NEWBURGH began the defence of their Pilmoor Evening Cricket League title with a comfortable home victory over Helperby.

The visitors batted first and made 110-2, Dan Spink reaching an unbeaten half-century off the last ball of the innings, Ross McKenzie having earlier supported with 22, whilst Josh Sargent bowled an economical five-over spell of 1-18.

Mark Mierzwinski and Luke Ramsay led the home reply, Ramsay making 25 and Mierzwinski almost seeing his side home before being run out for 58. Newburgh still won comfortably at 111-2.

Sessay, Newburgh’s nearest challengers last season, were well beaten at Sheriff Hutton Bridge in their opening fixture.

Batting first, they were quickly reduced to 30-8 inside eight overs, and only an unbeaten 18 from James Easton saw them past 50 mark before they were all out for a paltry 52.

Dan Clipstone took 2-12 and Tom McGee 2-6, but the outstanding figures were achieved by Harry Sutcliffe, with 4-4.

Although Bridge lost two wickets, to Arran Bumby and Craig Easton, they won with ease in nine overs, Robert Speake unbeaten on 22.

Dringhouses won at neighbours Acomb. Paul Milner (26), Sam Lingard (24) and Andrew Simpson (20) did most to take them to 125-9, Paddy Glades (2-29) and Jack Spence (2-25) having made early inroads.

Houses had looked set for a bigger total but were checked by the introduction George Sykes, who claimed 4-2 from 2 overs, twice being on a hat-trick.

The home reply then faltered against Tom Storr (2-11) and Lingard (2-14), and although Dan Waterhouse made 24, Acomb closed adrift on 80-7.

A high-scoring encounter at Clifton Alliance saw Thirsk run up 142-2, Harry Collinson making 66 and Tom Spencer 56 not out.

Alliance won at 147-1 with 16 balls to spare, young Australian Jack Beath making an unbeaten 96. Simon William supported with 27.

The league again comprises two divisions of eight, with promotion and relegation on a one up, one down basis.

Stillington returned after an absence of three seasons, taking the place of Civil Service who resigned after the 2016 season.

They began their division two campaign with a home defeat to Rowntrees & Huntington, who this season will play most of their fixtures away due to ongoing problems with their ground.

R&H made 149-3 with Josh de Silva (54 ret) and Tom Shaw (29) their outstanding performers. In reply, Stillington were all out for 92 - Joe Adams made 50 and Josh Moate 25, but their colleagues were unable to deal with Dan Waterworth (3-4) and de Silva (3-2).

Raskelf enjoyed a comfortable win over relegated Alne.

Alne posted a more-than-respectable 131-3, Alex Buteux retiring on 50 and Sam Lupton hitting 48.

But Trevor Reynolds also registered a half-century in reply while Sam Porter made 30 not out and Brad Clark 20 not out to see Raskelf home at 134-1 with five overs in hand.

Huby made the short trip to Crayke and recorded a 30-run win.

Darren Howell (50 ret) and J Fox (40) helped them to 114-4, and in reply only Ian Pears (52 ret) got to grips with the Huby attack, Fox taking 2-8 and A Mead 3-15.

Geoff Schofield top scored with 40 as Sheriff Hutton totalled 118-9 against Easingwold, the visiting attack being led by Tom Wilson (4-37), Zac Wilson (2-16) and Josh Summerscales (2-16).

An understrength Easingwold were then shot out for 53, Tom Bews taking 2-15 and Stuart Barnes 3-13.