Saturday’s torrential rain inevitably spelled the end of many Theakston Nidderdale League games, but with a healthy dose of persistence, some fixtures were completed.
Ouseburn remain right on track at the top of the tree, having edged their battle with Blubberhouses by one wicket.
Steve Wilkinson (51) and J Wilkinson (46) took Blubbs to 206-7 batting first, Sam Dale plundering 4-50.
But a century by Sam Parker (107) plus 31 from Jamie Bryant saw Ouseburn nick it at 209-9, despite a heroic effort from Dawood Waqas (6-52).
Spofforth crushed Masham, posting 230-4 via Will Long (87) and James Roberts (51), who then bagged 4-33 to reduce Masham to 117 in reply.
Helperby v Bishop Thornton and Killinghall v Darley were both abandoned.
Alne posted 229-2 against Darley, James Belli (89), Pete Carr (77no) and Eddie Myers (43no) the mainstays of the innings.
Darley staged a terrific reply through Matt Brooks (70) and Jonathan Rice (35), but Shaun Foulds’ 3-35 helped peg them back at 217-7.
Hampsthwaite endured a five-wicket defeat by Dacre Banks.
The champions achieved 222-8 including 60 from Andy Johnson and 69 from Andy Taylor. But Asif Ayoub (61) and Sam Gardham (30no) led Dacre clear at 223-5, in spite of the efforts of Lenny McKittrick (4-34).
Over in Division Two, Pannal coasted to an eight-wicket success over Sharow.
Graham Fish netted 3-25 as Sharow were bowled out for 70, before Fish’s 31 led Pannal to 72-2.
Burton Leonard v Newby Hall was abandoned.
Birstwith were too strong for Studley Royal, a towering ton from James Riley (129) carrying Birstwith to 254.
Dan Coad responded with 99 not out, but the Royals were pegged back at 172-6.
Ripley beat Pateley Bridge by three wickets, Tom Simpson;s 55 the highlight of Bridge’s 113 effort.
Josh Waldron (3-17), Ian Robinson (4-27) and Liam Evans-Ford (3-2) were the chief destroyers
Nick Jackson steered Ripley to 114-7 in reply.
Knaresborough Forest were at 20-1 when their clash with Bolton Abbey was abandoned.
Andy Jennings (62no) had batted Bolton to 121 against the bowling of Nick Jones (4-19) and Stewart Pyke (4-38).
Galphay & Winksley v West Tanfield was abandoned due to rain;
Division Three: *Hampsthwaite 208-8 Burnt Yates 86 ; *Killinghall v Markington rained off; Pannal 221-4 (C Hendry 85 R Pitt 49no R goldsmith 3-76) Ouseburn 142-2(J Forster 65 Rich Haslam 47no) match abandoned rain & pitch unfit; Rainton v Harrogate Strays rained off; Raskelf 143-9 Kirkby Malzeard 98; Scotton 102-9 Masham 103-2;
Division Four; *Newby Hall 107-4 v Burton Leonard rsp; *Ripon 30-3 Thornton le moor rsp; Birstwith 29-4, *Bishop Monkton-Match abandoned; Lofthouse & Middlesmoor v Staveley cancelled-waterlogged pitch; Middleham 37-1 v *Studley Royal Match abandoned-rain; Pannal Ash v Alne rained off; Ripon 30-3, Thornton le Moor Rain rsp.
Division Five: *South Kilvington v Spofforth Spofforth conceded; *Harrogate 142-8, Thornton Watlass 143-3; Crakehall v Wath no play due to rain; North Stainley v Goldsborough-No Play, Waterlogged Pitch; Sharow v Blubberhouses -match abandoned due to rain.
Division Six: *Darley 157-6, Little Ribston 160-3; *Spennithorne & Harmby 169-7 Sessay 104 ; Bishop Thornton II vs Helperby II, Game called off; Glasshouses 113-3, *Boroughbridge 0-0 abandoned; Knaresbourgh forest 149-6 *Bolton Abbey 150-4; Raskelf vs Pannal cancelled too wet.
Division Seven: *Arthington vs Rainton cancelled too wet; *Scotton v Newton le Willows no play wet pitch; *Thirsk 64-0, Birstwith DNB Match abandoned; Dacre Banks 56, *Marton cum Grafton 58-2; Middleham 296-6(A Langhorne u16 107, R Metcalfe 71, L Murray 46 n-o) Studley Royal 102-10 ; Pannal win as Ouseburn conceded.
