Fairburn took advantage of a weather-disrupted Saturday to leap to the top of the Division One in the Pontefract and District Cricket League with three rounds remaining.

The champions of 2017 and the winners of last season’s shortened competition, Fairburn won at Hooton Pagnell by eight wickets chasing only 109 whilst pre-game leaders Ackworth were rained off at home to Askern Welfare.

Only 4.1 overs were bowled in the latter clash, with Askern Welfare 10-1 and leaving Ackworth contemplating only a three-point haul.

Fairburn claimed 16 points against a Hooton Pagnell side fielding only nine players.

James Pugh took two new ball wickets, while Jake Abdy finished with the pick of the figures – 3-10 from 6.2 overs – as the hosts were bowled out for 108 inside 39 overs.

In reply, opener Danny Murray’s 48 off 44 balls was the standout knock. He shared 61 for the second wicket, advancing from 37-1, with Craig Piggott. His unbeaten 34 off 22 included three sixes as the win was secured in only 14.2 overs.

Fairburn’s 12th win in 19 games (214 points) gave them a five-point lead over second-placed Ackworth (209) in a tightly contested title race which also includes Hatfield Town (202).

Hatfield won in very similar fashion to Fairburn.

They beat already relegated Crofton Phoenix by nine wickets on home turf, chasing 106 in only 13.4 overs.

Having elected to bowl, the wickets were shared around a ruthless Hatfield attack, with Phoenix doing well to more than double their score from 50-6.

They were bowled out for 105 inside 32 overs as new ball pair James Stewart and Owen Edwards claimed three wickets apiece and Mark Best and James Winstanley two apiece. Kuldeep Rana top-scored with 25 not out from number seven for Phoenix.

In pursuit, openers Best (31) and Alec Elliot shared 68 before the latter finished unbeaten on 50 off 45 balls with nine fours.

Ackworth and Hatfield face each on September in a key clash in a title race which sees sixth-placed Frickley Colliery face both Fairburn and Ackworth.

Frickley secured victory on Saturday, again in similar fashion to the aforementioned wins for Fairburn and Hatfield.

They were set up by a brilliant 6-38 from 12 overs from opening bowler Kieran McIntyre as they bowled visiting Streethouse out for 113 in 31 overs.

Captain and opener Ashley Vickers then anchored the Frickley reply with a blistering 51 not out off 25 balls, including 46 runs in boundaries. They won by nine wickets in 14.2 overs.

Crofton Phoenix and bottom side Darton, who are without a win in 19, are already relegated.

Darton were involved in one of the top division’s three abandoned fixtures on Saturday.

All matches saw some play.

Darton were bowled out for 140 inside 36 overs at West Bretton as new ball bowler Anthony Scully claimed 5-58 from 12 overs. He is the second leading wicket-taker in the division with 46. Captain Will Turner top-scored with a measured 48.

The weather then came to Darton’s rescue in the second innings as West Bretton were 82-1 after 12 overs, including opener Jonny Winwood’s aggressive 59 off 37 balls with two sixes.

The hauls of six points to five seemed rough on West Bretton, who are fifth in the table.

Only 28 overs were bowled between Hundhill Hall and Hemsworth Miners Welfare, the latter who were 127-3. Captain Max Heritage was 68 not out.

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