Premier Division teams did their best to warm spectators on a bitterly cold third Saturday of the Spenser Wilson Halifax League season, Warley producing an astonishing comeback to beat Mytholmroyd and Sowerby St Peters and Shelf-Northowram Hedge Top winning with their last pair at the crease.
At Paradise Lane, surprise package Mytholmroyd looked poised to maintain their winning start when Amjid Azam (4-40) and Tabraiz Hassan (3-43) had Warley on the ropes at 53-7.
Haroon Razzak and South African Cameron Van Rensberg had other ideas, figuring in a stand of 151 with the former hitting 101 and the South African 58 before Tom Conway dismissed both.
A total of 218 provided Royd with a much bigger target than looked likely. Openers Tom Earle (37) and James Cowens (36) looked up for the challenge but Zeeshan Iqbal (4-39) struck back for Warley, who dismissed the visitors for 180 with spinner Haroon Razzak taking three wickets and Azam top scoring with 40 on his old stomping ground.
Sowerby successfully chased down hosts Copley’s 226-8 total, which included 77 from Oliver Thorpe and a brisk 53 from Will Rushton.
The visitors prospects looked remote at 1-2 and then 40-4 but opener Adam Clarke kept them in the hunt with a superb 115. The left-hander was ninth out with the score on 211 but Lyndon Baxter’s unbeaten 32 saw Sowerby to a first win of the season.
Shelf-Northowram also got off the mark, skipper Ollie Hemingway producing a composed knock of 42 not out to see his side to victory by the minimum margin at home to Oxenhope.
Razwin Saghir put the skids under the visitors in the first half of the match with seven for 29, Joe Ousey top scoring with 39 in a total of 151.
Even that modest target looked as if it might be out of reach when Ben Howell struck the stumps with successive balls to leave Hedge Top’s final pair requiring 14 runs.
Hemingway chipped away with singles before No 11 Jack Hemblys hit a boundary backward of square on the leg side to clinch victory.
Illingworth dropped their first point since being promoted as middle-section champions but that will have been only a minor concern as they went five points clear at the top.
Visitors Triangle laboured to 168-8, with Jack Gledhill’s 44 the top contribution, but that looked likely to be enough when Illingworth slumped to 88-6.
However, opening bowlers Luke Brooksby and Jamie Moorhouse showed they could bat as well, each making 41 not out to clinch a four-wicket win.
Champions Booth suffered a second defeat in three outings when last year’s runners-up Thornton again had their measure at Hill Top Road.
Booth openers Rob Worsnop (28) and Steve Senior (57) put on 83 but then the wheels came off. The visitors slipped to 91-4 and although Hasnain Wajid made 39, Booth had few answers to Greg Soames (7-39) and were all out for 163.
Top order men T Harrison (52), Nikki Hutchinson (57) and Josh Hutchinson (42 no off 23 balls) snuffed out Booth hopes of a fight back.
Tom Wood and Dan Sykes took five weeks each as SBCI opened their account with a three-wicket win at home to Sowerby Bridge.
Tim Helliwell (32) and Lewis Maddock (19) put on 47 for Bridge’s first wicket. The visitors slumped to 66-4 and although James Holdsworth made 52, Bridge were limited to 160.
Skipper Simon Wood (42) and Adam Fawcett (54) helped SBCI break the back of the chase but they had a few late alarms before registering victory.
Premier Division: *Copley 226-8 (O Thorpe 77, W Rushton 53, Lennon 4-82), Sowerby St Peters 227-9 (Adam Clarke 115, Lyndon Baxter-Jnr 32no, L Hickson 5-74); pts 5-11. Triangle 168-8 (N Madden 34, J Gledhill 44), *Illingworth 169-6 (L Brooksby 41no, J Moorhouse 41no); pts 3-11. Oxenhope 151 ao (Ousey 39, R Saghir 7-29), *Shelf Northowram HT 154-9 (O Hemingway 42no); pts 4-12. Sowerby Bridge 160 ao, *SBCI 162-7; pts 4-12. Booth 163 ao (S Senior 57, Hasnain Wajid 39, G Soames 7- 39), *Thornton 165-5 (T Harrison 52, N Hutchinson 57, J Hutchinson 42no); pts 3-12. *Warley 218 ao (Van Rensberg 58, H Razzak 101, A Azam 4-40), Mytholmroyd 180 ao (T Earle 37, J Cowens 36, A Azam 40, Z Iqbal 4-39); pts 12-6.
Points (after three matches): Illingworth 35, Mytholmroyd 30, Thornton 27, Warley 27, Copley 23, SBCI 22, Triangle 19, Shelf Northowram HT 19, Sowerby Bridge 18, Booth 17, Sowerby St Peters 17, Oxenhope 8.