Division Eight: *Killinghall 3rd Xl v Helperby 3rd Xl Match cancelled; *Little Ribston 81-3 vs West Tanfield rain stopped play!; Burton Leonard 176-8 Burnt Yates 180-7; Hampsthwaite v North Stainley cancelled waterlogged pitch; ; Staveley 2 vs Bedale 2nds, cancelled.
Division Nine:*Newby Hall v Studley Royal cancelled; *Galphay and Winkley 68, Kirkby Malzeard 71-2; Wath & Melmerby v Thirsk-Match cancelled waterlogged pitch.
So, with three games left, how will the season pan out?
Every wicket and every run will be priceless for both Ouseburn and Spofforth in Division One with only a fine coat of varnish between the teams.
Jamie Bryant’s 675 runs this summer have propelled Ouseburn (78) to the top of the table and he will look to cash in again against two of the weaker sides, Dacre Banks and Alne, in the coming weeks.
Just one point behind, Spofforth face tricky tasks at Hampsthwaite and hosting third-placed Killinghall (65) before ending the year at home to relegation-threatened Darley.
Darley (33) could be doomed by then with matches against high flying Helperby and Blubberhouse before then. Basement side Masham (30) need a miracle to stay in the highest tier next summer but fellow strugglers Dacre Banks (44) face a tough run-in.
In Division Two, Pannal (90) will be joining the best next summer after clinching promotion to Division One with more than three games to spare. Burton Leonard (80) are in good shape to join them and a maximum point win over Studley Royal 2nds on Saturday would almost certainly put to rest Birstwith’s (71) promotion hopes.
Sharow’s turbulent year looks set to end at the rear of the table as they lie nine points adrift. Second bottom Bolton Abbey (38) face a massive 12-pointer against relegation rivals West Tanfield (41) on Saturday. With Tanfield due to play Sharow and Abbey at sky-high Buton Leonard the week after, a defeat for Abbey could see the curtains start to fall.
Four teams are fighting tooth and nail at the top of Division Three to swap trips to Markington and Rainton for days out at Newby Hall and Studley Royal. Scotton (79) are in the box seat three points ahead of Harrogate Strays (76).
Fourth-placed Hampsthwaite 2nds (72) still have promotion in their own hands but still have to play Scotton, third-placed Raskelf (75) and the Strays.
Whilst their first team are searching for silverware, Ouseburn 2nds (15) have plummeted and they are facing up to life in Division Four next term.
Pannal 2nds (38), Burnt Yates (40) and Killinghall 2nds (42) could be joining them, but the latter pair face each other at Killinghall on the final day.
In Division Four, Ripon 2nds (76) and Lofthouse and Middlesmoor (74) have almost secured promotion but Staveley (66) and Thornton-Le-Moor (65) might still have a say come September 14.
Staveley play Ripon and Thornton-Le-Moor travel to Lofthouse before the season draws its conclusion.
Relegation is almost done and dusted. Pannal Ash (9) are definitely down and defeat at Stavely for Newby Hall 2nds (29) on Saturday would settle their doom.
In Division Five, Wath and Melmerby (86) and South Kilvington (80) will replace Newball Hall and Pannal Ash after celebrating an early promotion.
Like rivals Ouseburn, Spofforth’s second string (27) have struggled in 2013 and they are eight points adrift at the foot of Division Five.
Sharow 2nds (35) need to overturn a 10 point gap to Ripley 2nds (45) to survive.
Over in Division Six,, Helperby 2nds (87) are close to securing the Division Six title but Spennithorne & Harmby (79), Glasshouses (73) and Boroughbridge (70) are vying to join them in next year’s Division Five.
Glasshouses face a trip to Spennithorne in a huge clash on the penultimate day.
Five teams are battling the drop but Knaresborough Forest 2nds (38) in eighth will feel one win sill ensure safety.
Darley 2nds (24) lie rooted to the bottom, but with four points the gap to Raskelf 2nds (28) and another one point to Bolton Abbey 2nds (29), a Houdini escape remains on the cards.
Sessay 3rds (34) play all three below them before the season closes, and one win should see them safe.
In Division Seven, Arthington (81) are in pole position with Middleham 2nds (75) and Newton-Le-Willows (73) vying for the second promotion spot.
On minus two, Ouseburn 3rds are down. Joining them will be either Pannal 4ths (33), Birstwith 3rds (33) or Dacre Banks (39)
Top of the table Ripley 3rds (89) and Hampsthwaite 3rds (80) have gone up from Division Eight.
Little Ribston 2nds (33) and Killinghall 3rds (33) must overturn a seven point deficit to stay in the league.
Division Nine is completed, and Arthington 2nds (81) and Thirsk 3rds (75) have eased to promotion.
Bottom side Sharow 3rds pulled out of the league.