THE battle at the wrong end of the Premier Division is hotting up with three of the teams who started the day in the bottom four recording wins
Bradford & Bingley had a nail-biting one-wicket win over Woodlands, Scholes beat Morley by three-wickets to record their second-successive victory and Pudsey Congs breezed to an eight-wicket success against Lightcliffe.
East Bierley have dropped back into the bottom two after their 139-run defeat at the hands of leaders Pudsey St Lawrence who are now 214 points clear at the top.
The day’s tensest finish was at Wagon Lane where Bradford & Bingley recovered from 58-6 to pass the Woodlands total of 140.
The key man in the successful run chase was opener Charlie Best. He stood firm after spinner Kez Ahmed (5-35) had threatened to turn the game in Woodlands’ favour.
Best made a determined 71 before becoming the ninth man out with the scores level. Will Grace scrambled the winning run from the next ball after being joined by last man Kyme Tahirkeli.
Woodlands, who were without their overseas player Sarfraz Ahmed, struggled when they batted first. Only Joran Laban with 56 looked at ease as Matthew Walker (4-17) and Noman Ali (3-42) shared the bowling honours.
Playing against his old club certainly brought the best out of Pudsey Congs all-rounder Josh Wheatley.
He took 5-39 with his off spin as Lightcliffe made 189-9 and followed up with an unbeaten 62 to help his side to an eight-wicket win which lifts them out of the relegation places.
Wheatley was backed up by left-arm spinner Nick Lindley as Lightcliffe were unable to capitalize on skipper Alex Stead’s 42 at the top of the order.
Congs got their innings off to a flying start with Callum Geldart cracking 56 from just 26 balls in an opening stand of 95 with Wheatley. Geldart struck three sixes and six fours.
Wheatley, whose innings contained ten fours, had to play second fiddle to Andrew Bairstow when he came in at number four.
Bairstow hammered four sixes and five fours as he made 61 not out in an unbroken third-wicket stand of 81 with Wheatley which enabled Congs to reach their target in just 27.4 overs.
Scholes remain bottom of the table despite beating Morley by three-wickets in a low-scoring encounter.
Morley’s decision to bat first back fired as James Harding (4-35) and skipper James Stansfield (3-8) exploited the helpful bowling conditions to dismiss the home side for 66. Morley’s last four wickets fell for just one run.
Scholes didn’t find batting any easier as they lost seven wickets achieving their victory target. Paceman Matthew Dowse took 5-25 for Morley who have now lost their last three games after a promising start to the season.
East Bierley’s hopes of securing their third win in a row were ripped to shreds by Pudsey St Lawrence. There was early encouragement when in-form Matthew Lumb (5-78) dismissed Mark Robertshaw with the second ball of the innings, but Lawrence didn’t let the early setback trouble them.
Adam Waite steadied any nerves his side might have had with a knock of 62 before skipper James Smith set about the East Bierley attack. Smith struck six sixes and six fours in his 81 as St Lawrence made 265-9.
East Bierley never looked like challenging the home side’s total. Spinners Steve Watts (4-17) and Tom Hudson
(3-43) were the key bowlers as East Bierley were bowled out for 126.
Hanging Heaton bounced back from their Bank Holiday Monday defeat at East Bierley by beating second-placed Cleckheaton by five wickets.
Overseas player Mohammed Rameez took 4-14 as Cleckheaton crumbled to 85 all out. Skipper Gary Fellows made 30 as Hanging Heaton, despite losing five wickets on the way, inflicted a second-successive defeat on Cleckheaton.
Wicketkeeper Lee Goddard took five victims and struck an unbeaten 74 as New Farnley secured a four-wicket win over Farsley.
Goddard hit a six and ten fours as New Farnley passed Farsley’s total of 176 with 4.5 overs to spare.
Farsley skipper Arthur Price carried his bat to finish 96 not out – finishing in touching distance of his second Bradford Premier League century. Spinner Dave McCallum was again the most-successful bowler with 4-53.
