Wetherby League: Ward plays captain’s role to edge side towards title

Kirk Deighton captain Rich Ward.
Kirk Deighton captain Rich Ward.
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Captain Rich Ward came to the rescue as Kirk Deighton overcame the test of title contenders Scarcroft to move even closer towards a maiden Wetherby League crown.

Deighton lost their top four batsmen cheaply against the second-placed hosts but Ward kept his composure to play out a marvellous innings of 85.

The skipper was still at the crease at the change of ends having guided his side to a useful total of 203-8.

Scarcroft’s reply never found the consistency to put Deighton under pressure and no batsman scored more than 25 as they settled on 152-9.

Jonty Smith (3-40) and Mark Harland (3-26) were the best of Deighton’s attack.

Luke Schumann claimed six wickets as Bilton-in-Ainsty cruised past Hillam and Monk Fryston to keep their faint title hopes alive.

Schumann conceded just nine runs in his burst as Hillam were removed for a meagre 73. Rob Hildreth continued his strong form to make 40 not out as Bilton won by nine wickets.

Bilton are 20 points behind frontrunners Kirk Deighton and require the leaders to slip up more than three times in the final six matches.

Andy Wood smashed an unbeaten century as Sicklinghall enjoyed a commanding afternoon at home to midtable rivals Garforth Parish Church on Saturday.

Wood finished up on 138 not out having scored more than half of his side’s runs in a monster lead of 252-3.

Richard Brooke (46) and Martin Wood (37) offered plentiful support to the opener as Sicklinghall had the game in the bag by the tea interval.

Garforth’s hopes of victory were over quickly as influential batsman James Stockton departed for a duck and only Paul Scott (44) and Steven Edwards (31) could get going in an innings that ended on 147.

Church Fenton now require a miracle to survive in the top tier after losing to second-bottom Old Leodiensians by 37 runs.

Nick Boyes struck an important 66 from number seven as Leos made 232-9, while Steven Parker-Harrison’s 90 was in vain as Fenton replied with 195-8.

South Milford gained six points by bowling reigning champions St Chad’s out for 156 in reply to 195-6.

Both sides have little to play for in mid-table but Dan White’s five-for proved to be the piece of quality that separated the sides – as Chad’s lost six members of its top seven for single digits.

Meanwhile, two centuries were scored as Fred Fleetwood Cup champions Barwick edged Shadwell.

Nick Swales’ 106 set Barwick up to 259-4 before Tom Meyrick made a defiant 116 as Shadwell were ousted for 206.

Rufforth became the first Wetherby League side into the nervous 90s in Division Two after overcoming the hurdle of Scholes in their promotion quest.

Division Two leading bowler Jim Ledgeway added six more wickets to his seasonal tally as Rufforth defended bowled their 15th team out this season – Scholes totalling 117.

Angus Campbell had earlier scored 71 as Rufforth posted 168-8.

Second-placed Ledsham are now 22 points adrift of the leaders after sacrificing a point in beating Saxton by six wickets.

Josh Ware scored 74 from the top of the order before Andy Kelly smashed 69 not out as Ledsham surpassed Saxton’s decent effort of 228-8.

Daniel Todd top-scored for Saxton with 56.

Headingley Bramhope clung onto their promotion hopes in an edgy chase at neighbours Meanwood, recording a two-wicket win.

Chris Dalby stayed to the end on 42 as Headingley chased 124.

An epic innings of 49 guided Thorner Mexborough to an unlikely two-wicket win over Long Marston, overturning 172/-.

Meanwhile, Kirk Hammerton took six points at Garforth A with a 52-run success and St Chad’s held on to beat Sherburn by 28 runs.