SESSAY continue to hold a three point lead at the top of division one of the Pilmoor Evening Cricket League as the season moves into its second half.

The leaders came out on top after a well-contested match against Helperby.

Opener Mark Jackson got the Sessay innings off to a fine start with a sparkling 43 from 27 balls and Tom Wilkinson made 37 as Sessay reached 129-5. Lewis Rees-Hughes (2-22) and Charlie Grasby (3-22) kept Helperby in the hunt.

When they replied, Sessay captain James Easton struck a telling blow when he had Atish Chouhan caught at mid-on in the first over. Although Helperby recovered through Ross McKenzie, with 35, they still found themselves behind the run rate at the ten over mark at 55-3.

Sessay continued to bowl tidily and Helperby closed adrift on 106-5 with Dan Marston unbeaten on 34, Easton finishing with 2-16.

Acomb kept up their challenge with a comfortable victory over Sheriff Hutton Bridge.

Bridge made 95-7, Ben Gill making 27 and Jordan Grose 26 not out but economical five over spells from Scott Nicholls (3-17) and Joe Dale (2-18) kept Acomb on top.

Nicholls then made 30 and Dan Littlewood 27 as Acomb reached 96-3 in the 16th over.

At the foot of the table, Sheriff Hutton entertained Thirsk still looking for their first win and saw the visitors bat first. Chris Gartland took an early wicket and returned at the end of the innings to claim four more and finish with 5-16.

Thirsk, though, managed to reach 113-9 with Keiran Fenwick making 33 and Joe Caine 23.

The home reply suffered early setbacks with three wickets falling in the first two overs, and there was to be no recovery as they struggled to 42-9, with James Wilkinson (3-18), Harry Consett (3-19) and Ben Morgan (2-3) doing the damage for Thirsk.

Newburgh batted first against struggling visitors Alne and suffered the earliest of setbacks when Luke Ramsay fell to the first ball of the match.

Newburgh quickly recovered and Mark Mierzwinski (86no) and Tommy Banks (77) proceeded to put the Alne attack to the sword for almost the entire innings as they closed on 172-2.

Alne's innings fell away to 117-8.

The second division title race seems to be a straight contest between York sides Clifton Alliance and Dringhouses, who each hold a four point advantage over their nearest challengers.

Dringhouses batted first against Civil Service and careless batting saw them precariously placed at 38-5 but a sixth wicket partnership between Martin Baggaley (38) and Danny Snaith (28) got them out of trouble and they closed on 127-9.

The reply was led by Rich Wells (50 ret) but Lewis Rennison took 2-13 for Dringhouses and Civil Service closed on 107-5 with Will Peet 17 not out as Dringhouses continued their challenge for promotion.

Clifton Alliance comfortably saw off the challenge of visitors Rowntrees & Huntington.

The basis of Clifton’s 136-4 was provided by Nick Hindle with 51 (ret) and Jason Gatus with 29 - Tom Shaw taking 2-26 for the visitors. Their reply was led by Jack Hugill (51 ret) but Jack Heartshorne took 2-26 and Rowntrees & Huntington’s challenge never really materialised as they closed on 96-5.

Easingwold batted first when they entertained Raskelf and ran up an imposing 168-4, with notable contributions from Max Cosgrove (51 ret), Kyle Waite (32), Rowan Capper (23no) and Liam Leckenby (24no), while Sam Raper (2-26 from five overs) was the pick of the Raskelf bowlers.

Raskelf responded through Sam Porter with 36 and Raper with 35, but Ryan Waite’s 2-24 and 2-27 from Sagar Gohil helped keep Raskelf in check.

There was a closely fought contest at Huby where Huby batted first against Crayke and made 137-8 - Thomas Piercy (50 ret) and Mark Swales (33) the men in form.

Crayke put in a serious challenge but ultimately the efforts of Dave Allitt (50 ret) and Ian Pears (25) were to prove in vain as they closed on 130-8.