Woodlands' 15-Match Unbeaten Run Ends
Leaders Woodlands’ 15-match unbeaten run came to an end when they suffered a 51-run home defeat against Lightcliffe to give renewed hope to the chasing pack in the First Division title race.
Chris Taylor made 63 and Alex Stead 55 to enable Lightcliffe to reach 220-6 before bowling out the defending champions for 169, slow left arm bowler Chris Greenwood taking 3-58. Woodlands’ top scorers were opener Sam Frankland with 48 and Chris Brice 34.
Second placed Cleckheaton could not take advantage of Woodlands’ defeat, dropping from second to fourth after an eight wicket home defeat against Saltaire – a result that eases the visitors’ relegation worries.
Former Saltaire batsman Tim Jackson with 45, Mally Nicholson 43 and Ammar Mahmood 40 were top scorers as Cleckheaton made a challenging 241-9, but Saltaire won with two overs to spare. Opener Irfan Amjad made 101 not out, including three sixes and eight fours as he shared a first wicket stand of 129 with Farhan Khan, whose 71 included 11 fours. Amjad then shared an unbroken third wicket stand of 100 with Fahid Rehman (44) as the visitors celebrated only their fourth win of the season. Mohammed Munir with 3-32 and Kamran Anwar 3-46 were Saltaire’s most successful bowlers.
East Bierley moved into second place 32 points behind Woodlands after gaining 20 points from their 111-run over relegation threatened Farsley. Skipper Lee Goddard was top scorer with 103, including 13 fours as Bierley posted 245-7, home captain Ian Philliskirk taking 4-66.
Farsley were bowled out for 134 with Barrie Frankland 50 and Haroon Rashid 35 their top scorers as spinner Luke Jarvis took 3-39. The defeat leaves Farsley next to the bottom, 22 points adrift of Pudsey Congs, the club above them.
There was a feast of runs at Pudsey St Lawrence where visitors Bradford & Bingley triumphed by 56 runs after posting a formidable 320-7. The star batting performance came from Cumberland player Alex Atkinson, whose innings of 151 contained eight sixes and 15 fours as he shared a second wicket stand of 214 with opener Scott Etherington, who made 81.
St Lawrence made a bold effort to go for their daunting target led by skipper Mark Robertshaw, who made 101, including three sixes and 11 fours. Robertshaw shared third wicket partnership of 120 with James Smith (79) and, at 229-3 with ten overs left they were well placed, but Etherington stepped in to take 6-36 and secure a remarkable win for his side as the home team were dismissed for 264.
Overseas player Noman Ali produced an outstanding performance for his side as Manningham Mills thrashed Hanging Heaton by nine wickets. He took 7-13 as the visitors were bowled out for 115 and then thrashed 67 not out as Mills reached their target in 14.5 overs. Imran Dawood was Hanging Heaton’s top scorer with 43 not out, but received scant support from his team-mates.
Bottom club Undercliffe's relegation problems intensified after they were beaten at home to fellow strugglers Pudsey Congs by six wickets. Undercliffe made a great start, openers Callum Geldart (74) and Matthew Bottomley (48) putting on 124 for the first wicket, but they collapsed after that and were all out for 200. Congs struggled initially and lost their first three wickets for 37, but Eugene Burzler (69) and Andrew Bairstow (47) led a recovery with a four wicket stand of 67 before experieced pair, Barbar Butt and new skipper Glenn Roberts led them to victory with an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 38.