ONLY another administrative error can prevent Kirkbymoorside from retaining their Ryedale Beckett League division ‘A’ crown.
The Moorsiders were docked three points last week for fielding an unregistered player in their last-ball win over Settrington but this week they responded with a five-wicket win over lowly Duncombe Park to go three points clear at the top with one match remaining.
The in-form Dave Gardner led the champions’ reply with 82 not out as they overtook Duncombe’s 150-4.
There were good performances for the losers from Brian Leckenby (56), Ali Holmes and Jonny Leckenby, who fought well for his 3-18 in four overs, but the latter’s fellow bowlers were not as economical, leaving Park needing to win this week to avoid relegation.
The Helmsley side dropped to the foot of the table after Malton & Old Malton beat Pickering by 16 runs in their last game of term to sustain hopes of beating the drop.
Malton had looked doomed before July but their upturn in form continued as the experienced trio of Wayne Dawson (38), Steve Linsley (37) and Dan Foxton (39no) saw them post a winning 137-4. Tom Sigsworth hit 48 in reply but Foxton (3-18) slowed down the chase.
Malton are now a point above Duncombe Park and all eyes will be on their fixture next week.
Settrington leapfrogged Hovingham into third place with a three-wicket win. Hovingham struggled against the Setty attack as Callum Stark and Eddie Rounthwaite claimed three wickets apiece with no batter making more than 16. They were all out for 100.
Settrington likewise looked in trouble but they had a corner to turn - Ben Corner hitting 30 not out to take them home, despite the efforts of Will Lund (4-36).
Great Habton rose to second place in division two after bottom team Ryedale conceded their match.
Habton leapfrogged Nawton Grange, who lost by 27 runs at runaway leaders Burythorpe.
Jack Bolam led another strong Burythorpe victory, dispatching the Nawton attack to all parts of the ground on his way to 69 not out as his side reached 140-5.
Nawton battled hard in reply to combat the Burythorpe attack in particular the division’s leading wicket-taker, Matt Beckett, but they fell short at 113-7.
A young Westow side lost to 10-man Ampleforth. They were put into bat and struggled with only M Shipley (31) and Mark Earle (14) reaching double figures against James Skelton (4-10) and M Wilkie (3-11).
Wilkie then made 36 not out and J Fox 23 not out as Ampleforth won by eight wickets.
The league’s presentation game will provisionally be at Burythorpe on August 14 between divisional winners Kirkbymoorside and Burythorpe.