CHAMPIONS York are facing an uphill battle to retain their Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier Cricket League title after losing to leaders Yorkshire Academy.

The Tykes youngsters won by 68 runs at Weetwood yesterday to move 19 points clear of the Clifton Parkers, who are bidding to win an eighth straight championship.

The hosts batted first and made 205-9, but York slumped to 55-5 in reply and were bowled out for 137.

On Saturday, York skipper Dan Woods had rescued his side from a perilous position against Harrogate to inspire a 58-run win at Clifton Park.

Woods led the way with 53 as York made 185, having at one stage been 35-4, and he then took three wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 127.

Woods, with a previous best of 35, remained resolute in defence and reached his half-century off 106 balls. That came during a fifth-wicket partnership of 68 with Richard Love, who made 27.

A ninth-wicket partnership of 35 between Tom Pringle (42) and Matthew Hodsdon pushed the score beyond 150 to offer the batting side a glimmer of hope.

Pringle then took 4-44 and Woods 3-44 to wrap up the win.