Last season's promoted pair Baildon and Morley continue to find life difficult in Division One of the JCT 600 Bradford League as they suffered yet more defeats.
Bottom club Morley lost a low scoring match at home to East Bierley while last season's Second Division champions Baildon were beaten at home by neighbours Saltaire, who are also struggling near the bottom of the table.
Awais Ejaz took seven for 39 as Saltaire bowled out the home side for 132 with Kassir Maroof top scorer with 36 not out.
Overseas player Khuram Shahzad with 57 and opener Irfan Ahmed 35 not out led third from the bottom Saltaire to their third win of the season. This valuable win leaves Saltaire ten points clear of the bottom two relegation places occupied by Baildon and Morley.
Like Baildon, Morley are struggling for runs, but they must have been confident at the tea interval after bowling out Bierley for a mere 115 on a pitch that offered turn and lift, off spinner David Paynter taking four for 23 and Kashif Naveed four for 28. However, Morley struggled in reply and were dismissed for 105 with Bierley skipper, off spinner Kez Ahmed taking five for 25.
At the other end of the table Cleckheaton have emerged as main challengers to Woodlands after beating the leaders by eight wickets and now trail the defending champions by 11 points.
Opener Scott Richardson held the Woodlands together with 124, enabling them to post a challenging 235 for eight, but it proved to be no test for Cleckheaton for whom opener Tim Jackson scored 127 not out and Ian Nicholson 83 not out as they shared an unbroken match winning stand of 173.
Pudsey St Lawrence retained third place, 14 points behind Cleckheaton, following a 108-run win over Lightcliffe in a dress rehearsal for next month’s Priestley Cup semi-final.
St Lawrence posted a formidable 255 for five with Callum Goldthorp scoring 87 not out as he shared a second-wicket stand of 100 with skipper Mark Robertshaw (63) before wicket keeper Matthew Duce scored 52 late in the innings.
Lightcliffe, missing key batsmen Oliver Robinson and Chis Taylor, were bowled out for 147 with leg spinner Tom Hudson taking four for 50 and off-spinner Steve Watts three for 21. Jonathan Wilson (43) and former St Lawrence batsman Alex Stead (30) were the only batsmen to show much resistance for Lightcliffe.
Fourth placed Pudsey Congs avenged their Priestley Cup defeat at the hands of Hanging Heaton by beating them on their own ground by 87 runs following some outstanding bowling by off spinner Ed Walmsley.
He took seven for 29 in 15 overs as Hanging Heaton were bowled out for 123 in reply to Congs’ total of 210 for seven. Former county players David Stiff, with 49, and Gary Fellows, were top scorers for Hanging Heaton, but received little support.
Bradford & Bingley were frustrated by the weather and Manningham Mills' last wicket pair after dominating their match at Scotchman Road. Bingley were in some trouble at 51 for three when Alex Atkinson and David Clow came together to put them in command with a fourth wicket stand of 140.
Atkinson made 100, including five sixes and seven fours while Clow scored 65 before a quick 43 from Chris Thompson enabled the visitors to reach 290.
Rain limited Mills' innings to 34 overs and Bingley sensed victory after reducing the home side to 111 for nine, but were denied by the last wicket pair of Wasim Qasim (36) and Jamal Mahboob as Mills finished on 151 for nine. Bingley took 12 points and Mills 10 from the drawn match.
In the Second Division, Ashley Metcalfe made a half-century to help leaders Farsley to a three-wicket victory over promotion rivals New Farnley while second placed Spen Victoria enjoyed a five wicket win at Brighouse.
Richard Robinson became the first player to score 17,000 Bradford League runs in Keighley’s 66-run win over Bankfoot. Robinson made 70 to bring his career total to 17,027 a week after taking his 500th league wicket.
© Cricket World 2013