Farsley stole a march on their Second Division championship and promotion rivals when they were the only winners on a day of rain disruption in the JCT 600 Bradford League.
Farsley, looking to make an immediate return to the First Division following last season’s relegation, increased their lead over second placed New Farnley to 20 points with four matches left after gaining 15 points from their seven-wicket home win over Idle.
They bowled out the visitors for 117 with Mark Harrison taking four for 22 in 10.4 overs while James Pearson took three for 30 and skipper Ian Philliskirk two for 21. Farsley then sped to their modest target in 17.1 overs with top scorer Joe Greaves (69) sharing a second-wicket stand of 108 with Harrison (36).
New Farnley, bidding to gain promotion in their first season in the Bradford League, would have been confident of victory after bowling out Brighouse for 128 with Nadeem Hussain (3-33) and Nick Walker (3-29) each taking three wickets, but rain prevented them starting their reply.
Spen Victoria are third, only nine points behind New Farnley after taking seven points from their abandoned home game against Keighley, but they were in trouble when the rain came.
The visitors made 205 for nine with Matthew Bottomley (54) and Imran Patel (49) their top scorers as Ben Platt took four for 57. Joe Stead then made inroads into Spen’s top order with four for 18, reducing the home side to 41 for five when the match was abandoned.
Fourth placed Yeadon, 15 points behind Spen, would have fancied their chances at 99 for one in 13 overs, needing only 81 to beat visitors Windhill with Damon Gormley reaching 5,000 Bradford League runs on 46 not out when the match was abandoned. Joe Ollerenshaw made 102 in Windhill’s total of 179 for six.
There were two century-makers as all six matches in the First Division programme were abandoned.
Opener Adam Waite hit one six and 15 fours in his 103 as second placed Pudsey St Lawrence totalled 263 for three at Bradford & Bingley. He shared a second wicket stand of 139 with teenager Callam Goldthorp (67) after skipper Mark Robertshaw took his season’s tally to 949 runs with an innings of 41.
Leg-spinner Tom Hudson took three for nine to leave Bingley in trouble at 43 for three when the rain came.
The nine points St Lawrence took from the abandoned match cut Cleckheaton’s lead at the top to 26 points, but, with only three matches to play Cleckheaton remain favourites to lift the title for the first time in their history.
They had made 157 for four at Lightcliffe when the rain came along, taking five points from the abandoned match. Opener, skipper John Wood was top scorer with 60.
Woodlands’ hopes of retaining the title have almost disappeared – they are 37 points adrift of Cleckheaton.
Their problems continued when Morley bowled them out for 110 with opening bowlers Matthew Dowse (4-25) and Nathan Bromby (3-43) doing the damage.
At the other end of the table, bottom club Saltaire, 40 points adrift of safety, are all but relegated. Hanging Heaton scored 266 for four against them at Roberts Park with Gary Fellows hitting two sixes and 16 fours in his 103 and sharing a second-wicket stand of 140 with Jamie Sykes. Saltaire were one without loss after five overs, when the rain came.
Baildon, also in trouble, 30 points adrift of safety, restricted Pudsey Congs to 154 for seven before their match was abandoned.
Consistent batting from Nick Rushworth (70), Neil Gill (59) and Waqas Maqsood (45) enabled East Bierley to reach 242 at home to Manningham Mils for whom Zeeshan Qasim (4-57) and Wasim Qasim (4-64) each took four wickets.
© Cricket World 2013