismissed for 79. Former player Tom Chadwick (33) had earlier helped set a solid start for Shepley with opener Dan Wood who scored 42 but despite losing their last eight wickets for 39 runs the home side ran out convincing winners.
Richard Marshall pegged back third placed Honley with an excellent all-round display for Thongsbridge. His patient 60 in the middle order set them up for a decent 174-9 in the first innings before then going on to take three catches as the hosts stalled in reply.
Ben Balmforth celebrated his first five wicket haul of the season as the emerging talent collected his 49th scalp. Edward Wilson (24) wasn’t able to resist for long as Honley were bowled out for a disappointing 74.