It was a day of surprises at the head of the Hunters York & District Senior League Premier Division where none of the teams which began the day in the top three places managed to win.
In contrast at the foot of the table it was an all too familiar story as a fourth straight defeat at the hands of Beverley Town Cricket Club saw Goole Town relegated and Bolton Percy look almost certain to join them.
Leaders Sessay, who will seal the title if they beat Drifflied Town next week, narrowly escaped defeat away at Pickering, the match finishing with them trailing by 95 runs with their last wicket pair at the crease.
Dave Greenlay was dismissed just two runs short of a century for the home side but runs from Chris Nichols (74) and Keiran Bowes (40no) helped them post an impressive total of 295-4. Mark Wilkie replied with 49 for the visitors and Joe Watson scored 37 but they were indebted to Liam Carver who finished unbeaten on 36 after Michael Brown (4-45) and Tim Whincup (3-31) had taken the hosts to verge of victory.
The match between Studley Royal and Castleford went down to the penultimate ball in a climax befitting a match between two sides scrapping for promotion. Connor Hyde (52) and Connor Fisher (39) were the main contributors to visiting Castleford’s total of 175-9.
James Clarkson (66) and Charlie Scatchard (31) replied for the home side but five wickets from David Wainwright (5-53) set up a nail-biting finish as Studley’ sneaked the win with a ball to spare and their last pair at the crease Victory lifts them into second place but that is a position which offers few guarantees, for each of the last five Saturday’s the side that went into the weekend there has lost.
Dunnington remain in contention for a top two finish but missed the chance to press their claim losing to Driffield Town at Kings Mill Road. Dan Harper top scored for the visitors with 54 as they struggled to reach 177-9 with Jordan Caley taking 4-39. Dave Brent (4-47) responded with four wickets against his former club but was unable to dislodge Grant Halder who finished unbeaten on 77 as the home side won by four wickets.
Fifth placed York’s recent run of good form continued as they came out on top at Whitkirk, batting first the visitors reached 204-7 thanks largely to an unbeaten 87 from Bevan Fawcett although Jonathan Moxon also chipped in with 36. The home side must have fancied their chances of a first win in seven weeks as Matthew Webb made 90 and Sean Pickles 50 but they could only get to 186-8 by the close as Chris Burn finished with figures of 4-36.
Goole Town’s relegation was confirmed after they suffered a heavy defeat at home to Beverley Town Cricket Club.
Goole side never looked likely to challenge the total and their fate was sealed when they were bowled out for 102 despite 49 from Anthony Gibbins.
Whilst not a mathematical certainty it will take a miracle for Bolton Percy to avoid joining Goole Town in Division One next year, even if they were to win their final three games they would be reliant on Whitkirk taking just five points over the same period. There was little in their most recent performance, a nine wicket loss to Malton & Old Malton to suggest the first part of the equation is likely.
Oliver Gilbank (3-19) and Will Spencer (3-47) took three wickets each as they were bowled out for 111, the home side then cruised to victory with Michael Linsley and Neil Johnson finishing not out on 57 and 41 respectively.