by Graham Purdy

BURN beat Thixendale to gatecrash the title race in HPH York Vale Cricket League division one.

Despite runs from Simon Walgate (72) and Jonty Meggison (74no), Thixendale’s first innings total (224-4) proved below par.

The opening century partnership of Scott Haigh (90no) and Harry Cruise (81) set up what proved a comfortable run chase for Burn (227-3).

Second-placed Clifton Alliance (158-1) returned to winning ways in the league, seeing off an understrength Melbourne (156) whose Oliver Steels hit 84.

Matthew Simms (3-23) and Richard Marshall (4-30) among the wickets again for the hosts.

The early loss of skipper Jason Gatus proved a minor blip for Clifton with Matthew Phillips (78no) and Niall Tilsley (55no) powering them to victory inside 20 overs.

Yapham (140-8) squeezed out a vital narrow win against fellow relegation contenders Ovington (138) after bowling out their visitors cheaply through Sam Vale (5-33) and Will Cardy (3-43).

The home side were then made to work hard for the points as young spinner Jack Walmsley (4-45) followed up his earlier runs (41) to keep the game on a knife edge after the dismissal of Dan Isenstein (52).

The Yapham tail held its nerve to secure victory on the penultimate ball of a thrilling game.

Kelfield (140-5) and South Cave and Brantingham (141-7) also played out a thriller as fourth played fifth in a reduced overs game.

Cave’s total was indebted to good knocks from Oliver Pierce (45), Anjun Bahl (28) and Harshal Deshmukh (40no).

In reply Kelfield were always in contention until the final over of the day when excellent death bowling from Tony Scotter left then agonisingly close as Cave clinched victory by a single run.

Askham Bryan (149) remain rooted to the bottom of the table after a heavy defeat against Stockton and Hopgrove (151-2) whose Rob Cockerill (80no) and Rich Kerrison (54) were in command with the bat after Tom Williams (3-25) and Athula Rathanayke (3-23) set-up the victory with the ball.

Division two leaders Stamford Bridge (233-6) returned to winning ways in convincing fashion with a strong performance against visitors Sessay (137-9).

Runs from Ollie Pimlott (69), Charlie Wilson (60) and Ian Fraser (27) set them on their way before Pimlott returned with the ball (3-14) to complete the win despite resistance from Andrew Dawson (66).

The contest between the leaders’ nearest challengers went firmly to Pocklington (47-1) with a crushing defeat of visitors Dunnington (46) who were rolled over by the bowling of Richard Williman (4-3) and Richard Foster (3-13).

Bottom side Thorpe Willoughby (155) turned the tables on visitors Hirst Courtney (116) with Danny Crockford (50 and 3-46) having a productive day for the hosts.

Bowling partners Luke Chugg (4-13) and Ed Hutchinson (3-26) ensured that Hirst were unable to capitalise on opener Sam Dunn’s (69, including six 6s) aggressive intent, youngster Chugg bowling Dunn as he looked to take the game the visitor’s way.

Division three leaders Thorpe Willoughby and Burn both secured convincing wins to move clear of the chasing clubs.

Burn (197-4) needed all their batting power to overcome third place Ovington (193), with skipper Ray Adamson (42no and 3-37) leading from the front.

The runs were shared in Thorpe Willoughby’s (219-9) visit to Heslington (157-8) as Ed Hutchinson (39) David Squires (28), Lewis Smith (26), Craig Welford (34no) and Jamie Richardson (26) all enjoyed time at the crease.

The homes side’s reply fell short despite a half century from skipper Iain Tessier (50) with the spin of Ed Hutchinson (3-29) a feature.

Bolton Percy (165-7) returned to winning ways overcoming visitors Stamford Bridge (132) with Iona Ffrench-Adam (4-33) taking vital wickets as Stamford’s run chase fell short.