BISHOPTHORPE increased the pressure at the top of the HPH York Vale Cricket league first division by beating leaders North Cave.

It reduced Cave’s advantage to just three points with Ovington just 10 points off the lead with a game in hand.

Bishopthorpe made a slow start as Mike Stellings starred with a dozen straight overs for 1-16, But the home side totalled 188-6 as Ian Holmes (42) and Mark Ford (24) clattered 60 from seven overs. Cave struggled to 98-6 before James Windeatt’s whirlwind 51 gave them an outside chance but they eventually ran out of wickets as Bish, unbeaten at Ferry Lane since May 2013, won by 19 runs.

Ovington and opponents Stockton & Hopgrove were both missing key players but Joe Whale (43) and Pete Kelly (33) helped Ovington to 182-8, Rich Grimes (4-33) swinging the ball to great effect. Neil Metcalfe (5-42) then bowled the Knavesmire side to a 61-run win.

Fulfordgate secured their first win of the season thanks to a great all-round performance by Alan Baldock. He came on with Burn 150-1 and changed the game by removing Leigh Adamson for 87 and finished with 5-35. Needing 199 to win, Baldock led the victory charge with 73 before Liam Hancey (54no) saw them home with four balls to spare.

Kelfield’s Craig Lawson went into the final over against North Duffield needing a couple of runs for his century but ended up on 99 not out in the company of Neil Atkinson, who had smashed 68 from 58 deliveries. They lifted Kelfield to 235-5 at tea and despite a fighting 62 not out by James Knibb, Duffield fell well short.

Jake Wild was in prime form as Hirst Courtney won at Westow in division two, hitting 77 and taking 4-28. Ali Fothergill (5-43) took his first ‘five-for’ for Westow.

Dave Baker (5-19) bowled Heworth to victory against Askham Bryan, the win coming with three balls of the match remaining.

Thorpe Willoughby made it at hat-trick of wins in division three by thumping Yapham by nine wickets, Ross Powell (51no) and Andy Kirk (46no) sharing an unbroken partnership of 104.

Wheldrake took a step closer to promotion by hammering Bishopthorpe II by nine wickets, Mark Hamilton (54no) and Ben Challis (39no) wrapping up maximum points with an unbroken partnership of 104.

There were two centuries in division four – but only one secured victory.

Kareem Baqui stroked an unbeaten 111 from 117 balls to set up a 26-run win against Selby II, team-mates Joe Bateson and Ralph Sinclair taking four wickets apiece.

Meanwhile, in-form Thiagarajam Swaminathan, batting with a runner, scored a superb 114 not out for Malton & Old Malton II who lost by one run at Pocklington. Better known to his colleagues as Thiagu, the Pickering-based doctor, also took a couple of wickets as Pock totalled 189-8, James Baker scoring 70. Thiagu led Malt’s run chase but fell agonisingly short for the second week in succession, having tied with Selby II seven days earlier.

Press Performance of the Week

Batting with a runner, Thiagarajam Swaminathan (114no) scored a great century for Malton & Old Malton II against promotion-chasing Pocklington in division four.