Big scores for Burkill and Senior

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Big scores from Ben Burkill and Steve Senior, for Thornton and Booth respectively, ensured their clubs continue to slug it out at the top of the Spenser Wilson Halifax League.

However, reigning champions Booth will be concerned that the gap between the pair widened by another point to 13 yesterday - 12 is the maximum for a win - after they were unable to bowl out hosts Oxenhope.

All-rounder Burkill, recruited from Cullingworth over the winter, could be the extra player Thornton have needed to convert their near misses into trophy successes.

The league side representative hit 144 at home to Bridgeholme as Thornton thrashed the bottom side by 207 runs.

Burkill hit 29 boundaries as he and Nikki Hutchinson (76) followed up their 198-run stand at Mytholmroyd the previous week with another useful second-wicket partnership.

Ben King’s 40 not out, which included some lusty blows, took the total to 325-4 and Brad Weatherhead’s 5-23 shattered the Eastwood team for 118 in reply.

Senior also batted throughout the first half of the match, finishing on 143 not out for Booth at Oxenhope.

Half-centuries for brothers Rob and Rick Laycock lifted the total to 283-3 and the hosts never threatened that with Tom Mawer (42) among those to frustrate the likes of Usman Saghir, who had figures of 14-7-20-3, as they replied with 212-7.

Third and fourth-placed sides Warley and Triangle also won ahead of their Parish Cup final showdown in a fortnight.

Warley limited hosts Copley to 172-6. It looked plain sailing when openers Nolan Bottomley (38) and Chris Marsh (28) added 76 but Warley then slipped to 129-5 before James Whitworth’s 35 not out helped see them over the line without further loss.

Oliver Thorpe continued his good season with 84 and 3-62 off almost 20 overs for Copley.

Triangle amassed 384-6 at home to SBCI, whose bold reply reached 350-8 before the overs ran out.

Opener Nathan Madden (125) and Carl Fletcher (104) led the home assault and Lewis Firth (74), Simon Wood (98) and Chris Dalby (70) were in the vanguard of the counter-attack before old head Gary Rodger (3-29) ensured there was no late miracle for the visitors.

Shelf Northowram HT went above fading Mytholmroyd into fifth with a 51-run success at Moderna Way.

Dan Cole returned to his early-season form with 94 and he and Harry Talbot (54), better known as a bowler, put on 109 for the first wicket. Only Babar Malik (36) made an impact after that and the visitors looked vulnerable when they had to settle for 227-9.

However, Robert Ramsden put Royd on the back foot with two quick wickets at the start of the reply and at 61-5 the hosts were up against it.

Experienced Zeb Mahmood made 45 and James Cowens 30, but the No 10 was last man out with the total on 176, a fourth victim for Harry Reynolds.

An unbroken third-wicket stand of 126 between Aiden Green (83 no) and Jack Helliwell (36 no) saw Sowerby St Peter’s past visitors Southowram’s 200 all out. Ben Watkins also made 53 for Sowerby.

The stars of the first half were visiting batsmen Dean Crossley (73) and Jason Wilkinson (42) and the home side’s John Brown (5-41).

Premier Division: *Copley 172-6 (Thorpe 84), Warley 175-5: pts 3-10. Booth 283-3 (Senior 143*, Ric Laycock 53*, Rob Laycock 52), *Oxenhope 212-7 (Mawer 42): pts 11-3. *Shelf Northowram HT 227-9 (Cole 94, Talbot 54, Conway 6-106), Mytholmroyd 176 (Mahmood 45, Reynolds 4-49): pts 12-4. Southowram 200 (Crossley 73, Wilkinson 42, Brown 5-41), *Sowerby St Peter’s 204-2 (Green 83*, Watkins 53): pts 3-12. *Thornton 325-4 (Birkill 144*, N Hutchinson 76,

King 40*), Bridgeholme 118 (Weatherhead 5-23): pts 12-2.*Triangle 384-6 (Madden 124, Fletcher 104, Metcalf 47), SBCI 350-8 (S Wood 98, Firth 74, Dalby 70): pts 11-4.

Points (after 14): Thornton 156, Booth 143, Warley 134, Triangle 122, Shelf Northowram HT 109, Mytholmroyd 104, Oxenhope 102, Sowerby SP 92, SBCI 85, Copley 83, Southowram 78, Bridgeholme 43.