By Jamie Harrison
Moorlands won the Mirfield derby to open up a two-point gap at the top of the Huddersfield Cricket League Premiership as Kirkburton could only tie at Honley despite an impressive century by Shiv Bhatoa.
Meanwhile, opening pair Nico Georgiou-Nicola and Mitchell Slattery were in great form as Scholes kept Thongsbridge rooted to the bottom.
Skelmanthorpe spluttered to defeat at Shepley and title-holders Hoylandswaine stealthily climbed the table with a victory at Barkisland.
Honley v Kirkburton
Shiv Bhatoa stepped in to hammer a huge century for second-placed Kirkburton, but it wasn’t enough as a terrific tie was fought out between them and Honley.
Bhatoa – who has played mostly second team cricket this season – filled in for Andrew Smith and carved a superb run-a-ball 136 containing 19 fours and a six.
Wicketkeeper Jonny Smith hit his second fifty for the club to propel Kirkburton to 259-7. Honley’s reply was paced well and they were perhaps favourites to nick it after progressing to 207-3 in reply.
Jack Byrne’s 3-53 injected life into Kirkburton’s bowling by removing dangerous Australian Lewis Evans for 81. Charlie Jakeman was then run out on 50 to thrust the match into the balance.
Honley, losing Timmy Taylor through injury has hampered progress, manage to salvage four points as they rounded on 259-9 at the death.
Moorlands v Mirfield Parish
Moorlands forged a two point lead at the top with a crushing victory over near neighbours Mirfield Parish who struggled to contain them at the Memorial Ground.
Prolific opener Shoukat Ali crashed a 102-ball hundred with Marcus Walmsley looking equally as savage as they put on 111 for the first wicket.
Walmsley’s 60 took him to 429 runs in just 10 innings and James Rawlinson also got in the act with 52 as Moorlands sauntered to 335-6. Mohammed Suleman took 4-88 on an afternoon to forget as Parish wilted in the sunshine.
Overseas Breyden Brehaut hit 66 in the reply with keeper Adam Spendelow helping himself to 54 with Moorlands letting scoreboard pressure do the work.
Jon Rudge (5-64) looks set to overtake his 2022 tally of 40 wickets (with Carlton) soon and they were worthy winners in the end as Parish were bowled out for a spirited 243.
Scroll through our gallery of images below from Thongsbridge v Scholes by Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE
Thongsbridge v Scholes
Scholes emphatically subdued rock-bottom Thongsbridge to push themselves further away from the relegation zone as they cruised to a 120-run win.
Opener Nico Georgiou-Nicola (119) hit his first century of the season and his fourth for Scholes sending 12 fours and six sixes over the ropes in his 129-ball innings.
Opening partner Mitchell Slattery made 73, as the duo put on 202 for the first wicket as they tucked into Thongsbridge’s suffering bowlers. Ben Howitt’s 4-63 was the pick of the bunch as Scholes sashayed their way to 282-7.
Jack Lees (41) perpetuated his impressive first season at Thongsbridge but they were distinctly second-best as spinners Yaasir Imtiaz (5-48) and Slattery (4-46) put the squeeze on their Holme Valley neighbours and waltzed towards a much-needed win.
Shepley v Skelmanthorpe
George Booth helped Shepley maintain their strong home record with a comfortable victory over third-place Skelmanthorpe at Marsh Lane.
The impressive Yorkshire County prospect made a studious 78 to lay the foundations of Shepley’s win with his side setting 232-9.
Australian Ollie Hing’s 43 and Tom Denton’s useful 31 gave them a comfortable cushion under the close attention of Prayesh Kumar Singh (5-76).
Skelmanthorpe felt the heat in Shepley’s furnace as they slumped to 41-6 under pressure from bowlers Danny Glover (4-25) and Jack Mulhall (2-35). Harlon Greig (33) fared best for Skelmanthorpe but they were well beaten, dismissed for 123.
Broad Oak v Almondbury
Almondbury Wesleyans remained in the drop zone after a battling 17-run loss at Broad Oak. Home skipper Fletcher Coutts (67) and keeper Alex Kaye 54, provided the fulcrum of Oak’s 214-9. Chris Abbey took 4-54 for the visitors and made a useful 36 in the reply.
Wes desperately needed a batsman to carve a match winning score but they were left short despite overseas man Matthew Schubert’s 42 and Dan Moorhouse’s 31.
Oak’s Alex Slack claimed 4-44 and Dan Taylor 3-44 as Oak manoeuvred their way to victory.