Woodlands showed the resilience worthy of championship favourites to gain a dramatic four-run win at home to relegation threatened Farsley in the JCT 600 Bradford League First Division.
The leaders were in grave danger of losing their first match of the season after the visitors bowled them out for a mere 111 with off spinner Mark Harrison taking 4-10 and paceman Chris Henry 3-43 with only opener Sam Frankland (34) being able to cope with the Farsley attack.
However, the defending champions soon made inroads into the Farsley batting line led by Steve Piercey and slow left arm bowler Chris Brice, reducing them to 91-9 with 21 still required.
Last man Henry then made a dramatic entry, hitting two sixes to take his side to the verge of victory before he was caught and bowled by Piercey, leaving Farsley an agonising five runs short of winning. Piercey ended with figures of 5-28 and Brice 3-14 in his 15 overs.
The win leaves Woodlands 34 points clear of second placed East Bierley who gained a thrilling two wicket win in a high scoring home match against Manningham Mills.
Mills were indebted to Gulsheraz Ahmed who made an aggressive unbeaten 109, containing nine sixes and eight fours as they totalled a formidable 266-9.
Bierley looked to be heading for defeat after skipper Lee Goddard (50) and overseas all-rounder Rao Anjum were out in quick succession to leave them struggling at 140-6, but Nick Walker turned the game in their favour, hitting five sixes and six fours in a quick fire 67 to enable them to win with nine balls to spare.
Bierley are one point ahead of Pudsey St Lawrence who gained a 74-run win at Undercliffe – a result that left Undercliffe bottom of the table again.
Skipper Mark Robertshaw (83) and Adam Waite (46) gave St Lawrence a good start with an opening stand of 98 and the visitors built on that to post 237-8
Undercliffe never looked like reaching that challenging total and were bowled out for 163 with off spinner taking 4-40 while Gareth Clough mopped up the tail with 3-6.
Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale, who has been out of action for a month with a hip injury, missed out on the chance for some batting practice when he was dismissed for only eight in fourth placed Cleckheaton’s 122-run win at Hanging Heaton.
Cleckheaton went to make 198-8 with skipper John Wood scoring 42 and James Lee 35. Gale’s Yorkshire team-mate, paceman Iain Wardlaw then took 5-24 as Hanging Heaton were bowled out for a mere 76.
Pudsey Congs are two points and two places off the bottom of the table after a six wicket home defeat against Lightcliffe. At one point, Congs were well placed at 96-1 but they slid to 157-9 with spinners Suleman Khan taking 4-36 and Josh Wheatley 4-42. Opener Nick Lindley was top scorer with 36, but only Barbar Butt (27) and fellow opener Gareth Phillips (23) gave him much support.
Openers, former Yorkshire and Derbyshire batsman Chris Taylor (32) and Yorkshire second teamer Alex Lees (40) gave them a good start with a first wicket stand of 74 and although Lightcliffe slid to 108-4, Alex Stead (35 not out) and Charlie Roebuck (27 not out) saw the home with an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 52.
Saltaire moved off the bottom of the table – to eighth - after a five wicket win over Bradford & Bingley at Roberts Park. Opener Scott Etherington carried his bat for 61 as Bingley were dismissed for 155 with Nawaz Sardar taking 4-19 and skipper Ijaz Khan 3-16.
The home side reached their target with 23.5 overs to spare led by Javed Umarji (47 not out), Sardar (35) and Irfan Amjad (30).
© Cricket World 2012
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