DRIFFIELD Town’s lead at the top of the Hunters York & District Senior League has been reduced to four points after they came off second best at Malton & Old Malton.

A dominant display with the bat by the hosts saw them reach 288-8. Michael Linsley top scored with 87 and Sam Batty made an unbeaten 51 while Matthew Turnbull and Shaun Harland, who both scored half-centuries when the sides met earlier in the season, scored 75 and 48 respectively.

The visitors avoided defeat but finished well short of the victory target closing on 233-8, Jamie Greavson with 50 and Grant Halder 31 both remaining unbeaten while earlier in the reply Chris Grey had made 43.

Joe Dale recorded the highest individual score in this season’s competition, smashing 164 off 108 balls for Acomb at home to Pickering, beating the previous best of 144 by Hull Zingari’s Matthew Bunn.

Dale went into the match yet to reach three figures despite having gone past 50 on six separate occasions including the reverse fixture at the Recreation Ground. That sequence ended emphatically during an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership worth 147 to which Stuart Boyle contributed 32.

That was the same score made by opener William Wade while skipper Matthew Dale weighed in with 83 as the home side reached 328-3.

The visitors inflicted their hosts' only defeat of the season back in May but a repeat never looked likely. Ryan Boyes (52) made a half-century and both Owen Cowton (42) and David Greenlay (35) helped to prevent a defeat with their innings closing on 237-6 which included three wickets for Darcy O’Connor.

Third-placed Studley Royal recorded back-to-back victories for the first time this season with a 56-run win at home to bottom of the table Whitkirk.

Rob Nicholson top scored with 80 to go with the 67 made in the previous meeting between the sides, and Adam Newcombe scored 31 despite which the home side only reached 181. Ben Danby (3-28) and Sam Bateman (4-40) were the leading wicket takers for the visitors.

Dan Craven finished with 5-38 and three from William Wray (3-44) helped dismiss the visitors for 125 – the hosts completing the double over their opponents.

At Clifton Park, four wickets from Tom Forsdike (4-35) increased his tally over the last three matches to 15 as York inflicted a third consecutive defeat on Folkton & Flixton.

The visitors' victory when the sides last met helped secure top spot, but now as the sides enter the second half of the season York sit comfortably in fourth whilst their opponents have dropped to seventh.

Forsdike’s haul helped dismiss the visitors for 170, a total which included useful contributions from both Tom Norman (33) and Jake Hatton (43).

Richard Love responded with 36 for the home side but it was down to Alex Collins (55no) to guide them to victory with an unbeaten half-century – although they did lose six wickets along the way, with three going to Harry Walmsley (3-28).

Sheriff Hutton Bridge climbed out of the relegation places following a six-wicket win over Easingwold at Back Lane.

The home side reached 214-7, Sean Dixon (42) and Josh Sargeant (35no) with a key stand of 65 late on after Ben Harrison (3-54) had taken three wickets.

Paul Oldfield (64) and Robert Stevens (83) proved they two were capable of forming a partnership with their combined efforts adding 115 for the third wicket, ensuring the result was seldom in doubt.

Bridge’s place in the bottom two was taken by Beverley Town who are still searching for a first league win in 2019 after they suffered a six-wicket defeat at home to Hull Zingari.

Mike Cooke top scored for the home side but it was the performance of Callum Hellwig which dominated the first half of the contest, returning his side's best figures of the season so far with 5-46.

The visitors eased to a comfortable victory, Jack Storey (34) and Matthew Bunn (42) setting the platform for Fergus Wilkinson to see the chase through with an unbeaten 37.