OVINGTON remain favourites to retain their HPH York Vale Cricket League crown despite losing at Bishopthorpe on Saturday.

They took enough bonus points at Ferry Lane to know they will take the title if they win their final two games because leaders North Cave failed to beat Kelfield.

Scott Clapham (54) and 33 from 22 balls by Mark Ford set Ovington a target of 185-8. With the reply on 153-9, Ovington skipper David Cole decided that his team had no chance of reaching the target in poor light. He retired his last batsman and conceded defeat in the knowledge that the eight bonus points left them in the championship driving seat.

Cave struggled at Kelfield who recovered from 19-2 to total 188-8 as Craig Walker notched 52. Matt Walker (3-25) and Sam Dunn (3-30) had reduced Cave to 71-6 when rain brought a premature end to the game.

Richard Kerrison hit 46 as Stockton & Hopgrove edged out Burn by 21 runs. Stockton slipped from 92-2 to 125 all out after rain interrupted the match after 24 overs. Burn’s hopes of victory ended with the dismissal of Ed Clark (39).

Melbourne and Ben Johnson both sealed promotion from division two but the destination of the title still has to be resolved.

Father and son Matt (70) and Will Huffer (82) put on 154 for Heworth’s second wicket against Melbourne who hunted down the 199 victory target for the loss of four wickets. Harry Collins followed his 3-37 with an innings of 90 which included three sixes and 11 boundaries.

Ben Johnson had an easier task at Westow where Martin Reynolds blasted 87 and Jamie Agnew recovered from a blow to the head to score 46 in the printers’ 208-7. The village side closed on 153-8, Andrew Welford undefeated on 95.

Some games in the Selby area were called off because of the Rugby League Cup final, and Selby II’s failure to raise a team in division four saw Nasir Mahmood promoted to the senior side. Mahmood, who made the league’s biggest individual score last year, smashed 108 against Askham Bryan. But it still was not enough to deliver victory as Askham recovered from 81-4 to win thanks to Ali Hogben (51no) and Ewan MacNabb (32no).

Selby had better luck the following day when they won at Clifton Alliance. Paul Hesletine was Selby’s star, striking 14 fours in his 92 before taking 4-31 as Alliance skipped from 123-2 to 192 all out.

A scorching 67 from only 37 deliveries by Stefan Littlewood was the highlight of Ovington II three-run win in division three against Malton & Old Malton.

Dunnington finally found a ray of sunshine in a difficult season as youngster Jay Snowden’s 65 took them to victory against Bishopthorpe II.

Runaway division four leaders Burn II had a crushing 284-run win against Stamford Bridge. Openers Andrew Watson (105) and Ray Adamson (103) both retired after reaching their centuries as Burn amassed 315-3. A Bridge team containing only three adults was then skittled for 31, 13-year-old Patrick Abbott taking 4-11.

Press Performance of the Week

All-rounder Paul Heseletine’s innings of 92 and return of 4-31 against Clifton Alliance in division four earn Selby a much-needed victory