There must have been some long faces and furrowed brows in the Sowerby St Peter’s clubhouse on Saturday night.
Six days on from their Parish Cup exit at the hands of Luddenden Foot from two divisions lower, Sowerby’s top-section match at home to Oxenhope in the Spenser Wilson Halifax League was all over in 19.5 overs.
Home skipper Gavin Hayes was perhaps left to rue his decision to bat as Joel Fothergill (5-22) and Liam Dyson (4-14) ran through his line-up for 43 in 13.2 overs.
Joshua Fleetwood (22 not out) and Edward Jackson (17 not out) then put Sowerby out of their misery in an addition 6.3 overs
Champions Booth outplayed Premier Division leaders Illingworth to get their season firmly back on track after a shaky start.
Illingworth chose to bat and, at 99-2, looked set for a competitive total. The removal of Callum Cook for 49 started a mini collapse, with two more wickets following not long after.
Hamza Mehmood, a late addition after Stephen Cook suffered a head injury in the warm up, anchored the innings with an unbeaten 54 but a total of 172-9 looked below par. Nigel Horsfall (3-50) and Moazzam Ayub (3-41) led the way for the visitors.
In reply, Booth got off to a fast start before Patrick Thomas was run out for 25 from Richard Smith’s direct hit.
When Matthew Watson removed Robert Laycock for a duck in the next over, the game looked evenly poised.
An unbeaten partnership of 119 between Steven Senior (76 not) and Hasnain Wajid (62 not out) took the game away from Illingworth, who were left to rue a poor performance all around.
The men from The Ainleys now lead by only one point from surprise package Copley, who beat visitors Mytholmroyd by five wickets.
Royd were all out for 175 with Tom Baxter’s 70 the main contribution but Copley comfortably reached their target thanks to 65 not out from Gavin Whipp.
Greg Keywood had a fine match as Warley got the better of visitors Sowerby Bridge in a warm-up for the sides’ forthcoming Parish Cup second round clash.
Keywood came to the crease with opener Chris Atkinson (62) in desperate need of support after four quick wickets from Sam Mellor had left Warley 73-4.
Keywood made the game’s top score of 69 and put on 92 with Atkinson as the home side’s score climbed to 208-7, Mellor finishing with 5-45.
Bridge rallied after a couple of setbacks early in their innings. James Holdsworth top scored with 51 but the visitors were kept in check by the likes of Keywood, who took 2-28 off 14 overs, and Zeeshan Iqbal (4-27) as they finished on 185-8.
SBCI produced a fine fight back to win away to last year’s runners-up Thornton after being bowled out for 119.
Tom Wood (65) helped the Church Institute to 82-1 before Greg Soames produced a devastating 11.4 overs spell which yielded figures of 7-12.
Five batsmen departed for ducks as Thornton seemingly took a firm grip on the contest.
However, Ollie Benson had other ideas, leading a stunning reply from the visitors in the field. The opening bowler took 5-25 off his maximum 14 overs and received solid backing from Wood (3-11) as Thornton lurched from 30-4 to 53-7 to 105 all out. Ross Parr (35 not out) had tried to rescue the situation for the hosts.
Triangle prop up the section after hosts Shelf Northowram Hedge Top notched a convincing 116-run win over them.
A 144-run opening stand between Heath RUFC stand-off Dan Cole (85) and ‘keeper Keir Kitjens (70) put the home side in the ascendancy.
No 3 Razwan Saghir made 48 not out as wickets fells at the other end, mainly to experienced Gary Rodger (5-64), and a total of 264 all out proved more than enough as Aamir Rashid (7-44) ran through Triangle’s top order. Josh Graham (53) and Chris Metcalf (37) provided the main stumbling blocks as Triangle were dismissed for 148.
Premier scores: Mytholmroyd 175 (Baxter 70), *Copley 177-5 (Whipp 65no): pts 3-12. *Illingworth St Mary’s 172-9 (Mehmood 54no, Cook 49), Booth 173-2 (Senior 76no, Wajid 62no): pts 2-11. *Shelf Northowram HT 264 (Cole 85, Litjens 70, Saghir 48no, Rodger 5-64), Triangle 148 (Graham 53, Rashid 7-44): pts 12-5. *Sowerby St Peter’s 43 (Fothergill 5-22, Dyson 4-14), Oxenhope 48-0: pts 0-12. SBCI 119 (Wood 65, Soames 7-12), *Thornton 105 (O Benson 5-25): pts 12-4. *Warley 208 (Keywood 69, Atkinson 62, Mellor 5-45), Sowerby Bridge 185-8 (Holdsworth 51, Iqbal 4-27): pts 11-5.
Points (after five games): Illingworth 46, Copley 45, Warley 43, Booth 40, Mytholmroyd 37, SBCI 37, Sowerby Bridge 35, Thornton 34, Shelf Northowram HT 34, Oxenhope 32, Sowerby SP 29, Triangle 28.