ELLAND hit the top of the table in Saturday’s rain-affected Drakes League programme, but the real Jubilee weekend fireworks came at Delph & Dobcross, where Irfan Zahoor and Arron Lilley blitzed Shepley with an amazing partnership.
Cup kings Shepley must have felt the points were in the bag after smashing their way to 360-5, with everyone but Liam Wiles making their mark.
Tom Denton hit seven fours and fives sixes in his 78 and SP Singh (37) had given the visitors a solid start, before Greg Wood added 53.
Tim Rees then entered the fray and blasted seven sixes and seven fours in a 64-ball 86.
Huw Ellis weighed in with 38 not out before skipper Danny Glover cracked a quickfire 47 not out with five fours and three sixes as the Delph bowlers took a real pounding.
But that was just an appetiser before the main course as Zahoor and Lilley put on a veritable banquet.
After losing Bruce Cruse and Kevin Hook cheaply, opener Zahoor and Lilley smashed their way to a third-wicket stand of 263 before Lilley fell for a magnificent 125, which contained nine fours and eight sixes and came from just 78 balls.
But that didn’t halt the carnage as Zahoor flayed all six of Shepley’s bowling attack, finishing unbeaten with a stunning 177, which included no fewer than 12 maximums and 16 fours, and came off 125 deliveries.
It was blistering performance from a man who has up to now been struggling this season, as his knock, along with that of Lilley’s, saw Delph race to victory with an amazing 10 overs to spare.
No such fireworks were necessary over at Elland as three wickets apiece from Chris Goulden and Lorenzo Ingram knocked over Hall Bower for 100, leaving openers Niall Lockley (51no) and Paul Winrow (48no) to bring up a 10-wicket win and a place at the top of the Premiership – the first time for quite some time.
Previous leaders Kirkburton were denied a result by the weather at Scholes, where the match was abandoned with 11 overs remaining of the visitors’ innings, who had been restricted to 166-6, of which Greg Buckley had made 52 before becoming one of two stumping victims for Richard Holmes, who also had two catches to his name.
Bilal Khiljee and Mohammed Azharullah shared all l0 Slaithwaite wickets equally as the visitors from Hill Top were bowled out for 112 before Louis Sykes made 47 in Shelley’s six-wicket winning reply.
Honley’s Simon Kelly hit another half-century as they defeated Marsden by eight wickets, while Hoylandswaine blew Clayton West away for 93 after scoring 304-6 themselves with Joe Sayers making 87 and Michael Cranmer 82.
The final game in the top flight was another abandoned match at Golcar, where the home side’s reply was halted at 53-2 in response to Skelmanthorpe’s 200-6 total.
In the Oddfellows Cup, Lascelles Hall produced the day’s biggest surprise when the Conference side defeated their Championship title-chasing neighbours Lepton Highlanders by 50 runs.
Timmy Taylor top-scored with 64, Matt Simpson 45 and Chay Gardiner 37 as the Hall made 202-9 before Taylor also gave good support to Aaron Lilley with the ball.
The Australian all-rounder did the bulk of the damage with five for 28 from 10 overs, while Taylor came in with three for 18 from seven as the Highlanders were bowled out for 152.