Baker’s fifth ton fails to stop Country Lads

Steve Baker’s fifth 100 of the season was not enough to beat a full strength, in-form, Country Lads team who triumphed over Whitehall by the comfortable margin of three points.

Top shot for Country Lads team was Sam Atkinson with 99, proving that his recent best of 98 was no flash in the pan.

Following Whitehall’s third defeat of the season, Esk Valley moved to the top of the League with an easy victory over Average. Nigel Scarth top scored for Esk Valley with his eighth 99 of the season, supported by Colin Williamson with 97.

Whitehall’s title hopes may have been dented by their latest defeat, but Country Lads could yet salvage the title for them if they beat Esk Valley in the last match of the season.

If both teams finish with equal points, Whitehall, who have a superior aggregate score to that of Esk Valley, may find that their slightly better aggregate total is the difference between first and second place.

The third match in A League proved to be a low scoring encounter between Castle Park and Wrong Trousers. The difference between the two teams was a 97 from Colin Moore which saw Castle Park home by four points.

In B League, Farmers tore up the form book to beat top of the table Watkinson’s by two points.

A solid team performance from Farmers all but ended Watkinson’s hopes of landing the B League title and now trail Patch by two points, with only one match to go. In the four encounters between the two teams, Farmers avenged two heavy defeats in the first half of the season with two narrow victories in the second.

With Watkinson’s suffering their fourth defeat of the season, Patch are now clear favourites to lift the B League title.

In the last match of the season only Firemen, who beat Patch early in November, have any say in finally deciding just who collects the B League trophy. In their win against Average, the usually reliable Colin Rutland and Jean Welham both returned creditable 97s in what proved to be Patch’s highest team score of the season.

Results, A League

Country Lads 388 S Atkinson 99 M Atkinson 97 D Atkinson 96 R Lammerton 96 beat Whitehall 385 S Baker 100 T Coates 97 M Ware 96 D Lawrence 92; Castle Park 373 C Moore 97 R Oliver 94 M Dossor 92 C Dossor 90 beat Wrong Trousers 369 P Hurworth 93 P Lindley 93 B Stokoe 92 J Stokoe 91

Esk Valley 388 N Scarth 99 C Williamson 97 J Hay 96 R Truman 96 beat Average 379

B League

Farmers 367 D Hill 93 CS Thompson 93 RM Franks 92 R Brown 89 beat Watkinson’s 365 J Kenworthy 94 N Sawdon 91 J Hugill 90 J Headley 90; Firemen 362 B Gibbons 95 H Russell 93 P Cattermole 91 M Holmes 83 beat Universal 347 G Flower 92 M Troughton 90 M Noble 83 K Hodgson 82

Patch 379 J Welham 97 C Rutland 97 I Harrison 93 C Orr 92 beat Average 360