Bradford & Bingley staged a dramatic recovery to beat bottom of the table Gomersal by 74 runs in the JCT 600 Bradford League First Division. By David Markham
A win looked impossible as the visitors slumped to 29-7 in the face of some hostile bowling from James Russell (5-69) and Shahzaib Khan (4-34), but James Davies (66) and Rob Walker (58) led the fight back with an eighth wicket stand of 108.
Walker and Will Briggs (28) then added 36 for the ninth wicket as Bingley reached 201. Gomersal, who also made a bad start losing their first four wickets for 19, were bowled out for 127 with Chris Thompson taking 4-27 and only Danny Lloyd defying the Bingley attack with 51.
The top three teams – Woodlands, Cleckheaton and Pudsey Congs - all won with Woodlands holding a 17 point lead over Cleckheaton after beating Farsley by 100 runs at Red Lane, their 12th win in 15 matches.
Woodlands made 253 with Simon Mason scoring his second century of the season, hitting six sixes and eight fours on his way to an unbeaten 105 after openers Scott Richardson (61) and Sam Frankland (30) had laid the foundations with a first wicket stand of 80.
Farsley’s fate was sealed after they lost Ian Philliskirk, Lorenzo Ingram and Joe Greaves with only 27 on the board, Ingram being dismissed for nought for the second time against Woodlands this season. Opener Andrew Duckworth led a revival with 77, but Farsley were bowled out for 153 with left arm spinner Chris Brice taking 4-27 and Sarfraz Ahmed 3-36.
Second placed Cleckheaton recorded their seventh successive league win, beating Undercliffe at home with two overs to spare after successfully chasing the visitors total of 240-6.
Undercliffe’s top scorer was Yorkshire’s second team batsman Callum Geldart, who made 97, hitting two sixes and 12 fours, before being dismissed by his new Yorkshire team-mate Iain Wardlaw three short of his century.
Mark Cummins (54) and Tim Jackson (53) set Cleckheaton on the road to victory with a second wicket stand of 104 before Ian Nicholson (45) and Marcus Walmsley (34) increased the tempo.
East Bierley gained a 49-run win at relegation threatened Baildon. Despite losing both openers, former Scotland captain and Yorkshire all-rounder Gavin Hamilton and Gharib Razak for nought, Bierley managed to post a challenging thanks to 66 from captain, former Durham and Derbyshire second team wicketkeeper, Lee Goddard and 58 not out from Liam Walsh and 56 from Thomas Owens.
Baildon also made a bad start, losing both their openers Johnny Reynolds and Simon Webb for nought. Tabbi Bhatti (43) and Richard Atkins with a fine 87 rallied them, but they were bowled out for 199 with Bierley’s overseas pace bowler Muhammad Azhar Ullah taking 5-39.
Third placed Pudsey Congs are five points behind Cleckheaton after their five wicket win at Manningham Mills. Left arm spinner Glenn Roberts took 4-45 as the defending champions restricted Mills to 170-9 before Adam Patel made 40 and Barbar Butt (41 not out) and Edward Walsmley (34 not out) shared an unbeaten stand of 57 to guide Congs to victory with 15 balls to spare. Gulsheraz Ahmed was Mills’ top scorer with 41.
The highest scoring game was at Tofts Road, where Pudsey St Lawrence beat Hanging Heaton in a match that produced 549 runs.
David Stiff (57), Dave Hester (52), Chris Marsden (47) and Adam Waite (32) were the main contributors as St Lawrence posted the day’s top score – 281-8 – with Nick Bresnan (4-46) and leg spinner Mark Lawson (3-57) the visitors’ chief wicket takers.
Hanging Heaton made great start in the face of this daunting total with Lawson (65) and Rob McFarlane (55) sharing an opening stand of 105. James Stansfield maintained their challenge with an innings of 63 and the visitors appeared to well set at 216-2 with 12 overs left, but they lost wickets in pursuit of their target and finished 13 runs short on 268-8 with pace bowler Craig Wiseman taking 5-51.