AFTER two rain-ruined weeks, a fine evening allowed a full round of fixtures in the Pilmoor Evening Cricket League with the season now rapidly approaching the halfway point.
As a result, Helperby now hold a two-point lead at the top of the first division, Sheriff Hutton Bridge having suffered their first reverse of the season when they lost at home to Sessay.
Bridge now share second place with Thirsk, who won at Sheriff Hutton, while Newburgh won the bottom of the table clash when they triumphed by three wickets at Alne.
Rowntrees and Huntington are emerging as the surprise package in the second division, with a one point lead over Acomb and a two-point lead over Civil Service and Easingwold. At the foot of the table, Crayke and New Earswick are still looking for their first wins.
Helperby’s challenge was maintained with a three wicket win at Clifton Alliance. Josh Harrison with 39 not out and Mark Taylor with 21 did most to take a youthful Alliance side to 92 for 5, but scoring was not easy against a consistent Helperby attack with J Allen (2 for 16) having the best return. Dan Spink (31) and Matthew Cavanagh (21) led the Helperby reply, but they lost wickets regularly to Will Moll, who took 3 for 21 and Allan Barton (2 for 16) before claiming the points at 95 for 7 with four overs to spare.
Sheriff Hutton Bridge batted first against visiting Sessay, and their 104 for 8 was mainly thanks to the efforts of Jordan Grose, who made 37 and Mark Fisher (23). Craig Easton with 4 for 24 was Sessay’s most effective bowler. Sessay’s reply began disastrously as Mark Fisher bowled Nick Thorne with his second ball then trapped Matthew Wass lbw next ball. Jordan Grose bowled Paul Flintoff with the first ball of the second over to leave Sessay on 0 for 3, but Joe Watson and Stuart Peirse steadied the innings and put together a 61 run partnership before Peirse was caught at mid wicket for 37.
Watson continued his fine form to finish unbeaten on 47 while Tom Sowerby with 21 not out continued the recovery as Sessay won with an over to spare, Mark Fisher finishing with 2 for 19 and Simon Naylor 2 for 18.
Thirsk won a close contest at Sheriff Hutton, posting 117 for 7 with Stuart Christon (28) and James Wilkinson (27) leading the way, while the Hulls did well for the hosts, David taking 3 for 27 and Eddie 3 for 25. Sheriff’s reply lacked a match winning innings, and although Andy Frank and David Hull each made 20 and Chris Gartland 22 not out, they failed to score the nine they needed from the final over and closed on 114 for 8 with Ross McAndrew taking 2 for 15 for the winners.