HOLDERS Methley will be strong favourites to retain the Jack Hampshire Trophy and complete the first leg of a potential league and cup double in Sunday’s final against Premiership strugglers Birstall at Ossett.
Birstall have been bowled out for 136 and 94 in two defeats against Methley this season but they will have a chance of pulling off an upset if they can find the batting form they showed in their shock semi-final win at Townville when Rob McFarlane and Craig Wood shared a double-century partnership.
The pair were both dismissed cheaply in last weekend’s cup rehearsal at Birstall when Ed Walmsley (54no and 4-24), twin brother Marcus (47) and Chris Holliday (46) steered leaders Methley to a 117-run victory.
Methley remain three points clear of defending champions Townville, with Wakefield Thornes a further three points adrift in third place.
All three teams have qualified for the first round of the Yorkshire Council Championship play-offs on Sunday, August 24.
The qualifying positions will be decided on Saturday when Methley host Scholes, Wakefield Thornes visit Wrenthorpe and Townville host Altofts.
CYL’s top outfit host Pontefract League’s second-placed side and the other CYL teams travel to Pontefract League or South Yorkshire League opponents.
Townville were the last CYL club to win the competition in 2009.
All-rounder Conor Harvey (65no and 4-34) was again outstanding for Townville as they bounced back from their Heavy Woollen Cup final loss against Pudsey Congs by avenging a home league defeat against Scholes.
Thornes also gained revenge for a surprise defeat at Hopton Mills in May.
Matthew Jordan (118), Johannes Bothma (57 and 4-27) and David Toft (51) shone as Thornes eased to a 123-run victory.
Sufyan Patel (51), Andrew Grey (42) and Gary Senior (5-84) were Hopton’s best performers.
Captain Tim Orrell (104) and Yasir Ali (84) shared a 171-run stand as Mirfield Parish Cavaliers recorded the top-flight’s highest total this season of 319 in a 160-run win against Carlton.
Arkam Asif (65no) and Brent Law (5-25) gave Altofts the edge against Wrenthorpe while Shoaib Latif and Gavin Goodlad struck half-centuries in Ossett’s 12-run success against bottom side Hunslet Nelson, whose defeat was tough on Jean Strydom (96).
Batley visit fellow CYL outfit Liversedge and Buttershaw St Paul’s host Pontefract League Askern in the first round of the Secondary Yorkshire Council Championship on Sunday.
Liversedge will aim to avenge last Saturday’s two-run home defeat that left them 11 points adrift of leaders Batley in the Championship title race.
A crucial ninth-wicket stand of 66 between Naik Zada (34) and Mohammed Hafeez (29no) saw Batley recover from 98-8 to post 168.
In reply, Liversedge were poised for victory at 166-8 but their last two batsman, Nicholas Richardson and Connor Rowlands, were dismissed leg before by Tariq Hussain (4-34) off successive deliveries without addition to the score.
All-rounder Richard Atkinson (78 and 4-29) led the way as Wakefield St Michael’s climbed off the foot of the table by beating Northowram Fields.
East Leeds slipped below St Michael’s when they lost by 87 runs at Oulton, for whom Altaf Patel smashed an unbeaten century and Scott Hopkinson claimed 6-38.
Gildersome maintained their Division One title bid with a sixth successive win. Martin Morley (7-48) and Gavin Baulk (3-41) limited Mirfield to 205 and Jerome Austin hit an unbeaten 79 in the victory chase.