HONLEY’S Simon Kelly blasted the highest individual score of the season but it’s rivals Delph who are still setting the pace at the top of the Drakes Premiership.

Kelly hammered an undefeated 180 at Skelmanthorpe, who put up a magnificent chase to lose by only three in a run-fest at Lidgett Lane.

Kelly’s magnificent knock, beating Steve Whitwam’s previous best of 165 not out, was the backbone of a 335-6 total after they had been 37-3 – Max Joice, Danny Howard, Michael Fraine and Harlon Haye all chipping in.

Haroon Rashid, however, led a spirited chase with a fine 119 while skipper James Dollive (83) shared with him in a fifth-wicket stand of 160 to take them nearer the target.

They couldn’t quite get over the line, though, as Ritchie Howarth finished with four for 113 and Haye five for 87.

Delph took all six points when crushing Marsden thanks to a double-hundred stand for the first wicket between Irfan Zahoor (107) and Bruce Cruse (102) in a 346 total.

Marsden then had no answer to the skills of Bilal Khiljee, who scooped five for 13 from 11.3 overs to dismiss the home side for just 41 in 23.3 overs.

Kirkburton are just two points adrift of the leaders thanks to a solid show at Broad Oak, where Greg Buckley was in fine all-round form for the visitors.

Stephen Rushworth helped the Oak set up a 216-9 total with 83 (122 balls, eight fours and one six), leg-spinner Buckley doing most to restrict the home side with six for 59.

The former Elland man then contributed 53 off 50 balls (eight fours and one six) to Burton’s successful run chase, Ryan Robinson leading the way with 82 off 67 balls (12 fours and two sixes) as they got home by four wickets with plenty of time to spare.

Shelley’s hopes of pulling further clear of trouble took a hit when Shepley warmed up for their Sykes Cup semi-final with a crushing victory on the back of SP Singh’s 125 in a 325-5 tally.

Tom Denton also added 88 and Liam Wiles an unbeaten 50, and the total was always too much for Shelley thanks to Amir Rashid taking six for 54 to peg them to 179 all out, despite 46 from opener Sarfraz Ahmed.

Jack McNamara was the hero of Golcar’s successful run chase at Elland, hitting an unbeaten 66 as they overhauled the home side’s 194-9 with seven down. Chris Walker top scored for Elland with 62.

Scholes rescued themselves from an appalling fielding display against Slaithwaite by chasing down 270, in which Chris Conners hit 103 not out after being dropped on 21 and Bjorn Taylor 89 after being reprieved on eight.

Ibrar Latif responded with a century of his own (112) to guide his team home, Jarrod Lee (24 not out) and Tom Brook (58) also making valuable knocks.

Best bowling performance of the day came in the Cedar Court Conference from Thongsbridge’s Zafar Iqbal, who claimed nine for 42 (including a wicket maiden hat trick in his second over) to skittle Lascelles Hall for just 79, Ijaz Shah spoiling the ‘10-for’ party with one for 32. The Bridge got home by nine wickets, Ben Raven-Hill 52 not out.

Armitage Bridge remain clear in that section after a 30-run win at Linthwaite, Andy Gledhill (74) and Hayden Jones (52) setting up a 248 total.

Only Imran Malik got to terms with the Bridge bowling in the Linthwaite reply, scoring a defiant unbeaten 116, but they were all out for 218 thanks to Jordan Williamson and Faheem Hussain taking three wickets apiece.

In the Frank Platt Championship, Emley missed the chance to close on leaders Meltham when they were beaten by one wicket at home by bottom club Paddock, for whom Faisal Saddiq took five for 102.

John Lee responded with six for 84 for the home side, but Paddock, boosted by 46 from Sajid Nazir and 41 from Zahid Ahmed, scraped home thanks to Richard Payne’s unbeaten 24.

Andy Grey did the business for Lepton with a five for 74 haul as they overcame Holmfirth by 35 runs after being dismissed themselves for 239, in which Stephen Brown was top scorer on 87 and Owen Smith had 52.

Javed Iqbal was top batsman for Holmfirth with 66 but no-one could stick with him for long enough.

Ateeq-ur-Rehman was the hero for Rastrick with an unbeaten 105 as they chased down Micklehurst’s 189 all out for the loss of five wickets, Muhammad Saddiq earlier taking five for 69.

Kamran Saleem hit 112 for Kirkheaton at home to Cawthorne as they chalked a six-wicket victory after restricting the visitors to 172-9, Hayden Charlton taking four wickets.