TOWNVILLE’S bid to retain the CYL championship is back on track but their form in knock-out competitions has suddenly deserted them.
After losing in the semi-finals of both the Jack Hampshire Trophy and Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy, the Castleford side suffered a hat-trick of cup defeats on successive weekends when they were beaten by Pudsey Congs in the Heavy Woollen Cup final at Spen Victoria on Sunday.
Callum Geldart hit a century as the Bradford League side comfortably overhauled Townville’s 227-9 that included 50 by Kristian Ward and 42 from Jonathan Booth.
Booth had better luck the previous day when his century helped Townville avenge their shock Jack Hampshire Trophy defeat against Premiership strugglers Birstall.
Chasing Townville’s 279-3, Birstall were toppled for 230 by Ritchie Bresnan (5-57), despite Craig Wood’s 97 off 94 balls.
Birstall, who are third bottom in the table with just one league win since April, have another difficult game on Saturday when they host leaders Methley in a rehearsal for the Jack Hampshire Trophy final at Ossett on August 17.
Marcus Walmsley bagged 6-34 and hit 39 as Methley retained top spot by defeating Carlton but they failed to collect maximum points and are just three points clear of Townville, with Wakefield Thornes a further three points adrift in third place.
Thornes, aiming to improve on last season’s best-ever third-placed finish, play both Townville and Methley on successive weekends later this month.
All-rounder Matthew Varley (59 and 3-35), James Wolfenden (44) and Mahmood Rasool (4-28) were Thornes’ match-winners as they ended bottom side Hunslet Nelson’s recent revival by beating them by 59 runs.
Ossett’s title hopes faded with a 21-run defeat at Mirfield Parish Cavaliers after they lost their last seven wickets for just 39 runs.
Opener Shoaib Latif (72) gave Ossett an excellent start as they chased a 159-run target but Nazar Hussain (4-33) and Dan Padgett (3-18) sent them collapsing to 138 all out.
Altofts ended their slide with a 75-run victory at Hopton Mills who were skittled for 65 by Harry Clewett (6-25) and Arkam Asif (3-36).
Wrenthorpe eased their relegation worries by moving 14 points clear of second bottom Hopton with a 32-run win against Scholes.
Greig Batty (4-34) and Joe Ellis (3-41) restricted Scholes to 178-9, replying to Wrenthorpe’s 210-7.
Liversedge host Batley on Saturday in a Championship top of the table clash that could have an important bearing on the destiny of the title.
Leaders Batley beat Northowram Fields to move six points clear of closest rivals Liversedge, whose home game against East Ardsley was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Openers Muhammad Tahir (45no) and Fawad Maqsood (43no) shared an unbroken century partnership as Batley won a 33-over match after limiting Northowram Fields to 104-8, which included an unbeaten 30 by Dewsbury Rams RL head coach Glenn Morrison.
A ninth-wicket stand of 63 between Alex Leyshon (81) and Nick Mahon was in vain for Wakefield St Michael’s as they lost to Oulton in the clash of the bottom two teams.
St Michael’s fell 22 runs short of Oulton’s 255-9 that featured a 99-run stand between Daniel Bridges (54) and Scott Hopkinson (51) and a whirtwind 57 off 24 balls by Hayden Preshaw, who smashed six sixes
Gildersome and Caribbean maintained their Division One promotion bids by beating Adwalton and Westwood Park, respectively.