STRUGGLERS Hunslet Nelson will hope to turn the formbook upside down when they play Premiership leaders Methley twice this weekend.
Hunslet visit Little Church Lane in Saturday’s top versus bottom league clash and then host Methley in the Jack Hampshire Trophy quarter-finals the next day.
After a bye in the Jack Hampshire Trophy opening round, Hunslet recorded their solitary victory this season when they beat Hopton Mills by six wickets in the second round.
They remain rooted to the foot of the Premiership after a batting collapse against Townville on Saturday.
Openers Jack Scanlon (49) and Tommy Roy (32) gave Hunslet an excellent start by putting on 71 but they slumped to 116 all out after losing their last nine wickets for just 19 runs.
Townville’s Conor Harvey snapped up 6-10 and then struck an unbeaten 50 off 42 balls as the Castleford side coasted to a six-wicket victory.
Big-hitting batsman Harvey was again in outstanding form the next day as Townville booked a Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy semi-final at South Yorkshire League Elsecar by winning at Aire-Wharfe League Beckwithshaw.
Harvey smashed seven sixes in an unbeaten 86 off just 29 deliveries as Townville posted 275-7 which also included half-centuries by Matt Bremner and Jack Hughes.
Beckwithshaw’s reply fell narrowly short on 268-9.
Premiership title favourites Methley were indebted to Luke Patel (84no) for Saturday’s one-wicket win at Mirfield Cavaliers that put them eight points clear of closest rivals Scholes who lost at Wakefield Thornes.
Patel shared a match-winning unbroken last wicket stand of 24 with Marcus Leyshon as Methley recovered from 116-9 to overhaul Mirfield’s 136.
Mirfield’s defeat was tough on all-rounder Nazar Hussain (69 and 4-47).
Scholes’ hopes of winning the championship in their final season before switching to the Bradford League suffered another setback with a second successive defeat. Opener James Wolfenden (62) guided Thornes to victory after Robert Stephenson (5-30), Johan Bothma (3-31) and Matthew Varley (2-40) bowled out Scholes for 137.
Altofts slipped from third to sixth after being routed for 55 by Carlton’s Jonathan Rudge (8-31) who produced one of the season’s best bowling performances.
Steve Palmer (17) and Akram Asif (16) were the only Altofts batsmen who reached double figures. Former champions Wrenthorpe continued their revival by trouncing Hopton Mills who are in relegation trouble with just one league win since they beat Methley on the opening day.
Tom Chester (6-23), Joe Ellis (2-21) and Jack Rich (2-12) toppled Hopton for 63, replying to Wrenthorpe’s 254-6 that featured a century by Greig Batty.
Wrenthorpe host Championship side Liversedge in the Jack Hampshire Trophy this weekend. The other quarterfinal ties are Townville v Carlton and Buttershaw St Paul’s v Birstall.
Birstall will be wary of Championship outfit Buttershaw who have knocked out Scholes and Altofts and are aiming to collect another Premiership scalp.
Birstall recovered from 41-6 to reach 181-8 at Ossett thanks to a 104-run stand between Dominic Cleghorn (65no) and Eric Austin (59), John Sadler smashed 43 off balls as Ossett knocked off the runs to climb to fourth place.
Championship leaders Batley bounced back from the previous week’s defeat at Northowram Fields by beating East Leeds. Ayaz Seedat (69) top-scored in Batley’s total of 198 and Tariq Hussain claimed 5-33 as East Leeds fell for 178, despite Dean Atkinson’s 86.
Mark Hydes (103) and Matthew Gibson (77) shared a 128-run partnership as Liversedge stepped up their promotion challenge by beating East Ardsley by 87 runs. Scott Mullins (50) led Ardsley’s scoring.