SIMON Mason made good on his long promise of a major innings for York as he produced it at the vital time to eclipse Harrogate, York's closest Yorkshire ECB Premier League title rivals.

Mason's awesome power earned him 26 boundaries, of which two were sixes, and helped clear off 'Gate's useful total of 206-8 with 19 overs remaining.

It was by common consent the finest league innings witnessed in recent seasons and the home crowd gave him a generous ovation as he departed unbeaten for 143.

Duncan Snell and Rob Flack had given York a good start by claiming the scalps of John Inglis and Alexis Twigg. Former Yorkshire player Vic Craven dug in with Minor Counties all-rounder Dave Pennett to produce a stand of 89, Dan Broadbent, York's off-spinner, had Pennett caught behind by Nigel Durham and the same duo accounted for Craven.

Leg-spinner Mark Bell got into the act and the two spinners bowled the innings out to claim six wickets between them, despite resistance from Khalid Butt and Matt Cousen.

After Michael Sheedy's unfortunate run-out, the Simon Mason show made Harrogate's normally useful 206 seem puny but he was given invaluable support by Tom Bartram, who is laying a creditable claim to ownership of the opening spot and the pair secured an overall 13 points lead over Harrogate in the league.

Harrogate: J Inglis c Durham b Snell 4, A Twigg c Snell b Flack 10, V Craven st Durham b Broadbent 59, D Pennett c Durham b Broadbent 45, K Hussain-Butt c Mason b Bell 28, M Cousen not out 38, R Scales c Kay b Broadbent 2, R Pearson c Wood b Bell 9, J Codling not out 2, extras 8. Total 206-8.

Bowling: D Snell 6-1-19-1, R Flack 8-3-35-1, D Broadbent 22-4-78-4, Mark Bell 19-2-66-2.

York: Michael Sheedy run out 0, T Bartram c Twigg b Ross 38, S Mason not out 143, N Kay not out 12, extras 16. Total 210-2.

Bowling: V Craven 7-1-48-0, D Pennett 8-1-22-0, R Pearson 9-0-57-0, K Hussain-Butt 5-0-27-0, R Ross 4-0-19-1, J Codling 2.5-0-26-0.

Updated: 10:56 Monday, June 20, 2005