CHAMPIONSHIP ONE side Birstall have emerged as hot favourites to make the Jack Hampshire Cup semi-finals after being given a home draw against Conference side Great Preston in the third round of the competition on July 7.
The wet weather relented long enough to get six of the eight second-round ties completed on last Sunday, and Birstall secured their passage with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Gildersone and Farnley Hill.
Left-arm spinner Josh Haynes took 3-23 as Gildersome struggled to reach 116 for eight in a rain-reduced 32 overs. After Birstall lost two early wickets, Haynes impressed with the bat as well with an unbeaten 70 to see them home in just 15 overs.
There was little joy elsewhere for the district’s contestants as Spen Victoria were shot out for just 54 at home to Yeadon, who now face fellow Championship Two contenders Carlton in the next round.
Heckmondwike and Carlinghow made light of their position at the bottom of the Conference table to give holders Bowling Old Lane a fright before going down by just 18 runs. Old Lane now face a trip to a Hunslet Nelson side who had seen off Brighouse.
Adwalton lost by 106 runs at home to Carlton while Hopton Mills must try again to get their tie played against Buttershaw St Pauls, with the winners drawn at home to the victors of the other postponed tie between Sandal and Windhill & Daisy Hill.
The two postponed ties are rescheduled for the designated reserve date on June 30, while this coming Sunday sees the third round of both the Priestley Cup and Shield competitions.
There is lots of interest for Dewsbury and surrounding districts in the Priestley Cup ties, where Hanging Heaton face a titanic all-Premier Division clash at Pudsey St Lawrence as the two closest challengers to the current league leaders, Woodlands, go head-to-head.
A meeting between these two sides is always a big event for Hanging Heaton skipper Gary Fellows, who first made his mark on the League Cricket scene with St Lawrence before embarking on a seven-year career with the Yorkshire County side.
Morley, from Championship One, have a daunting task at Premier Division New Farnley while runaway Premier leaders Woodlands are at home to bottom club Methley.
Finally, a rapidly improving East Bierley are at home to Baildon in an all-Championship One tie.