NEWBURGH are now firm favourites for the Pilmoor Evening Cricket League title after they beat Clifton Alliance while close rivals Sheriff Hutton Bridge failed in their run chase at Acomb.

Newburgh are now three points ahead with only two games left.

Thirsk, meanwhile, gave themselves hope of escaping the drop by beating Helperby, who now sit uncomfortably just above the relegation zone.

Huby look set for the division two crown and sole promotion spot after beating Raskelf in their top-of-the-table clash.

Newburgh’s latest victory came easily against Clifton Alliance, who remain in danger of the drop.

An understrength Clifton were all out for 65, Lewis Clark batting well for 34, as Josh Sargent took 4-13 from five overs.

James Banks led Newburgh to victory in the 10th over, the only casualty being Luke Ramsay.

Aiden Burton (49), Matthew Dale (21) and Tom Neal (26) showed up well as Acomb reached 130-8 against second-placed Sheriff Hutton Bridge, Danny Cass (2-21) and Rob Stevens (4-27) being the pick of the bowlers.

SHB responded through Jack Hugill (25), Paul Scaling (33) and Dave Bradshaw (46 not out) but Charlie Brookes took 2-21 and the reply fell just short at 124-4 - a likely fatal blow to their championship hopes.

Thirsk visited Helperby knowing defeat would see them relegated.

They were soon in difficulty as Dan Marston (4-9) bowled an outstanding five overs before T Scott (28no) and S Richardson (38no) brought about a recovery. Thirsk closed on 102-7.

Helperby also found the going tough as Stuart Christon (3-22) and James Wilkinson (3-12) struck back. Luke Fletcher hit 19 but the hosts were all out for 68.

An outstanding opening stand between Paul Milner (79no) and Andrew Kenyon (67) set up victory for Dringhouses at home to Sessay.

The partnership was not broken until the fourth ball of the last over when Kenyon was caught and bowled by Liam Carver, Dringhouses making 159-1.

Tom Wilkinson threatened for Sessay with a brisk 34, but the asking rate proved too much and although Paul Flintoff (23) and Carver (37) made useful contributions, they closed on 130-5, Danny Snaith returning 2-14.

The two top in division two met at Raskelf.

Alec Snowball made 33, B Milburn 26 and Harry Ellis 23 not out in the hosts’ 118-4, Jake Fox taking 2-7.

Huby ran out nine-wicket winners as Steven Piercy made 50 retired and Sean Dixon 49 not out.

Alne won for only the second time this season, after a last-ball thriller.

Visitors Crayke made 107-7, Ryan Raper taking 2-7 and Ryan Beaumont 2-9. Alastair Jackson (50 ret) led the reply, his side winning off the last ball with six wickets spare.

Easingwold restricted Stillington to 55-8 as Zac Wilson took 5-5. Aubrey Towler (30no) Easingwold to a nine-wicket win in seven overs.

Geoff Schofield (41) saw Sheriff Hutton total 108-9 against Rowntrees & Huntington, for whom Steve Beales took 4-18.

R Shaw (29no) and Dan Waterworth (27) showed up well in reply, but Joe Schofield took 2-12 as R&H closed on 89-6.