Barnsley and Rotherham Town are putting the squeeze on ECB Yorkshire Premier League leaders Harrogate and, after their defeat at Clifton Lane, Harrogate’s lead is down to just four points.
Indeed, only eight points now separate the top three.
James Moorhouse hit a solid 73 and Aussie Tony Del Barello 69, as Town reached 248 before being bowled out in the final over.
But any thoughts of an away victory were quickly dispelled when Harrogate lost two wickets for 29. Jon Tattersall (34) and George Ross (50) improved the situation but Rotherham were in the mood for victory.
Paceman Ben Sanderson and spinner Will Street grabbed four wickets each as the leaders were bowled out in the 45th over, well short of the target at 154.
Rotherham are without a fixture this weekend which gives Barnsley the chance, should Harrogate slip up against mid-table Cleethorpes, to take over at the top.
The Seasiders, boosted by the return of big Alex Osmond, are improving after a slow start and pulled off a smart victory over Doncaster - featuring the return to the League of Andy Ellis, who spent several seasons at Cleethorpes and Appleby Frodingham.
The reliable seamer quickly fitted in, taking four wickets, but Town were unable to reach the 208-run target and fell 16 short. Osmond took 5-47.
Barnsley should be hot favourites to take the points at Town Fields. They feel that their squad is good enough to take the champions’ flag for their second and, sadly, the league’s final time.
Azeem Rafiq took four wickets as the YCA were restricted to 199-9 at Shaw Lane and with Jon Trower hitting a classy 90 and James Brown, promoted up the order in place of injured Matt Wilson, adding 42, Barnsley comfortably reached the target for the loss of just two wickets.
Sheffield United’s improved form continued with a crushing 178 run defeat of Driffield at a windswept SHU Sports Park, to move them up to 11th.
Jaco Scholtz top scored with 79 and skipper Lesroy Weekes added a spectacular 62no, with Bilal (45) and Sam Woodcock (33) chipping in with useful contributions as United reached a massive 298-5.
Driffield were never at the races and with 16-year-old James Exley showing excellent pace to take 4-24, the visitors were all out in the 29th over for 120.
David Wainwright, recently released by Derbyshire, helped cause an upset at Abbeydale Park when he scored 107 in Castleford’s 277-8 and then took 3-26 from 10 accurate overs to reduce Collegiate to 174 all out .
United visit Savile Park this weekend and will be hoping to control Wainwright’s all-round talents, as they did in their recent cup victory at Castleford.
Collegiate visit Chanderlands to take on Hull who pulled off an amazing one-run victory over York when, after setting a massive 347-4, they restricted York to 346-7 - a new Yorkshire League aggregate record.
Table: Harrogate played 10- 62 points, Rotherham 10-58, Barnsley 9-54, YCA 9-41, York 9-40, Cleethorpes 10-36, AppFrod 9-35, Driffield 9-30, Doncaster 10-28, Castleford 9-27, United 8-17, Collegiate 7-11, Hull 9-9.
Fixtures: App Frod v York, Castleford v United, Cleethorpes v Harrogate, Doncaster v Barnsley, Hull v Collegiate, YCA v Driffield.
Danni Rafiq smashed 100 of 47 balls as Barnsley eased their way to a ECB Yorkshire Premier League T20 semi-final slot and they will now face York at Town Fields, Doncaster, on July 5.
Harrogate secured their semi final place with an easy victory over App Frod, and will play Cleethorpes at 1pm.