THE Costcutter York and District Senior League premier division clash between two of the League's founder member clubs ended in somewhat controversial circumstances.

Easingwold appeared to be heading for a victory at home to Thirsk which would have cemented their lead at the top of the division.

The Australians on each side were their team's top scorers, Lincoln McCrae making 63 for Thirsk and Matthew Schenke 51 for Easingwold.

In addition to McCrae's knock, skipper Dave Greenlay made 25 and Des Wyrill 24 not out as Thirsk made 175-5. Paul Redshaw took 4-59 for the hosts.

With the weather causing a reduction to 45 overs, Schenke gave Easingwold a sound foundation then Jonathan Marwood made 33.

As the weather deteriorated, home skipper Martin Robinson reached 40 not out but the umpires called the players off the field with five overs remaining and Easingwold's score at 147-3 with 29 required for victory.

Despite waiting until 8.30pm the match was unable to resume, leaving Easingwold in particular with a feeling of frustration.

With Easingwold only taking nine points, defending champions Clifton Alliance moved to the head of the division with a one point lead, by beating Pickering.

Pickering's Australian Neal Simmonds madeg a top score of 24 as Clifton's Joe Southam took 6-49 in an unbroken bowling spell as Pickering were restricted to 98-8.

Tony Evans then worried the Clifton batting ranks before Duncan Naylor came to his team's rescue with a timely 42 to take Clifton to a four wicket win.

Bottom-placed Driffield are still looking for their first victory after being involved in a thriller at Sheriff Hutton Bridge.

Driffield lost Mick Drury to Shakil Nawaz for four then Ankur Sondhi was removed by Mike Sinclair for 16.

Ex-Hornsea man, John Woolley and Phil Woodcock progressed to 83 before the former was removed by Paul Oldfield after making 34.

Woodcock made a top score of 40 before becoming the second of three victims for leading wicketkeeper Peter Crowder and it was left to the gloveman's opposite number, Samir Pathak, to steer Driffield to a competitive score.

The ex-Hull man scored an unbeaten 34 as the bottom club reached 173-3. Nawaz took 4-78 in a 18-over stint.

Both Sheriff Hutton Bridge openers fell to Geoff Drury with only 25 on the board. Oldfield and Nawaz then added 50 before both were dismissed by Woolley, each having made 23, and half the home side were out for 88.

Drury grabbed his fourth wicket when sent back skipper Steve Crowder for 14.

Peter Crowder went on to an unbeaten 43 and Nick Scaling faced the final delivery with three required for victory but managed only two to level the scores. Scaling was unbeaten with a par 23 as Bridge closed on 173-6 to tie the game.

Woodhouse Grange's West Indian skipper Terry Rollock led the way as his side beat Pocklington by one wicket to move into fourth place.

Rollock took 4-34 as he and Steve Burdett (5-44) reduced Pocklington to 120-9, Rod Hinch 49 and Matt Atkinson 26 being the main contributors with the bat.

Rollock made 32 before Russ Bilton rescued Grange with 25 and their efforts were able to thwart Ben McIntosh, who took 5-61.

Heworth eased their relegation worries when they had the better of a draw against Whitkirk.

Heworth skipper Dave Simpson scored 54 while Aussie Nick Fisher weighed in with 46.

Eighteen-year-old Tom Glover took 4-38 and Simon Bowman 3-42 but Heworth reached 198-8.

In reply, Rob Horner top scored with 35 for Whikirk but Martin Sigsworth took 3-21 as Whitkirk settled for a draw at 153-8.

Acomb's game with Osbaldwick was reduced because of rain to the minimum of 30 overs, but they got full batting points and an advantage draw to stay in third place.

Openers Richard Sykes and Andy Tute seemed likely to bat through until Andy Tute fell for 87 after the pair had added 199.

Sykes, with 93 not out of Acomb's 203-1, was almost certainly denied his 23rd league century by the over limitation.

Osbaldwick were never in any serious danger of defeat as Richard Carew made 42 and Andy Hall 49. Dominda Perea took 3-34, but Osbaldwick took a draw at 140-6 to leave the bottom three sides separated by two points.