Golcar and Hoylandswaine breathed life into their title ambitions after their nearest challengers both slipped up with Golcar defeating Moorlands and Hoylandswaine making ground up by beating Kirkburton.
Leaders Thongsbridge’s lead was cut to two points in a congested top four after they were humbled by rivals Armitage Bridge.
Honley made the most of the first 50-over matches to be played this season by crushing hapless Slaithwaite and Shepley also released some pressure by edging out Barkisland.
Delph’s woes deepened after their match at home to Broad Oak was forced to be abandoned following the discovery of a positive Covid test on skipper Xander Selby during the match.
Moorlands Wilt Under Golcar Scrutiny
Moorlands’ questionable away form may be harming their title ambitions when they fell to a third defeat on the road this season away at Golcar.
The host’s opening pair James Howson (58) and Steve Whitwam (33) made a solid start to provide something to build on.
Craig Ruscoe (23) and Dan Woodhead (35) duly followed their lead as Golcar set 215ao. Nadim Hussain (4-25) had the most success for the visitors.
However their challenge waned dramatically as openers Whitwam (3-36) and Will Hinchliffe (3-37) made a mess of the upper order. Captain Eddie Walmsley (27) could only watch on as most of his teammates succumbed to the cauldron-like pressure.
Moorlands were eventually dismissed for 120ao in a defeat which saw Golcar hurdle over them into third place.
Thongsbridge Defeat At Armitage Bridge Opens Door
The title race door was pushed wide open by Armitage Bridge after they harassed neighbours Thongsbridge, inflicting a second defeat of the season on the leaders.
Jaycob Curtling (32) and Alex Blagborough (26) got their innings off to a solid start and they continued to build an attritional total of 171ao with two balls of the innings left. In-form Tom Raven-Hill added to his seven wicket haul a week earlier with 5-62 for Thongsbridge.
Joshua Taylor (4-30) claimed his 25th wicket of the season with another strong showing by the Australian professional golfer as the visitors struggled for answers. Youngster Harry Franklin (39) embedded himself but similar stubbornness was absent amongst the rest of the batsmen with Thongsbridge dismissed for 122.
Swaine Sway Pendulum In Their Favour After ‘Burton Success
Kirkburton will be glad to see the back of Hoylandswaine after they lost for the fourth time this season against the Premiership title hopefuls.
Andrew Smith (58) hit a fifth fifty of the campaign as he and Javaid Ahmad (40) put on 105 runs for the first wicket.
Swaine began to fight themselves back into the contest as Muhammad Azharullah (4-72) began to sway the match back into the balance.
Chris Holliday took 3-50 in a rare outing with the ball for him as the last Kirkburton batsman fell on the penultimate ball of their 223ao.
The powerful former Townville batsman compiled his first century of 2021 and his tenth in five seasons at Hoylandswaine with a stunning 116 runs from 98 balls to help his team to a 3 wicket win.
Tom Burkinshaw took 4-42 but without the scalp of key man Holliday, Swaine were always in the driving seat, eventually completing the win with a 225-7 retort.
Honley Indulge In Runfest Over Sorry Slaithwaite
Honley welcomed the 50 over Premiership format with a calculated demolition over bottom of the table Slaithwaite.
Simon Kelly plundered his seventh half-century to provide the catalyst to captain Timmy Taylor’s second century in the space of a week as the visitors were comprehensively outplayed.
Several Honley batsmen then weighed in with double-figure scores as the home side assembled a daunting 297-9 total to take the match beyond their struggling opponents.
Left arm spinner Lewis Kenworthy (4-41) ensured Slaithwaite were firmly out of the picture despite openers Raheel Ahmed (57) and Wajid Hussain (43) putting on 84 for the first wicket. The visitors’ interest was ended on 151ao after 32 overs.
Shepley’s Worries Eased By Beating Barkisland
Stand-in skipper Dan Wood breathed a sigh of relief after his Shepley side scraped their way to a low-scoring victory over tepid Barkisland at Marsh Lane.
The visitors were always on the back foot following young quick bowler Numan Akbar’s five wicket blast which left them struggling on 43-5. Despite a battling 32 by Jasper Male,
Barkisland’s innings was terminated prematurely as they then crashed from 86-6 to 91ao as young spinner Josh Hoyle (4-23) grasped the initiative.
Luke Patel’s 14 looked unassuming in the reply but his 56-ball stay knitted together a vulnerable batting order as Barkisland fired back with the ball.
Shepley were indebted to opener Wood as well as Tom Barber who both scored 23 before Patel shepherded the middle order and nudged themselves over the line on 92-6.
Slick Scholes Punish Parish
Scholes took maximum points from the weekend as they professionally swept aside Mirfield Parish Cavaliers on their travels.
Parish, possibly jaded from their thrilling run chase at home to fellow strugglers Delph the day before, were dismissed for 119. Tim Orrell (34) was once again their top scorer but they were kept under the spell of the Scholes bowlers with Josh Brook (4-19) starring.
Yaasir Imtiaz’s purple patch continued as he hit his second big score of the weekend with an unbeaten 89no to reach 488 runs for the season – just under half of them coming in the last three matches.
Scholes were relatively untroubled in their 121-1 reply as they continued to rise up the division.
Premature End To Delph & Broad Oak Match
Delph & Dobcross’ home fixture with Broad Oak was brought to a close prematurely for health reasons.
Batting first, the hosts were in trouble in the 19th over on 65-6 before news emerged during play that skipper Xander Selby, unavailable for this match, had tested positive for Covid by Lancashire prior to his match in the second team. It was decided that the game should be abandoned at that point.