Pudsey Congs Beat Bankfoot To Claim Title
Pudsey Congs are the new JCT 600 Bradford League First Division champions. They made sure of the title by beating bottom club Bankfoot by 66 runs on the last day of the season. It was their sixth title win in 11 seasons.
The championship triumph crowned a superb second half of season that saw them win nine of their last ten matches. They finished five points ahead of Bradford & Bingley, who beat Cleckheaton by 74 runs and 15 in front of East Bierley, who took third place after their 34-run win over Undercliffe.
Pudsey St Lawrence, who have led the table for much of the season, had to settle for fourth place after a four wicket defeat against neighbours Farsley and one ahead of Woodlands, who finished fifth with a 75-run win at Saltaire.
Congs were put into bat on a green pitch at Bankfoot in a match reduced to 32 overs and found batting difficult against experienced pace bowlers Greg Colehan and Nigel Hanson.
Only Eugene Burzler of the early batsman made an impact and, at 99 for six with eight overs left, Congs were in trouble, but they were rescued by a sparking innings of 44 by Barbar Butt, who hit three sixes to enable to finish on 162 for eight.
It soon became clear that this going to be a winning total as Bankfoot slid to 14 for four and, although James Holdsworth
(37) put on 51 for the fifth wicket with Tom Simpson, they were all out for 96 with Mark Bray taking four for 17.
Opener Simon Davies hit his second century in successive matches in Bingley's win over Cleckheaton. Davies struck two sixes and 17 fours as he shared an opening stand of 137 with Scott Etherington, who made 57. Once maximum batting points had been achieved at 227 for three, skipper Phil Slater declared to give his side two extra overs in which to try to bowl out Cleckheaton. However, although Bingley won easily they couldn't bowl out the visitors, who made 153 for seven with Marcus Walmsley top scoring with 43.
Pudsey St Lawrence suffered their second successive defeat as Farsley chased down their score of 215 for six to win by four wickets with eight balls to spare. St Lawrence opener Mark Robertshaw passed 1,000 runs for the season in his innings of 119 not out while Gareth Clough made 37.
Barry Frankland with 43, Joe Greaves 43 not out, Lorenzo Ingram 34 and Bradley Kruger 30 led Farsley to their victory target while Jamaican Ingram was also their best bowler with three for 58 with his slow left arm spin.
Bierley beat Undercliffe by 34 runs in a match reduced to 30 overs. They raced to 177 all out in a mere 24.1 overs before bowling out their opponents for 143. Skipper, slow left arm bowler Chris Greenwood with four for 32 and overseas player Nawaz Sardar three for 52 were Undercliffe's best bowlers while Andrew Rennison with 67 and Liam Walsh 46 scored the bulk of Bierley's runs. Ben Heritage (52) and Sardar (49) were Undercliffe's most successful batsmen, but they lacked support.
Woodlands beat next to the bottom Saltaire in Roberts Park by 75 runs. Slow left armer, Chris Brice, the league's leading wicket taker took four for 42 as Saltaire were bowled out for 139 in reply to Woodlands' total of 214 for seven. The visitors' leading scorers were Sam Frankland with 45, Nicky Rushworth 42, skipper Pieter Swanepoel 42 and Tim Orrell 40.
Relegated Yeadon left the First Division on a high note as they defeated the 2009 champions Baildon by eight wickets in a low scoring match. Baildon were restricted to 99 for seven in a match reduced to 20 overs per side. Oliver Halliday then led Yeadon to their modest victory target with 64 not out.
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