Although Woodhouse Grange first team produced a below par performance to claim only seven points from the worst of a draw at Beverley Town on Saturday, results elsewhere conspired to allow them to increase their lead to 56 points at the top of the York Senior League Premier Division, with five matches left.
Beverley owed much to Jamie Mitchell, who carried his bat for 91 not out, in their total of 207-9.
The influence of many of the hard-hitters who bat around the patient opener was reduced by incisive bowling from Tom Quinn (2-44), Steve Burdett (3-49) and particularly Nick Hadfield (4-69 in 18 overs).
But the usually sharp Woodhouse fielding fell short as a number of catches were spilled.
In reply, Woodhouse lost Hadfield early but the brothers Bilton seemed to be staging a recovery until both Andrew (21) and Chris (34) fell to aerial shots.
When three middle-order wickets then fell for only seven runs, the visitors were struggling at 87-6. Simon Roe (4-41) and Matthew Mudd (2-60) had caused the damage, bowling unchanged for 37 overs.
Recovery came in the form of two 19 year-olds as Michael Hattee (35) and Chris Suddaby (33) batted together for 16 important overs, saving the game but unable to raise the scoring rate sufficiently even to reach three-quarters points.
Late alarms saw the last pair bat out the final five balls as Woodhouse finished on 144-9.
The second team continued their highly successful season, claiming 27 points from the best of a draw against Stillington which sees them now lead their division by a massive 81 points - well-earned promotion just a whisker away.
Woodhouse lost two early wickets but were then indebted to 17 year-old Matthew Hattee who composed a fine innings of 88.
He had support from James Hopwood (28) before Matthew Shepherd provided the fireworks with 62 not out off only 45 balls, including five fours and three sixes as Woodhouse closed at 218-5.
Stillington were soon in trouble at 32-3 as Paul Townsley claimed all three wickets.
Their recovery was led by Oliver Everard with 41, before Matthew Shepherd showed his all-round ability by picking up 3-23.
Tom Jarvis (33 not out) remained defiant as Woodhouse just failed to force home the final advantage as Stillington finished on 175-9.
The third team were soundly beaten by 10 wickets at Kelfield. In an all-out total of 112 only Ashley Cattle (39) and Stuart Craven (27) had much to offer before the home team sailed home at 113-0. The third team are at home to Westow on Saturday, 2pm start.
Saturday also sees a double header as the first team are at home to Sessay while the second team visit Sessay seconds, both matches with the earlier start time of 1pm.
They will be hoping neither match is a repeat of the loss they suffered against the same opposition in the York Senior League Hunters Premier Cup final, in which a terrific all-round performance by Matthew Till took Sessay to a comfortable win over Woodhouse Grange at Sheriff Hutton Bridge, thus depriving the league’s pace-setter of the opportunity to achieve a league and cup double.
Having been invited to bat first, Woodhouse, the current holders, found runs at a premium against some extremely tight bowling by Richard Till and Stuart Peirse.
The former dismissed Andrew Bilton for two in the eighth over and brother Chris fell for 13 at 58 as the scoring rate hovered around three an over for the first 20 overs.
Nick Hadfield made a patient 41 before becoming the first of three victims claimed by Matt Till at a cost of 29 runs.
Matt Hattee made 25 before perishing to a good Nick Thorne catch. as the Sessay fielders gave their bowlers good support.
The second 20 overs were rather more productive but, with batting conditions improving as the game progressed, Woodhouse’s total of 169-7 seemed to be some 30 runs below par.
When Sessay replied, Matt Till was soon into the scoring groove but lost his opening partner at 36. He then had good support from Nick Thorne who made 24 in a stand of 49 and then found an even worthier ally in Nick Harrison, who eventually reached 45 not out.
Till fell for 71 when victory was almost achieved, but his departure had no effect on the result, which saw Sessay lift the trophy for the third time in five years and Woodhouse lose their seventh final in the past nine years.
The Hunters Cup, certificate and winners cheque were presented to Sessay skipper Steve Langstaff by the League President Bernard Stevens whilst the man-of-the-match award, judged by league vice chairman Graham Hursthouse, was awarded to the clear winner, Matt Till who won the award in each of Sessay’s two previous winning finals.