Booth leads way as Townville stay clear

Methley's Nick Connolly, who hit 81 against Northowram Fields.
Methley's Nick Connolly, who hit 81 against Northowram Fields.

Townville marched on in their quest for the Central Yorkshire League’s Premier Division title when they made short work of beating third-placed Wakefield Thornes.

Nick Bresnan’s men were expecting a tough test against a side with outside chances of the title themselves, but a great effort in the field paved the way for a convincing nine-wicket success.

Thornes chose to bat first, but were soon in trouble at 15-4 with four of their top order out cheaply to opening bowlers Dean Woolsey and Richie Bresnan.

David Toft (16) and Joe Cook set about rescuing the innings as they put on 29 for the fifth wicket then the latter joined with Tharindu Perera (14) in a stand of 58.

But Cook began to run out of partners and was eventually out for 67, having hit nine fours and a six. The last four wickets went down for 26 runs to leave the Wakefield side all out for 128.

Woolsey (3-19) and Richie Bresnan (1-22) bowled well early on with Jack Hughes (4-17) and Kylinn Vardhan (2-42) cleaning up the lower order.

Townville’s reply started confidently as Tim Walton (28) and Jonny Booth put on 52 for the first wicket in 10.2 overs before Walton was caught.

Booth remained to finish 53 not out, hitting eight fours and a six, and together with Vardhan (45 not out) he saw his side through to reach their target at the start of the 29th over.

Methley maintained their challenge with an equally convincing win at Northowram Fields and realistically they are the only team now that can possibly catch Townville.

They batted first after winning the toss and although maybe ultimately a little disappointed with their 218-9 total it proved plenty enough to bring them a 131-run victory.

A 44-run opening stand between Nick Connolly and Richard Foster (12) gave Methley a solid start then the former combined with Marcus Walmsley (35) for an 88-run second wicket partnership.

But after Connolly had smashed 10 fours and three sixes only to be run out for 81 when looking set for a century the innings fell away.

From a position of strength at 132-1 in the 28th over Methley faded with Matthew Waite (11), John Rickers (14), Mick Waite (16) and Ben Waite (12) all getting starts without being able to push on.

Northowram were never at the races in their reply, however, as Matthew Waite (4-24) and Connolly (3-9) did early damage and Jack Rich (3-26) completed the bowling job to leave the hosts all out for 87 in the 24th over.

Methley A were made to struggle again in CYL Division One when they hosted Buttershaw St Pauls.

After electing to bat first they were soon in bother with Luke Kane and Richard Smart out without score. Amol Vani and James Gahan followed cheaply and although Greg Johnson (30) and David Willey (14) battled to rescue the innings it never really got going and they were all out for 108 in 34.4 overs. Kieron Holliday (21) was the only other batsman to reach double figures.

Hopes of a victory were briefly raised at the start of the Buttershaw reply as both openers were dismissed for ducks, but a stand of 96 for the third wicket between James Robson (76) and Alex Hobson (22 not out) dashed them. Tom Mellor, Kane and Gahan each claimed a victim for Methley, but their opponents got home with seven wickets to spare.

Townville A gave Altofts A a good game before losing their Division Two game by five wickets.

Batting first, they lost their way after reaching 74-2 in the need to push up the scoring rate and ended all out for 114.

Steve Walton top scored with 37 while Alec Boothroyd hit 17 and Matthew Hughes 22.

But Altofts did not find it easy reaching the target set as they lost five wickets before getting home. Matthew Hughes took 2-34, Dale Jones 1-33, Bradley Kennedy 1-13 and Mark Hughes 1-10.

Premier Division (all played 15): Townville 79 points, Methley 67, Wakefield Thornes 56, Wrenthorpe 56, Carlton 53, Mirfield PC 46, Birstall 44, Hunslet Nelson 33, Ossett 32, Batley 27, Altofts 24, Northowram Fields 16.

Division One (all played 15): Hopton Mills 63 points, Scholes 62, Liversedge 62, Wakefield SM 59, Oulton 55, East Leeds 46, Buttershaw SP 43, East Ardsley 42, Wakefield Thornes A 39, Methley A 17, Ossett A 13, Mirfield 10.

Division Two (all played 15): Azaad 74 points, Mirfield PC A 61, Altofts A 57, Caribbean 55, Thornhill 53, Carlton A 53, Batley A 49, Birstall A 47, Wrenthorpe A 39, Buttershaw SP A 24, East Ardsley A 14, Townville A 2.