Hanging Heaton and Gomersal set a new JCT 600 Bradford League record in an extraordinary match at Bennett Lane, the first in the 108-year history of the league to produce 700 runs. By David Markham.
Hanging Heaton’s total of 378-6 was one short of the highest ever league total of 379-5 set by Esholt against Saltaire in 2002 while the four centuries in the match equalled a league record.
Makeshift first wicket pair of Mark Lawson and Alan Mynett, promoted to open the innings because Rob McFarlane was delayed as he returned from working on the Olympic Village in London, put on 190 before Lawson was out for 117 with four sixes and 18 fours while Mynett batted through the innings, hitting six sixes and 23 fours in his 179.
Relegated Gomersal made a bold bid to chase this mammoth total. Adam Greenwood made 102 while Greg Pickles hit seven sixes in his 101, taking the number of centuries in the match to four and equalling a record set in a match between Baildon Green and Saltaire in 1938.
Ultimately, Gomersal finished 56 runs short, but their 322-8 took the total number of runs in the match to 700, easily beating the previous record of 628 set by Pudsey St Lawrence and Yeadon in 2003.
There was another high scoring game at Farsley where the home side moved into second place by beating Cleckheaton by 13 runs in a match that produced 611 runs.
Joe Greaves scored his fourth century of the season, striking three sixes and 21 fours in his 140 as Farsley declared on 312-6 after 47 overs.
Led by John Wood, Cleckheaton made a determined bid to reach this challenging total. The visiting skipper hit four sixes and 11 fours in his 91 as he dominated an opening stand of 154 with Mark Cummins (67). Tim Jackson kept the momentum going with 54, but Cleckheaton were bowled out for 299 in the third of three extra overs Farsley had given them.
Scott Etherington turned in a superb all-round performance as Bradford & Bingley gained revenge for their Priestley Cup quarter final defeat with a 79-run win at East Bierley. He scored his maiden Bradford League century, hitting 14 boundaries in his 107 as he and Simon Davies (51) put on 118 for the first wicket to help Bingley to reach 253-6. He then took 6-45 as Bierley were bowled out for 174, of which Gavin Hamilton made 52.
Woodlands received the championship trophy and then celebrated by beating Undercliffe at home by five wickets. Opener Scott Richardson made 61 and Simon Mason 38 before Tim Orrell (51) and Grant Soames (11) saw the champions home with an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 64 after Undercliffe had totalled 197-9. Opener Ammer Mirza (56) top scored for the visitors.
Pudsey St Lawrence batsman James Smith handed over the captaincy to Mark Robertshaw, who will lead the team next season, and celebrated his newly found freedom by hitting 100 not out as the Priestley Cup winners completed a league double over local rivals Pudsey Congs.
Barbar Butt (93) and Mark Gill (46) put Congs in a strong position with a second wicket stand of 122, but the innings lost momentum as they settled for 226-8.
St Lawrence began badly, losing their first four wickets for 49, but Smith put them back on course in a fifth wicket stand of 158 with Gareth Clough (56).
Relegated Baildon beat Manningham Mills by four wickets with three balls to spare. Imran Khalid (62) and Farakh Hussain (54) hit half centuries in Mills’ total of 199 before Richard Atkins (45), Simon Webb (44) and Tabbi Bhatti (34 not out) guided Baildon home.
© Cricket World 2011