By Jamie Harrison 

Moorlands’ new boys Liam Collins and Jon Rudge impressed as they defended a frail first innings score at Almondbury Wesleyans and remain joint top with Kirkburton who saw off neighbours Shepley. 

Honley almost pulled off an epic chase against Barkisland’s hefty score and Skelmanthorpe’s season went from strength to strength as they hunted down a strong score by Thongsbridge.

Almondbury v Moorlands 

Liam Collins’ half century for Moorlands turned out to be more valuable than it first appeared as the leaders misfired with the bat at Almondbury Wesleyans. 

Newly signed from Woodlands, Collins added 61 in the middle order as Wesleyans’ bowlers, spearheaded by Stephen Lane 3-44, dominated. They forced a collapse, sparked by Collins’ dismissal, with Moorlands falling from 150-6 to 157ao. 

The reply however was an unmitigated disaster for the dazed home side as they withered to 9-6 and then 27-7 under Jon Rudge’s enchanting spell with the ball. Rudge went on to collect 6-38 as Moorlands completed a 73-run victory.

Honley v Barkisland 

Matty Weston hit his largest ever score for Barkisland but they had to battle hard to hold on for the win after compiling a commanding score at Honley. 

The Yorkshire county prospect made 147 from 157 balls in an innings that saw bowlers and fielders struggling to stem the run flow. 

Charlie Mitchell added 42 and Jake Finch plundered 39 from 20 balls as Honley struggled in the heat with Barkisland helping themselves to 299-6. 

All of Honley’s top five registered substantial contributions with Lewis Evans (59) and Charlie Jakeman (50) reaching half-centuries. 

Their reply started to lose momentum in the final ten overs with Numan Akbar and Finch grabbing four wickets each to leave Honley 267ao.

Kirkburton v Shepley 

Three players made half-centuries for Kirkburton who had too much for neighbours Shepley. In-form Australian Jack Kelly made 58, Saif Bhojani hit 56 and captain Jonny Butterfield added a fluent 52 in the home side’s 236-7. 

Shepley opener Dan Wood fell two runs short of a fifty as they got their reply off to a good start but wickets fell in clusters to spinners John Keeling 4-22, and Roscoe Tahttil (3-26). 

The visitors were considerably short in the end, dismissed for 159 as Kirkburton stayed joint top with Moorlands.

Skelmanthorpe v Thongsbridge 

Former Thongsbridge man Kai Greig haunted his former teammates as third-placed Skelmanthorpe kept up their excellent start to the campaign. 

Greig carved an unbeaten 74 as Skelmanthorpe chased down Thongsbridge’s 228-5 first innings total. Jiv Pillay was left frustrated on 49 as the visitors relinquished the chance to put the game beyond Skelmanthorpe with Kian Schwartz and Prayesh Kumar Singh sharing six wickets between them. 

The home side’s top three all got scores on the board and their reply was built around the good work of Greig. Schwartz finished off the win with 51 as Skelmanthorpe rode home by five wickets with three overs left.

Mirfield Parish v Hoylandswaine 

Muhammad Azharullah and Adam Sylvester inspired Hoylandswaine to another win – their fourth in succession – away at Mirfield Parish Cavaliers. 

They claimed four wickets each as they throttled the hosts in a clinical bowling performance where Parish were dismissed for 138 with keeper Adam Spendelow (49) top scoring. 

Opposing keeper Duncan Brown slammed 41 and Leicestershire’s Arron Lilley finished the match in typically belligerent fashion with a 14-ball 35 as Swaine won by six wickets.

Scholes v Broad Oak

Broad Oak withstood a tense inquisition at Chapelgate as Scholes’ stuttering season continued with another defeat. Only Ben Birkhead (61) put up a considerable score for Scholes as they were restricted to 187. 

Skipper Fletcher Coutts stood out in both innings by taking 6-51 with former Scholes man Adam France grabbing two wickets. Oak slumped to 14-3 as the pendulum swung Scholes’ way before Coutts helped put on 86 runs with Cameron Todd (46). 

The skipper then went on to score 88no to secure a five wicket win that sent them to fifth.