By Jamie Harrison 

Two crunch matches at both ends of the table went the way of Moorlands and Thongsbridge as they both secured victories. Jack Lees smashed a massive century for Thongsbridge with Siraj Sajid gutting title rivals Skelmanthorpe as Moorlands surged 13 points clear. 

Numan Akbar was a persistent thorn in the side of former club Shepley as Barkisland pinched a pulsating contest and Roscoe Tahttil’s magnificent ton helped Kirkburton jump above Broad Oak in the table. 

Rock-bottom Mirfield Parish remained deep in trouble after they were routed by Almondbury Wesleyans and Hoylandswaine completed a routine success over Scholes.

Moorlands v Skelmanthorpe 

A half-century by Marcus Walmsley and four wickets by Siraj Sajid wrenched a precious victory for Moorlands which saw a 13-point gap emerge between them and nearest challengers Skelmanthorpe. 

Batting first, Walmsley guided his team to a solid 257-7 as he mooched to 64 from double the amount of balls faced. Skelmanthorpe threatened to assert control with Prayesh Kumar Singh picking up 3-72 but a useful 45 from Amogh Bhatkal kept them steadily on track. 

Nadim Hussain also smashed a swift 47no for the home side who would go on to record a priceless double over their opponents. The damage appeared irreparable for visiting Skelmanthorpe who found themselves in peril on 39-5 with Jon Rudge extracting three of Shat’s main batsmen. 

Kai Greig attempted to reset the balance but his dismissal by the excellent spin of Siraj Sajid (4-23) left them on cut adrift on 84-7. Moorlands completed their third victory of the season over Skelmanthorpe by bowling them out for 119.

Thongsbridge v Honley 

An incredible 158 scored by Jack Lees earned Thongsbridge a vital victory over troubled Honley who tumbled closer to the drop zone where the gap between the teams was cut to five points. 

Honley will be glad to see the back of Lees, who had hit 125 against them in the Sykes Cup during their second round match in May. 

This time, he used 109 balls to help put the game beyond Honley’s reach, scoring 19 fours and 6 sixes. Alex Kemp was the only other batsman to trouble the scorers with 58 as the hosts amassed 275-7. The return of talisman Timmy Taylor following a three-month layoff gave Honley hope, although he could only manage 10 runs on his comeback. 

Yorkshire’s Will Fraine, a constant menace, made 117 off 102 balls (11 fours, 6 sixes) and was crucially the ninth wicket as Honley searched hard before finishing 226ao. Ben Raven-Hill took 4-10 in Thongsbridge’s much-needed win.

Barkisland v Shepley 

Numan Akbar got one over his former club Shepley as Barkisland nicked a brilliant win by one wicket. 

The Pakistan pace bowler took 4-49 and also contributed the winning runs in a match which ebbed and flowed both ways. 

Craig Glover was Shepley’s highest scorer with 30 during an attritional innings as he helped put on 53 runs for the ninth wicket to set 149ao, with Cameron Van Rensburg taking 5-42 for Barkisland. 

The removal of Luke Bridges for 42 swung the match into Shepley’s favour with skipper Danny Glover, brother Craig and new signing from Denby Tom Sanders all taking three scalps. 

However Seth Oddy stood firm for the hosts and ground out 28 from 50 balls to be the final wicket out, leaving the stage set for Akbar to carve 12 and win the match in the 42nd over.

Broad Oak v Kirkburton 

Kirkburton leapfrogged Broad Oak with an away win thanks to Roscoe Tahttil’s best return of the season. 

The Sri Lankan hammered his first hundred of 2023 and ninth overall during his four enjoyable seasons at the club as he crashed an unbeaten 122 in 93 balls with 11 fours and 3 sixes over the ropes. 

Broad Oak’s Fletcher Coutts earlier made 62 as Oak set 287-5 which was revised to 225 for the visitors’ chase. Andrew Smith grabbed 3-58 for Kirkburton who moved up to fourth.

Hoylandswaine v Scholes

Third-placed Hoylandswaine cruised past T20 Semi-Final opponents Scholes with a dominating performance. 

Muhammad Azharullah, Max Morley and Adam Sylvester all bagged three wickets to bowl out Scholes for 129 for whom Nico Georgiou-Nicola top scored with 34. Swaine lost four wickets knocking off the target with 57 from wicketkeeper Duncan Brown.

Mirfield Parish v Almondbury 

Mirfield Parish Cavaliers suffered a body blow to their survival chances by losing at home to Almondbury Wesleyans who moved closer to their safety goal. 

The opening three Parish batsmen were all shot out for ducks and remarkably six other batsmen all made five runs. 

Adam Spendlow was the anomaly by scoring 85 during an obscure innings where they were dismissed for 135. Daniel Moorhouse helped himself to 6-34 and Nathan Kenworthy scored 51no during the Wes reply of 138-3.