SHEPLEY inflicted only the second defeat of the season on Elland as Danny Glover’s side struck a crucial blow ahead of their Sykes Cup semi-final tie.
In a game reduced to 25-overs-a-side, Shepley batted first and thanks to an unbeaten ton from former Elland batsman Greg Wood (104no) made a challenging 166-6.
The visitors looked in control in reply however, and were always up with the required rate.
Lorenzo Ingram (55) made another half-century, and with just nine required off the last two overs, it looked a formality.
But they came up three short of victory with skipper Paul Winrow still there unbeaten on 76 and with seven wickets in hand.
Elland’s defeat allowed top side Hoylandswaine to extend their lead at the top of the Premiership after they ran out eight-wicket winners at Shelley.
Peter Drysdale made 81 and Nick Sharp 49 as Shelley posted a 157-5 total in a match reduced to 38-overs-a-side. But although Liam Dickinson and Alex Morris both fell for ducks, skipper John Sadler (80no) and Joe Sayers (76no) led Swaine to an easy win with almost seven overs to spare.
Third-placed Golcar closed the gap on Elland with a 13-run win at Delph & Dobcross, where the bowlers were definitely in command.
Arron Lilley took four for 38 as Golcar were knocked over for 122, Steve Whitwam’s 34 and 28 from Michael Illingworth the best efforts for the visitors.
But any thoughts Delph had of coasting home were soon pushed aside as Whitwam quickly took out Irfan Zahoor, Lilley, Faisal Butt and Kevin Hook.
Jack Hargreaves then accounted for top-scorer Bruce Cruse (49) and Lancashire first-teamer Kyle Hogg for one, and went on to finish with the superb figures of five for 13, while Whitwam ended with five for 43 as Delph collapsed to 109 all out.
Kirkburton just about stayed in touch with the leading trio as they rolled over Clayton West by 120 runs.
Matthew Wood made 84 as Burton scored 186-7 in 45 overs, Adrian Wilford taking five for 63, but Clayton were never at the ball game as only Michael Stevenson (32) reached double figures against the attack led by Craig Fletcher (four for 30) and Oliver Davidson (four for four) and were shot out for 66.
Yas Shah was Hall Bower’s ace at Honley, as he first claimed six for 66 and then scored an unbeaten 69 in a three-wicket victory.
Marsden’s home game against Scholes and Slaithwaite’s match against visiting Skelmanthorpe both failed to make a start.
In the Championship, Broad Oak’s game with Thongsbridge was the only one failing to beat the soggy conditions, while there were victories for the bottom two clubs, Armitage Bridge and Holmfirth.
The Bridge visited Meltham for a 30-over contest and held the home side to 111-9, Carl Jump grabbing five for 36 from 15 overs and Jason Vickerman three for 10.
Andy Gledhill then made 42 and Danny Moorhouse an unbeaten 33 to see the visitors through to a welcome seven-wicket win.
Meanwhile, at Holmfirth Mitchell Santner (94) and Greg Alexander (64) lifted the home side to 236-8 against second in the table Barkisland who had to settle for a point at 187-6, skipper Darren Robinson leading the way with an unbeaten 64.
In the final game in the division Lepton defeated Emley Clarence, Kala Khan making a half-century for the Highlanders who totalled 163 before restricting the home side to 125-8.
Cawthorne maintained their unbeaten run in the Conference with Ben Simpson hitting an undefeated 112, while Chris Matthewman weighed in with 45 in the nine-wicket win over Rastrick, for whom Bradley Birkhead had scored 83.
The Booth family were prominent in Lascelles Hall’s win over Almondbury, dad John scoring 56 and son Toby 46, while Timmy Taylor also added an unbeaten 53 in the home side’s 225-3 tally.
Toby then nipped in with five for 54 as Almondbury were held to 188-9, of which Nadeem Latif made 74.
Linthwaite’s Zahid Ahmed top-scored with 67 and Sajid Bashir 51 as Linthwaite posted a 190-7 target against Cumberworth, who finished 40 short despite James Haigh’s 49 not out, while Mohammed Siddique was a six-wicket performer for Kirkheaton, who also had Kamran Saleem (70 no) among the runs in a nine-wicket win at Paddock.