JOHN Beckwith made an inspired decision to play on Saturday in the Mewies Solicitors Craven League.

The Gargrave opener was without a game due to Bradley's withdrawal from Group E of the Covid Regional Competition but he noticed that Denholme were a player short at Wilsden in Group C.

He volunteered his services, Denholme skipper Ryan Judson accepted the offer and opener Beckwith then scored an astonishing 178 out of 221 to help his team to a 93-run victory.

Beckwith said: "I was disappointed that Bradley pulled out but I always try and play until the end of the season and noticed that Denholme were a man short.

"Denholme skipper Ryan Judson was good enough to let me open, which I usually do for Gargrave, but wickets kept falling at the other end - I don't know why."

Despite Beckwith's innings, Denholme had slumped to 89-9 before Judson came to the wicket and added a superb 132 with the loanee for the final wicket.

Beckwith, whose innings only lasted 89 balls and contained 12 fours and a mighty 18 sixes, revealed: "I asked the square leg umpire how many I was on and he said 89 so I hit the next ball for six and then hit two fours, and I just teed off after that.

"Ryan batted well for his 15 not out but I tried to take the first four or five balls of the over."

Beckwith started the shortened season by making 79 and 112 for Gargrave but admitted that his knock for Denholme was "one of my best innings, although the boundaries at Wilsden are shorter than at Gargrave".

Wicket-keeper Callum Gerrard, with 10, was the only other Denholme player to score double figures as Beckwith summoned his inner Lucas Keslinke (who scored 151 not out for Oakworth III earlier this season out of 160-3).

Ben Mitchell (5-47) and Hasnat Bukhari (2-25) had caused the early damage for Wilsden, who were understandably shell-shocked when they went out to bat and were dismissed for 128.

Opener Bukhari completed a fine match by hitting 52 off as many balls, including six fours and three sixes, and added 58 for the first wicket with Nigel Butterfield (13).

Toby Priestley (4-30) and Jack Peel (2-4) triggered the collapse from 80-1.

Beckwith wasn't the only centurion from South Craven, however, as Tom Bailey made 111 not out for Embsay II in Group G at Gargrave II.

He was supported well by opener Caspar Bean, who completed a fine campaign by scoring 97, a 101-ball knock that contained 10 fours and a six before he was caught and bowled by Tony Spensley.

Embsay finished on 226-2 after that 180-run partnership, with Spensley ending up with 2-35.

The home side could only make 105-9 in reply, despite 36 from Adam Hudson and 33 from Ben Wood, with Dieter Kayley (11), the only other player in double figures as Paul Wormald (5-14) struck.

Skipton CI II must have been eyeing victory at home to Cowling II when they were 97-4 chasing 134.

However, the last six wickets could only add 12 runs after Connors Hall Brown (28) and opener William Shuttleworth (26) had put on 52 for the third wicket.

John Stuttard (16) and Sean Williamson (11) were the only other players to trouble the scorers unduly as Aqib Chatta (5-18) and Martyn Dalby (2-31) weighed in.

Cowling II had earlier made 133-9, boosted by opener Steve Dalby (32), keeper Ben Davy (31no), Martyn Dalby (20) and Mohammed Shah Usman (16) as they were pegged back by Hall Brown (4-53) and Stuttard (3-28).

In Group F, Glusburn skipper Matt Lloyd, with an unbeaten 60, dominated their innings of 120 at Keighley, Steve Brown (20) and Akram Javed (16) providing the strongest support as Amaan Nadeem (4-33), under-13 Mohammed Abbas (3-18) and under-17 Rahim Hussain (3-23) shared the wickets.

Keighley's third team didn't find things easy themselves but won by three wickets off the final ball of the penultimate over in what has proved a good end to the campaign for them.

None of their first five made double figures, with three of them out for ducks, but the innings was rescued by juniors Abbas (49no) and Hussain (48), with Lloyd (4-26) and Brown (2-41) causing the early butterflies.

Another player to have had a solid 2020 is Thornton-in-Craven opener Stephen Laycock.

He scored 56 of their 117-6 at home to Oakworth II in Group E, but they lost by nine wickets.

Harry Hollingsworth (2-13) and Jake Keslinke (2-28) had the best figures for the visitors, who lost Lucas Keslinke early in their reply.

That didn't cause any worries, however, as Ellis Marshall (56no) came out to join skipper Niall Saynor (45no) and put on 107 unbroken to take Oakworth II to victory in the 26th over.

Marshall hit nine fours and two sixes in his 73-ball stay, with Saynor adding five fours and a six in his 74-ball knock.

The Covid Cup winners were as follows: Group A Barrowford I, Group B Oakworth I, Group C Hepworth & Idle I, Group D Eldwick & Gilstead, Group E Gargrave I, Group F Denholme II, Group G Cowling II.