SHERIFF Hutton Bridge have been the stand-out team in Hunters York & District Senior League division one for almost the entire season – but their advantage at the top has been reduced once again.

Their lead was 50 points less than a month ago but has been whittled down to just 18 following a run of indifferent performances – the latest of which saw their last wicket pair salvage a draw against Knaresborough.

Sam Ryan (49) and Greg Pickles (55) both featured strongly as the visitors set a target of 229-7 at Moor Farm, a total which included three wickets for Jordan Tear (3-21).

The home side struggled throughout and could only manage 145-9 in reply, Toby Latham the top scorer with 35.

Second-placed Beverley Town had the better of a draw against relegation-threatened Pocklington at Norwood Park but were unable to clinch victory an unbeaten 49 from Dan Littlewood ensuring the visitors picked a vital share of the points.

Will Parker had earlier scored 82 for the hosts who reached 235-6, Brad Dobson contributing 45.

The visitors, without a win in their last five, replied through Ted Donkin with 36 and a half-century from James Fletcher (36). And, despite three wickets from Pete Parnaby (3-40), they got to within 34 runs of the home side by the close with three wickets still in hand.

A determined effort by Paul Clappinson (88no) denied Cartlon Towers victory at Hornsea, the home side finishing on 201-9 in reply to the visitors' 242.

Glen Ratcliffe (4-64) and Joe Butterworth (5-33) took nine wickets between them as the promotion chasing visitors were bowled out, but not before Tom Collins (76) and Henry Bayston (54) had ensured they had posted a competitive total.

Matthew Torn finished with 4-30 in the hosts innings but a half-century from Ashley McKinley (54) and Clappinson’s heroic effort made sure the match ended as a draw. The points gained could yet proved crucial as the battle to avoid relegation heats up.

Ben Lamb was in outstanding form for Goole Town, taking six for 19 as Sewerby were bowled out for just 86.

The hosts did manage four wickets of their own but an unbeaten 32 from Ashton Nottingham condemned them to a sixth defeat in eight and unless the can turn things around the side which began the season among the favourites for promotion could well end up being relegated.

By contrast Town’s fourth consecutive win sees them poised to take advantage should the three side above them falter in the run in.

Heworth faired only marginally better than Sewerby as they were dismissed for 95 at Elm Park by Dringhouses, the visiting duo of Richard Cole (4-29) and Mick Kenyon (3-16) doing most of the damage. It could have been a whole lot worse for the hosts had it not been for Chris Barrett who made 31.

That came in response to the visitors’ total of 165-9, Sam Shingard (32) and Andy Simpson (41) just about mastering what must have been difficult batting conditions, with Stephen Lawrence taking advantage to finish with figures of 5-42.

Five wickets from Ali-Hasan Ahmed ensured Harrogate’s five-match losing streak ended at bottom of the table Ripon.

The teenager proved too good for the home side who were all out for 129, Rob Taylor offering the main resistance with 36.

The visitors had earlier reached 167-8, with almost half the runs coming from Hector Bowerman (39) and Cooper Smith (40). Ben Crewe took 4-38 for the hosts who, having won just twice in the competition, must try to conjure three wins from their last four to have any chance of staying up.