MIRFIELD Parish Cavaliers have emerged as surprise All Rounder Cricket Equipment Central Yorkshire League title-chasers after opening the second half of the season with a convincing win over Birstall to move into third place.
However, only six points separate the six Premier Division clubs chasing leaders Methley, and the trip to joint third-placed Scholes this week is crucial for Mirfield PC and the hosts.
Methley lead the way from Townville by eight points but Parish and Scholes are just four behind them.
Birstall, now only one point above the relegation zone, were never in the game at Parish.
Yasir Ali's top-scoring 53 from 61 balls helped the home side to 226, despite a 3-42 return from Saif ur-Rehman, but Birstall struggled from the start as Muhammed Shahnawaz (4-41) and Bradley Drake (3-24) ensured the ball held sway.
James Keen did manage a highly creditable 56 for Birstall out of 119, but it will need more from others if they are to take the points from the visit of Hunslet Nelson this week.
The Jack Hampshire Memorial Trophy semi-final draw offered little joy either as they now face a trip to in-form Heavy Woollen Cup finalists Townville.
Scholes had a welcome return to winning ways as they overran a resurgent Ossett by 124 runs at Queens Terrace.
Although only Zayn Abbas and skipper James Stansfield (39) made double figures for Scholes, the 111 not out from Abbas was decisive in a score of 197-6, and in reply Ossett capitulated in the face of Chris Jackson (4-23) and Mohammed Sharafat (3-23) while Abbas claimed 2-8, in two overs at the death to help bowl them out for 73.
Stansfield will be calling for more of the same against Mirfield Parish but former Woodlands skipper Tim Orrell is doing well for Parish and won't want to see his side lose momentum.
In the Championship Division, third-placed Liversedge are just three points behind Northowram Fields after a tense 18-run win at Oulton that owed much to the bowling of skipper Graeme Winn (4-37) after Alan Sumner (48) and Jon Trevitt (44) had worked hard to offer an albeit modest target of 138.
Buttershaw St Paul's are well adrift in fourth place after a five-wicket defeat at home to East Leeds, while Westwood Park lost ground in Division One, losing by eight wickets at Gildersome, and Mirfield's eight-wicket defeat at Caribbean leaves Park propping up the table.