Unbeaten Leaning helps York beat Driffield to clinch title
YORK defied the rain that threatened to ruin the final full programme of the season and with Jack Leaning hitting a sparkling unbeaten 70, they beat Driffield by eight wickets to clinch the North Yorkshire championship.
They will now face Bradford League winners Hanging Heaton in the semi-final of the Yorkshire Champions Trophy, while Yorkshire South champions Wakefield Thornes take on NYSD winners Great Ayton for a place in the final at Headingley on 23 September.
With the few matches that beat the weather playing reduced overs, several batsmen set about their task with some abandon.
Ben Kohler-Cadmore set the tone hitting 59 in 37 balls as Driffield were bowled out for 135. David Woods took 4-18 with Matthew Waite picking up 3-34 before Waite hit 44 in a 108-run stand with Leaning who smashed eight fours and two sixes as York raced past the recalculated target in 14.2 overs.
Stamford Bridge, who had thrown the title race wide open by beating Yorkshire Academy last week, finished the season in style with a win at Woodhouse Grange. That was enough to secure runners-up spot, while Academy dropped to third, their game against Easingwold rained off.
Ryan Gibson followed up a 3-33 haul with 78 in 27 balls, including six fours and seven sixes, as Bridge passed Grange’s 167-7 with seven wickets in hand.
Matthew Wilkinson hit 60 to help Hull to 179-9 in their relegation battle with Acomb but a third wicket stand of 87 between Jack Spence (51) and Joe Dale (54) and an unbeaten 24 from Richard Love saw the visitors hang on to their topflight status with five balls to spare.
A sixth-wicket stand of 74 between Darren Harland (69) and Brad Scott (31) took Scarborough to 183-7 and on the way to a 34-run win over Clifton Alliance.
With Bradford League champions Hanging Heaton’s mouth-watering clash with Pudsey St Lawrence washed out, all the attention was at the bottom with four clubs in danger.
Cleckheaton were on the wrong end of a 137-run partnership between Lightcliffe’s Adam Wainwright (32) and Matthew Baxter who crashed 10 fours and nine sixes in racing to 112no before the match was abandoned.
East Bierley were also struggling at 75-5 in reply to Bradford & Bingley’s 186-6 in which Hamzah Iqbal hit a half century, only for the game to be rained off.
But there was no reprieve for Batley who were set to chase Woodlands’ 164-5 total, which included a half century from Tim Jackson. Elliot Richardson took 4-13 as Batley limped to 65-8 and relegation.
Going down with them are Pudsey Congs who came up just short in a breath-taking finish against New Farnley who set a target of 137-3 in 20 overs, Lee Goddard making a quick-fire 97.
Mubtada Akhtar (45) gave Congs a solid start and they looked as though they would just make it when Zahid Nassar (42no) and Danish Hussain were together, but Hussain was run out for 21 and Josh Wheatley could only manage a single off the last ball, leaving Congs one run short of a tie that would have been enough to keep them up.
Yorkshire South’s key decisions had all been settled so it made no difference that only one match survived this week. Paul Hilton twice took two wickets in three balls on his way to 5-54 as Tickhill were restricted to 103-9, which Appleby Frodingham passed with five wickets in hand.
The Aire-Wharfe still has one week to go but the odds swung in favour of Beckwithshaw claiming the title when their match against nearest rivals Otley was rained off.
In the only Division One game completed, Marcus Brown took 5-35 as relegated Colton were skittled out for 67 in reply to Guiseley’s 126-6.
The top of Division Two clash between Adel and Ben Rhydding was called off confirming Adel as champions.
With Yasar Ali following up a 5-21 spell with 75no to take Follifoot to victory over Skipton, Follifoot moved to within a point of Ben Rhydding.
With the Huddersfield Championship washed out, Shelley and Mirfield Parish Cavaliers were promoted.
SKIED IT: Irfan Amjad of Pudsey Congs looks to the sky but the ball was caught by Richard Atkins off David McCallam.