STUDLEY Royal must be among the title favourites for the Hunters York & District Senior League premier division title after holding their nerve to win a close-fought contest at Whitkirk by eight runs.

Put in to bat, a strong showing from the visitors’ top order of James Clarkson (35), Andy Fleming (44) and Rob Nicholson (67) enabled them to reach 191-5.

Whitkirk skipper Simon Webb finished with 3-44 and then opened the home side's reply with 45 before becoming one of five wickets for William Wray (5-47).

Mark Murphy’s 69 off just 71 balls kept the home side's hopes alive but he was unable to get his team over the line.

York were looking to make it two wins from two as they travelled to Folkton & Flixton, but a fine all-rounder performance from Connor Stephenson put paid to their ambitions.

Runs from Alex Collins (47) and Nick Kay (39) along with 31 from Alex Liley should have led to a bigger total than the 184 the visitors reached, Stephenson picking up three wickets along the way.

The match hung in the balance after both Harry Walmsley (37) and Will Hutchinson (41) had been dismissed, but an unbroken partnership for the seventh wicket between Stephenson (49 not out) and Jake Hatton (34 not out) saw their side home.

Easingwold lost their first three wickets for just five runs against newly-promoted Sheriff Hutton Bridge.

Although they rallied through the middle of the innings, no one could make a telling contribution as Nadeem Shefta kept a tight rein on things, finishing with 5-43 from 12 overs. The visitors were eventually all out for 154.

Tom Quinn’s 4-27 set the nerves on edge amongst the home side but they were eased by a stand of 69 between Jack Hugill (67) and Daniel Cass (54 not out), the latter there to see out the victory with more than a dozen overs to spare.

An unbeaten century from Brad Dobson (105 not out) set up Beverley Town to take the lion’s share of the points from their visit to East Riding rivals Hull Zingari.

Further contributions from Rob Fish (63) and Olly Grantham (35) helped the away side set a total of 238-3.

The home side were unable to mount a serious challenge thanks in part to three wickets from Brad Graham, although Matty Bunn gave the home side something to cheer with an unbeaten 55 to help stave off defeat.

The day’s closest finish came at Kings Mill Road where hosts Drififeld Town came within seven runs of chasing down Malton & Old Malton’s total of 250-8.

Shaun Harland led the way for the visitors with 94 and Matthew Turnbull added a further 63 as Jamie Geveson just about managed to prevent the score getting out of control, producing the best return of the day with six for 55.

There were three wickets for Michael Linsley (3-53) as the hosts made a strong fist of their reply, Alec Drury (66) and Grant Halder (62) helping to ensure they received a sizeable share of the points on offer.

Despite a a partnership of 166 between brothers Matthew (85) and Joe (72) Dale, it was five wickets from Kieran Bowes (5-35) that largely shaped Acomb’s total as they took on Pickering at the Recreation Ground.

Kieran Edmond (3-46) picked up the other three Acomb wickets as the visitors reached 210-8.

The home side lost their first two wickets with just a single on the board – both caught at the wicket by Joe Schofield who had a hand in four of the six wickets the hosts would go on to lose.

A third wicket stand of 128 between Dave Greenlay (62) and Andy Sharman (56) still left the hosts with work to do and, despite four wickets from Will Wade (4-51), they reached their target comfortably. Ryan Taylor, with a rapid fire 37 off 26 balls, helped set up the win.