PREMIERSHIP strugglers Birstall upset the formbook by beating Townville to reach the Jack Hampshire Trophy final for the first time since 2001.
Townville will aim to bounce back from their first defeat in knock-out competitions this season when they visit South Yorkshire League Elsecar in the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy semi-finals on Sunday.
The Castleford side, who face Pudsey Congs in the Heavy Woollen Cup final at Spen Victoria on August 3, are bidding to become the first CYL club to win the Yorkshire Champions competition since its introduction in 1976. They lost to Woodlands in their only previous final appearance in 2006.
Birstall take on holders Methley in the Jack Hamphire Trophy decider at Ossett on August 17 after piling up 263-2 in Sunday’s semi-final at Poplar Avenue.
Rob McFarlane hammered seven sixes in a whirlwind unbeaten 111 off 89 balls and shared a second-wicket stand of 204 with Craig Wood, who struck 16 boundaries in an impressive 103 off 119 deliveries.
Jonathan Booth (76), Ritchie Bresnan (56) and Tim Walton (54) led Townville’s reply which fell narrowly short on 258-9.
Dean Woolsey needed a six off the last ball – bowled by Dan Broadbent – to give Townville victory but he failed to score. Broadbent finished with 5-51.
In the other semi-final, Premiership leaders Methley eased to a six-wicket win at Wrenthorpe in a repeat of last year’s final.
Tom Woolford (47) and Greig Batty (32) put on 66 for the second wicket in Wrenthorpe’s total of 161-9.
Methley were in trouble at 12-2 after they lost openers Marcus Walmsley and Richard Foster but Chris Holliday steadied the ship, hitting two sixes and eight fours in a vital 57 off 52 balls.
An unbroken 53-run partnership between Mathew Waite (44no) and Ed Walmsley (17no) sealed Methley’s place in the final and kept them on course for a league and cup double.
Methley are eight points clear of closest rivals Townville who they host this Saturday.
It will be the third time the sides have met this season. The score is one-all after defending CYL champions Townville avenged a home league defeat by beating Methley in the Heavy Woollen Cup semi-finals.
Townville were foiled by rain at Carlton in the only Premiership match to start on Saturday.
The game was abandoned with Townville 41-1 from 5.3 overs, replying to Carlton’s 147-5 in a 25-over game. Carlton were struggling at 30-2 from 9.1 overs before opener Phil Page rescued them.
He hit four sixes in a sparkling 66 off 78 deliveries and shared a 50-run stand with Michael Savery (19) before putting on 58 with Chris Leaf, who struck 32 off 18 balls.
Townville’s Ritchie Bresnan – younger brother of England and Yorkshire star Tim – claimed 2-23 from eight overs. Openers Jonathan Booth (26no) and Matt Bremner (15) gave Townville’s reply an excellent start with a 41-run partnership before the game was ruined by torrential rain.
There was no play in the Championship and Division One on Saturday. Championship leaders Batley stayed four points clear of Liversedge, with Northowram Fields a further two points adrift in third spot.
Azaad are favourites to lift the Division One title being 13 points clear of Gildersome.
Wrenthorpe and Wakefield Thornes will meet in the second-team Wheatley Cup final at Wrenthorpe on August 10 after beating Carlton and Townville respectively in the semi-finals.
Premiership: *Carlton 147-5 (P Page 66, C Leaf 32), Townville 41-1. No play in all other matches.
Jack Hampshire Trophy semi-finals: Birstall 263-2 (R McFarlane 111no, C Wood 102), *Townville 258-9 (J Booth 75, T Walton 58, R Bresnan 55; D Broadbent 5-50); *Wrenthorpe 161-9 (T Woolford 47, G Batty 32), Methley 163-4 (C Holliday 57, M Waite 44no).