CLIFTON Alliance CC are through to the final round of the ECB National Club Championship group stage after beating neighbours York at Clifton Park.

Following the seven-wicket third-round win, Alliance will play host to Richmondshire on Sunday, June 30 (1pm).

And Alliance captain John Gilham is delighted with Saturday's result - which he admits is made just that bit better by it being over their close rivals.

"It always makes it sweeter," he said.

"We know how strong York are as a club.

"We have a strong rivalry and to beat our neighbours is always special.

"I'm absolutely over the moon this morning with our performance all round. All three facets we did well - I'm chuffed to bits."

Hosts and reigning Yorkshire Premier League North champions York won the toss and chose to bat, with danger man Duncan Snell and Oliver Batchelor forming the opening partnership. It was short-lived, though, as Snell - who has three centuries to his name already this season - was removed by Dave Friend for just nine runs.

Matthew Bell (32) made the most significant contribution to the hosts' total of 171-7 off 40 overs, while visiting bowlers Thomas Brown (2-21) and Friend (2-32) did the most of the damage.

It took Alliance fewer than 34 overs to reach their target, with star men Matthew Montgomery (67 not out) and Andrew Simpson putting on a third-wicket stand of 75. After Simpson (37) was bowled by Harry Franklin (1-28), Samuel Grant stepped in to help smash Alliance to victory, his 23 off seven balls containing four fours and one six.

Number-seven bat Gilham did not get near the wicket, which sits less than 260 metres from that of Alliance.

"You want to get out there and have a part," he said. "But I was quite happy to sit in the clubhouse watching."

Richmondshire - who knocked York out of last year's cup - have triumphed in their last two meetings over Alliance.