HPH York Vale Cricket League favourites Westow laid down an early marker with a comfortable home win against Kelfield on the opening day.

Westow initially made slow progress on a bowler-friendly day, reaching 25-0 from 10 overs before Andrew Welford (51) picked up the scoring rate.

Sam Dunn (3-32), supported by Ben Atkinson, who also finished with three wickets, saw Westow bowled out for 176.

Mark Earle bowled Kelfield’s Neil Atkinson and Matt Walker in the same over and finished with figures of 9-5-6-2. Craig Lawson hit an attacking 34 but Adrian Upton (4-27) and Jacob Stephenson ripped through the middle order as Kelfield slid to 80-8.

Phil Corfield counter-attacked with 48 to get Kelfield up to 115 before he was last man out, trapped lbw by Stephenson (3-20).

Wheldrake ruined Thixendale’s return to first division action in a thrilling last-over finish.

Les Milburn scored 64 for last season’s division two champions who were bowled out for 180 in the final over.

Anthony Carter followed his 3-43 by leading Wheldrake’s reply with 72. With 14 needed off the final over, Wheldrake skipper Nick Myers was on strike. After three dot balls and a wide, he skied the next ball to the short boundary where a fielder almost palmed the ball back infield but could not prevent the ball dropping over the boundary.

The next delivery was also despatched for six before Myers guided the next ball for the match-winning single. Myers finished unbeaten on 41 in a four-wicket win.

Melbourne were blown away by Askham Bryan’s Steve Drake who smashed 141 not out at Heslington Lane.

Melbourne had posted 224 thanks largely to a 95-run fifth-wicket partnership between Adam Thomas (60) and Andy Forman (49). Chris Copeland took 4-52 and Dave Sladen 3-56.

Drake then dominated an unbroken partnership of 176 with Sladen (40no) as Askham stormed to an eight-wicket win.

A solid all-round display by Clifton Alliance earned them victory against Burn. Jake Atkinson (39), Jason Gatus (33) and Andrew Parkinson (30) were the bedrock of Alliance’s 162-6. Burn’s batting never really got into gear and they were bowled out for 126, Jack Heartshorne taking 3-21.

Stockton & Hopgrove’s hopes of an immediate return to the top flight after relegation were given an early boost with a 10-wicket thrashing of Thorpe Willoughby in division two.

Thorpe were in trouble at 18-5, Adam Kerrison running out Andy Kirk with a brilliant direct hit from 40 yards. Extras top scored as the innings subsided to 62 all out. Dean Tyler took a hat-trick in his 4-12 while Dan Fairclough claimed 3-14.

Rich Kerrison (56no) made quick work of the total.

Bishopthorpe’s Matthew Sharples hit 67 against Yapham in trying conditions for batsmen. Rob Boddy gave Yapham hope with 5-9 as Bishops were bowled out for 135.

Yapham struggled to 83-6 from their 40 overs, Sharples completing an excellent individual performance with 3-15.

Acomb withdrew from the league because of lack of players a week before the opening fixtures.

Burn II proved too strong for a young Clifton Alliance II side in division three.

Norman Elliott scored 84 not out in Burn’s 184-4, Tom Harland being run out for 40. A partnership of 53 from 13-year-old Ollie Brookes-Humphrey (16) and some big hitting from Glynn Brookes-Humphrey (45) gave Clifton’s innings momentum but Vaughn Lindley turned the game in Burn’s favour, taking 5-19 from 11 overs.

A late flurry by Andrew Brookes (38no) took Alliance to 128-6 at the close, Burn winning by 36 runs.

Press Performance of the Week

Steve Drake made a spectacular start to the division one season for Askham Bryan with an unbeaten 141 against Melbourne