Thornes heading for must-win encounter

Marcus Walmsley of Methley who scored 52
Marcus Walmsley of Methley who scored 52
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WAKEFIELD Thornes will aim to keep alive their hopes of being crowned Central Yorkshire League champions for the first time when they visit Premiership title rivals Townville on Saturday.

After finishing third behind Methley and Townville for the last two seasons, Thornes have a final chance to be champions before next season’s merger with the Bradford League.

With six matches remaining, leaders Methley are four points ahead of Townville, with Thornes a further one point adrift and fourth-place Wrenthorpe also in contention.

Methley visit strugglers Buttershaw St Paul’s on Saturday so the game between second and third-placed Townville and Thornes is one neither can afford to lose.

All-rounder Jack Hughes was Townville’s match-winner as they threw the title race wide open by completing a league double over Methley and avenging a 176-run trouncing in the Jack Hampshire Trophy quarter-finals.

Hughes claimed 3-22 from 15 overs to restrict Methley to 181-8 which included 52 from opener Marcus Walmsley.

Hughes then hit an unbeaten 56, putting on 73 with ex-Methley player Chris Holliday (36) and sharing an unbroken 70-run stand with Conor Harvey (42no) as Townville eased to a seven-wicket win in 24.5 overs.

Sam Storr (61) and Joe Cook (51) shared a 118-run stand as Thornes recovered from 5-2 to overhaul Altofts’ 164. Joshua Drummond (73) and Callum Nuttall (40) led Altofts’ scoring.

Rain ruined Saturday’s other four Premiership fixtures, with Wrenthorpe’s match at Hunslet Nelson lasting just one over.

Muhammad Tahir (57) and Kashif Talib (53) put on 117 as Batley posted 195-8 at Carlton, who were 86-5 when the weather intervened.

Title-chasers Hopton Mills collected maximum points against the Championship’s bottom team, Caribbean, who were reduced to 39-6 by Michael Carroll (3-1) and Richard Myers (3-32) before rain halted play.

When the umpires decided the match could resume at 5.45pm, Caribbean refused to play, claiming the pitch was unfit, so Hopton were awarded a six-point win.

Paul Marlow (58) helped Liversedge reach 107-5 at Wakefield St Michael’s before the game was abandoned.

Former Wetherby League champions Great Preston stayed on course to lift the Division One title in their debut season by beating Mirfield.

Lee Russell (4-19) and Andrew Clark (3-55) toppled Mirfield for 157 after Danusha Ranasinghe (64) and James Bickerdike (36) had guided Preston to 237-7. Andrew Young (48 and 4-91) and Phillip Scouller (39) were Mirfield’s best performers. Preston are 10 points clear of East Leeds, who have a match in hand.