Pudsey Congs Favourites To Lift Bradford League Title

Pudsey Congs Favourites To Lift Bradford League Title
Pudsey Congs Favourites To Lift Bradford League Title

Pudsey Congs are favourites to lift the JCT 600 Bradford League First Division championship going into the last day of the season - on Saturday, September 11.

Congs, who won the title five times in a row between 2000 and 2004, went to the top for the first time this season after beating defending champions Baildon by 89 runs while one of their main challengers, neighbours and long time pacesetters Pudsey St Lawrence lost by just seven runs at Woodlands.

They now lead the table by six points from Bradford & Bingley with one game left - at bottom club Bankfoot, who have won only one match all season and are already relegated.

Congs gained maximum batting points after totalling 265 for eight thanks to consistent performances from Andrew Bairstow (70), Adam Patel (60), Matthew Doidge (6) and Barbar Butt (57). Skipper Glenn Roberts then took four for 28 and Alex Hewitt three for 21 as Baildon were bowled out for 176.

Bingley also picked up maximum 20 points after beating Bankfoot by 134 runs. Opener Simon Davies 'carried his bat' for 118 not out while Chris Thompson also made an unbeaten 71 as Bingley amassed 301 for four. Davies hit one six and 15 fours, Thompson struck two sixes and nine fours while Greg Coleman took all the wickets to fall with four for 54. Opener Andrew Duckworth scored with 62, but received little support as Bankfoot were bowled out for 167 with off spinner Matthew Cockshott taking four for 20.

Woodlands, whose own title hopes had virtually ended after two successive defeats, effectively put paid to St Lawrence's own hopes of lifting the championship with their narrow win. Opener Scott Richardson made an unbeaten 113, including three sixes and 14 fours, playing a crucial anchor role to enable Woodlands to reach 198 for six. St Lawrence were on course for victory as they reached 148 for two as Chris Marsden (59) and Alex Stead (50) both made half centuries. Needing 51 to win from 13 overs, St Lawrence appeared set to win, but they lost five wickets for 38 runs and finished on 191 for nine. Defeat left them in third place 13 points behind leaders Congs.

Fourth placed East Bierley gained a three wicket win at Gomersal. Adam Greenwood led Gomersal's recovery with 66 not out after the home side had slumped to 29 for four and finished on 211 for eight. Lee Goddard, recently released by Derbyshire, led Bierley to victory with 70.

Jamaican all-rounder Lorenzo Inghram scored an unbeaten 112 to help Farsley beat Cleckheaton by five wickets - a result that confirmed their First Division survival and relegated Yeadon, who lost at home to already relegated Saltaire. Skipper John Wood made 63 and Michael Nicholson 48 as Cleckheaton totalled 229 for six. The result was in the balance at 119 for five, but Inghram and Barrie Frankland (47 not out) led Farsley to victory with an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 115.

Tom Hudson top scored with 64 in Saltaire's total of 176 as Andrew Robertson took five for 51. Skipper Grant Soames tried to hold the Yeadon innings together with 55, but they were all out for 145 with Nadeem Mohammed (3-23) and Ijaz Khan (3-29) each taking three wickets. 

David Markham

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