TEENAGER Rory Watson put a dent in Stockton & Hopgrove’s HPH Vale Cricket League championship hopes with a stunning bowling performance.

The 17-year-old bowler was on a hat-trick three times as his 7-37 enabled Bishopthorpe to successfully defend 129.

Dan Fairclough struck twice early on to put the Bishops in trouble and despite Scott Clapham’s 54, Rich Grimes maintained the pressure with 5-37.

The odds looked in S&H’s favour but Watson whipped out five of the top six to have the home side reeling on 44-6. Stockton regrouped but lost by 16 runs as their last three wickets fell for one run.

The result enabled Ovington to move 43 points clear at the top as they thrashed Fulfordgate by 155 runs, Pete Kelly (108no) scoring his maiden century and veteran Dave Brummitt taking 5-25 as Gate were restricted to 123-9.

The pair Ovington could not remove were husband and wife duo Ray and Bev Dodd – probably the league’s first partnership of it type.

North Cave lost ground when they were beaten by Hemingbrough whose Gary Wilson hit 52 and took 4-34, including a hat-trick.

Hirst Courtney’s Jake Wild (5-29) completed his ‘five-for’ with the final ball of Askham Bryan’s innings, then led his side to a five-wicket win with an unbeaten 41.

Ed Clark (61) and Norman Elliott (57no) helped Burn to 229-5 against Kelfield, whose challenge faded after Phil Smith was stumped for 90.

York RI all-rounder Divoyd Smith (86 and 4-55) put the skids under division two leaders Thixendale, but Clifton Alliance’s hopes of taking top spot were undone at Ben Johnson.

Jamie Agnew hit 13 boundaries and a maximum in his 103 as the printers piled up 232-5 and although Josh Harrison responded with an unbeaten 92, Alliance fell well short.

As the top two faltered, North Duffield moved to within five points of the summit with victory at Thorpe Willoughby, where Paul Pemberton (4-44) was twice on a hat-trick.

Greg Sykes (69) and Paul Whitley (56) shared a third-wicket partnership of 113 in Heworth’s win at Selby whose Steve Sherwood smacked 97.

Westow skipper Mark Earle hit 109 but could not prevent his side from losing to Wheldrake by three wickets with three balls remaining.

Melbourne’s march to the division three title continued with victory at Ovington II, where opener Oliver Steels followed three well-judged catches with an unbeaten 61.

Phil Johnson was the star of Stillingfleet’s remarkable win at Acomb. Fleet were bowled out for 80, Johnson scoring 30 of them, before he then grabbed 7-14 as Acomb crumbled to 58 all out.

Rich Horsman (126) scored his second successive century as Stockton & Hopgrove II romped home at Bishopthorpe.

After last week’s stand of 223 against Hemingbrough II, Horsman and fellow opener Dan Reardon (72) put on 193 against the Bishops’ second-string.

Dunnington openers David Wilson (110no) and Harrison Mussell (80) also piled on the runs in the win against Burn II, who may regret not introducing Mark Webster into their attack earlier as he took 4-7 in two overs.

Press performance of the week

Phil Johnson bowled Stillingfleet to an unlikely division three victory at Acomb with 7-14 after top scoring in his side’s modest 80 all out.