A SECOND century from Steve Whitwam in successive weekends couldn’t prevent Golcar going down at Elland – leaving Kirkburton as the top flight’s top dogs on a baking day.
On the first decent tracks of the summer, Whitwam was again in blistering form, backing up his unbeaten 110 last week against Hall Bower, with a knock of 111 at Hullen Edge, as he and James Howson (42) gave the visitors a good opening stand.
With no joy for the seamers, spinners Chris Goulden (three for 78) and Lorenzo Ingram (two for 73) were again the pick of Elland’s bowler as Golcar lost their way later in the innings to close on 209-5.
By contrast, all of Elland’s batsmen were among the runs, with Niall Lockley (69) and Paul Winrow (54) giving them the perfect platform, before Greg Finn (20), Dom Finn (13no) and Ingram (53no) saw them home with seven wickets and almost two overs to spare.
That victory pushed Elland up to second spot, just behind Kirkburton, who maintained their good start to the summer, although they were made to sweat as much by Shelley as by the sun before Matthew Wood (75no) led them to a three-wicket win.
It looked a relatively easy ask of the Burton batsmen after Tom Burkinshaw (four for 60) and Craig Fletcher (two for 49) had taken the top off Shelley’s innings, which the first time this season included Bilal Khiljee, leaving the visitors back in the tent for 139.
Another pace bowler enjoying a hard deck was former Bradford League speed merchant Muhammad Azharullah (four for 67) who proved too quick for Andy Smith, Greg Buckley and Ryan Robinson as Burton looked in a spot of bother with three of their top four blown for just four runs.
Ex-County player Wood held firm however, and found some useful backing from Jonny Butterfield (34) as they recovered the situation, and Wood was there at the end to seal the points and top spot in the table.
Shepley may be getting over their indifferent start after beating Honley by 45 runs.
Liam Wiles hit 52, Tom Denton 46 and Danny Glover 43 not out as Shepley made 208-7 before dismissing Honley for 163, on which only Richard Jakeman (42) made an impression.
Iqbal Khan was the hero for Scholes, after making a half-century and picking up a six-wicket haul to defeat Hall Bower.
For once, Scholes got away to a good start with Tom Boorman (57) and Wasim Jaffer (48) opening soundly, before Khan, moved up the order to No3 added 58, while Matt Smith found some form with 30 as Scholes made 228-6.
Not surprisingly, the two Bower batsmen to make the most impact were the two players cut from the Scholes register during the winter, Ibrar Latif (56) and Mohammed Shahnawaz (52), while Wayne Swift made 32, but it wasn’t enough for a point after being dismissed for 192.
Delph & Dobcross continue to slide down the table after a good start to the season, their latest demise coming at Skelmanthorpe, where the home side chased down a useful 249-9 tally.
Matt Norvall (58) and Faisal Butt (54) both good away to good starts, while Alex Scholefield claimed five for 72).
But it was Skelmanthorpe’s overall consistency with the bat which brought them success, as Louis Aspeling (57), Scholefield (49), Tim Sykes (47) and Chris Hansberry (46) all contributed good runs, leaving Paul Roebuck (23no) to see them through with just two balls to spare.
Clayton West broke their duck for the season with a two-wicket win over Marsden, David Swann (47), Tom Barber (46) and Murray Spence (41) setting up the winning run-chase after Marsden had made 200.
Joe Sayers scored 89 as Hoylandswaine beat Slaithwaite by eight wickets, Chris Schofield taking five for 24.
In the Championship, there were wins for Barkisland, who saw off Holmfirth with Ben Westbrook making 63, for Lepton Highlanders, who beat Emley by 11 runs, for Broad Oak who were six-wicket winners over Thongsbridge, and for Meltham, who dismissed Armitage Bridge for 117, despite a battling 54 from Faheem Hussain.
The match of the day in the Conference was at Cumberworth, where the League newcomers fought out a thrilling tie with Linthwaite.