Rastrick 1st XI stormed back to the top of the Drakes Huddersfield Championship with a tense victory at Slaithwaite.
Batting first, Slaithwaite lost their top four cheaply, with captain Olly Pearson and in-form Wasim Javed taking two wickets each.
Rastrick remained on top for most of the innings, reducing the hosts to 97-8 as Australian import Mitch McCoach chipped in with 3-32 in his 15 over spell.
Slaithwaite staged something of a recovery as they reached 141 all out, with three overs still left to bowl as Jack Pearson took the final wicket. Javed was the pick of the bowlers, with excellent figures of 3-9 off eight overs.
Rastrick will have been the happier of the two teams going in to the tea interval and their opening pair of Jacob Waterson and McCoach got them off to a steady start. However, when McCoach fell for 16, next batsman Faisal Javed followed shortly afterwards for a duck giving the home side some hope. Birkhead scored 15 and also fell before teenager Tom Barrett departed for 10.
It was panic stations for Rastrick as veteran Matthew Lambert fell for zero and Waterson departed for 35 to leave Rastrick on 99-6 and the game in the balance. After losing Pearson with over 30 still required, it was left to the cool heads of Joe Vickers (20 no) and Olly Marsh (7 no) to calmly guide Rastrick over the line with over six overs to spare.
The crucial six points resulted in Rastrick leapfrogging Moorlands and Thongsbridge, who lost their games to the rain, and they now lead the table by a solitary point approaching the halfway stage.
Rastrick’s 2nd X1 made it back-to-back victories with a hard-fought win over Cawthorne, in a game that was decided by the rain rule.
Skipper Simon Farlow won the toss and decided to bat and his side were in a spot of bother at 30-3 and a big partnership was required. That is just what they got throughTom Owen with a timely return to form with 82. He was well supported by Leon Risdon (55) as they put on over 150 for the fourth wicket. This propelled Rastrick to a very competitive 219-6 off their 45 overs.
Cawthorne’s run chase got off to a flying start with 43-0 on the board for the first wicket but then Nick Marsden struck.
Things slowed when Farlow bowled tightly (1-4 off seven overs). Then the rains came and the Barnsley district side were on 65-2 off 24 overs. The rain rule calculated that they needed to have 131 runs, allowing Rastrick to pick up the points ahead of hosting Denby Dale on Saturday.