Woodlands Make It Five Titles In Seven Seasons
Woodlands are celebrating their fifth JCT 600 Bradford League First Division championship in seven seasons. David Markham reports.
They made sure of the title with an eight wicket win at bottom club, already relegated Gomersal while their nearest rivals Farsley went down by eight wickets at Manningham Mills.
It's a tribute to their consistency that, after losing their first two matches, Woodlands have suffered only one defeat in their last 18 - a consistency that none of their rivals can match.
Mills' win guaranteed their place in the First Division and confirmed the relegation of 2009 champions Baildon, who lost by four wickets at Pudsey Congs. They will join Gomersal in Division Two next season when they will be replaced by the top two clubs in Division Two, Saltaire and Lightcliffe.
Leaders Saltaire beat Brighouse by 77 runs to secure promotion at the first attempt and second placed Lightcliffe, who didn't have a game, will join them in Division One
Gomersal lost their first four wickets for 51 on a wet pitch before they were rescued by Shazaib Kahn (57) and Adam Greenwood (53). Thanks to them, they reached 202 as off spinner Grant Soames with 4-31 and paceman Sarfraz Ahmed 3-35 made the most of bowler friendly conditions. .
It was a total that posed no problems to Woodlands. Openers Scott Richardson and Sam Frankland put on 162 before Richardson was out for 74. Frankland went on to make 86 and Sarfraz, promoted to No 4 for his last innings before returning home to Pakistan today, completed Woodlands' win in characteristically explosive style with four sixes in five balls from Danny Lloyd.
Seam bowler Zeeshan Qasim took 6-51 as Farsley were restricted to 195-8 at Scotchman Road with in-form Joe Greaves top scoring with 68. Overseas player Imran Khalid made 66 and Adal Islam 56 not out as Mills completed a comfortable victory.
East Bierley moved into second placed after an eight wicket win over Cleckheaton, who were Woodlands' main challengers until recent defeats. Left arm paceman Paul Hutchison took 5-43 and spinner Luke Jarvis 3-15 as Cleckheaton were bowled out for 130, James Lee top scoring with 45. Opener Gavin Hamilton scored an unbeaten 75 with one six and 13 fours as Bierley raced to their target in 21.5 overs.
Undercliffe moved into fifth place with a 57-run home win over Hanging Heaton. Openers Matthew Bottomley (65) and Ammer Mirza (55) put on 90 for the first wicket as Undercliffe reached 232-7 with skipper Ben Heritage making 35.
In-form Rob McFarlane (50) and Mark Lawson (39) ensured Hanging Heaton made a good start, but, when they were out, only wicketkeeper Alan Mynett offered much resistance and they dismissed for 175 with Yassir Abbas taking 4-40 and Nawaz Sardar 3-43.
Off spinner Chris Marsden took 5-44 as Pudsey St Lawrence beat Bradford & Bingley by six wickets at Wagon Lane. Openers Scott Etherington (74) and Simon Davies (51) gave Bingley a good start with a first wicket stand of 123, but they couldn't build on that foundation and they were forced to settle for 189-9. St Lawrence reached their winning target in 42.5 overs with Dave Hester making 63, Mark Robertshaw 38 and skipper James Smith 35.
Baildon's battle to avoid relegation ended at Pudsey Congs, where they were restricted to 133-8 on a damp pitch with left arm spinner Glenn Roberts taking 3-35 and pace bowler Muhammad Naved 3-43. Congs did not have things all their own way in reply, losing six wickets on the way to the winning target as Richard Atkins took 4-64. Gareth Phillips top scored with 41 and Josh Atkinson made 32 not out.
© Cricket World 2011