Yorkshire leagues: Castleford’s repeated slips give inactive Academy glimmer of title hope

YORKSHIRE Academy may have been harder hit by Covid-19 cancellations than anybody in the county, but they still have plenty to play for in Yorkshire Premier League North.

Their non-match against Acomb was the fifth occasion in seven weeks when the pandemic has stopped them from pitching wickets, but they still have a chance of silverware as they are only 0.63 points per game average behind Castleford.

That is because the leaders lost for only the second time this season.

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The men from Savile Park won the toss and elected to bat but didn’t set an imposing total, being dismissed for 176 by visitors Clifton Alliance as Scott Hopkinson took 4-49 and Samuel Grant 3-31.

Burley in Wharfedale opener Matthew Hastings who scored 40 against Rawdon in the Aire-Wharfe league. Picture: Steve RidingBurley in Wharfedale opener Matthew Hastings who scored 40 against Rawdon in the Aire-Wharfe league. Picture: Steve Riding
Burley in Wharfedale opener Matthew Hastings who scored 40 against Rawdon in the Aire-Wharfe league. Picture: Steve Riding

Brayden Clark top-scored for Cas with 43, adding 52 for the third wicket with David Wainwright (27) after the openers had gone with eight on the board. Hopkinson, who was with Cas in 2019 and 2020, then scored 82 not out, putting on 105 for the first wicket with Andrew Simpson (37) as the visitors won by eight wickets in the 38th over.

It was their seventh successive victory – a run which has taken them from the relegation places to fourth in the table.

Harrogate, meanwhile, are also on the rise, triumphing by six wickets at Dunnington to climb out of a demotion berth for the first time in three months.

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The home side made 252-4, thanks to three partnerships – 78 for the second wicket between Andrew Bilton (40) and Alec Drury (88), 81 for the third by Alec Drury and Luke Kilby (39) and 69 unbroken for the fifth between George Drury (39no) and Jack Bolam (30no).

But it was not enough as Harrogate won by six wickets with 17 balls to spare, chiefly thanks to an opening stand of 183 by Isaac Light (89) and Henry Thompson (99).

Light hit nine fours in his 102-ball stay and the in-form Thompson 10 fours and a six off one delivery more.

Replacing Harrogate in the bottom two are Stamford Bridge, who lost tamely to fellow strugglers York, who seem to have found late-season inspiration from captain Ryan McKendry.

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The latter, who spent three years in the home side’s ranks, scored 33 and took 3-34, as well as snaffling three catches to end York’s run of three straight losses.

In the Yorkshire Southern Premier League, Cawthorne have put two woeful batting displays behind them to win two successive matches and greatly enhance their survival hopes.

Having been dismissed for 60 and 98 by Wakefield Thornes and Whitley Hall respectively, Cawthorne have beaten Treeton and now Wickersley Old Village to pull 12 points clear of second-from-bottom Hallam.

Cawthorne won the toss and batted, making a dominant 261-4 against the basement boys, with captain Taruwar Kohli leading the way with 110 not out, made off just 86 balls and including 18 fours and two sixes.

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Earlier Michael Jepps (26) and Liam Wiles (58) had put on another good opening stand, this time 63, and Wickersley could only make 169 in reply, Shahjahan Younis scoring 64 not out.

The Villagers have now failed to win their last 14 completed matches and look certain to go down.

Meanwhile, the top two were tested but came through their ordeals, with leaders Appleby Frodingham defeating Tickhill by three wickets with seven balls to spare, and Sheffield Collegiate beating Barnsley by 16 runs.

It is still advantage Woodlands in the three-horse race for the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League title.

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They were never in danger of losing to Methley after racking up 337-6, with all-rounder Muhammad Bilal doing his best impression of former overseas star Safraz Ahmed.

Bilal smashed 95 off just 40 deliveries, hitting seven fours and nine sixes, to carry Woodlands’ total to massive proportions as current overseas all-rounder Brad Schmulian (113no) was glad to watch proceedings from the other end as they added 141 for the fifth wicket.

Methley were then rolled over for 115, with off-spinner Kez Ahmed taking 7-23.

New Farnley were no slouches either, scoring 283-6 against Morley, with half-centuries for Adam Waite (95), Dan Hodgson (59) and Lee Goddard (58) in a 133-run triumph.

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Townville also breezed to victory by seven wickets against Pudsey St Lawrence, opener Jonny Booth scoring 78 not out.

Match of the day in the Huddersfield League Premiership was Moorlands v Broad Oak, with Moorlands’ 251-8 proving just enough – by one run – after both openers had made ducks.

Andrew Wood (60), Siraj Sajid (40), Eddie Walmsley (34) and Michael Rounding (48no) pulled the innings around, which was tough luck on Broad Oak opener Charlie Roebuck, who scored 132 of their 250-8.

Division One leaders Saltaire needed their long batting line-up against Beckwithshaw in Airedale & Wharfedale League Division One, making 294, the visitors replying with 251, of which wicketkeeper Miles Buller scored 127.

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