Leaders Batley picked up a maximum 20 points as they cruised to a 136-run victory over Liversedge.
Their total of 250 was built around the contributions of Asif Ayub (64), Aqeel Mukhtar 45, Tariq Mehboob (38) and Aqsad Ali (37). Steve Lane was the pick of the Liversedge bowlers with 4-63.
Liversedge could only muster 114 in their reply. Mark Hydes (42) top scored as his side faltered against the bowling of Muhammed Shahnawaz (3-25) and Tariq Hussain (3-7). Batley are 21 points ahead of Undercliffe who showed no mercy for their lowly neighbours Idle as they romped to a ten-wicket win.
Jack Rich was on the money with 4-16 while spinner Amir Hussain took 4-26 as Idle were dismissed for just 76. Openers Jonathan Hughes (43no) and Toby Thorpe (25no) steered Undercliffe to victory.
Yeadon’s Taine Jolley (3-27) performed a hat-trick in their three-wicket win at Birstall. Jolley backed up the efforts of Michael Hunter (4-38) as Birstall were dismissed for 126, opener Craig Wood (33) being their top scorer.
Yeadon didn’t have things all their own way as they chased victory. Wood took 4-42 but veteran Damon Gormley (44) made the crucial contribution as Yeadon triumphed.
Khalid Usman made an unbeaten 106 as Ossett secured an eight-wicket win over Baildon. He hit three sixes and 14 fours and was well supported by former Baildon opener Harvey Anderson (69) as Ossett passed their opponents’ score of 230-6 with 7.2 overs to spare.
Jonny Reynolds was the mainstay of Baildon’s innings with an unbeaten 92 while openers Chris Reynolds (50) and Jack Hainsworth (40) also made useful runs.
Third-placed Hunslet Nelson were made to work hard for their three-wicket win over Baildon, despite bowling out their opponents for just 70.
There was little hint of what was to unfold when Keighley’s openers Andy Wear (19) and Luke Chapman (19) shared a stand of 32, but once they were parted the innings disintegrated.
All ten wickets fell for just 38 runs as Max Chappel (6-25) and Derrick Hammill (4-18) posed all sorts of problems once they were introduced to the attack.
Nelson looked in some at 44-5 as Maaiz Khan took 3-10, but Chris Anderson’s 29, the top score of the game, helped them secure victory.
There just no stopping leaders Townville who romped to a nine-wicket win over bottom team Hartshead Moor.
Nadim Hussain continued his good form by taking 6-22 and was backed up by Jack Hebden (3-11) as Hartshead Moor were rolled over for 74. Opener Jonathan Booth was unbeaten on 34 when victory was secured.
Methley suffered only their second defeat of the season as they went down by five wickets to Altofts.
They were made to pay for a poor batting display which resulted in them being bowled out for just 95. Kiwi Matthew Holstein impressed for Altofts with 4-18. Myles Robinson made an unbeaten 29 to steer Altofts to their target.
Wrenthorpe tail ender Jonathan Rudge wont forget his side’s 97-run win over Gomersal. The number nine arrived at the crease with his side deep in trouble at 79-7, but big-hitting Rudge soon turned the game around.
He took the attack to the Gomersal bowlers as he struck six sixes and nine fours in an 86-ball innings. Rudge was joined in an eighth wicket stand of 95 by James Glynn (48).
Rudge and Glynn seized the initiative away from James Russell (4-23) and Joel Pollard (3-55) as Wrenthorpe posted a score of 222-8.
Gomersal found Glynn in good form with the ball too. He took 4-26 and was backed up by Chris Leaf (3-16) as Gomersal were all out for 125.
Bankfoot’s newly-arrived overseas player Marupuri Suresh took 3-21 as they secured a 27-run win over Brighouse. Kamran Siddique (3-19) was the other key bowler fotr Bankfoot as they dismissed their hosts for 129.
Bankfoot made 156 when they batted first. Sohail Hussain (49) and Raqeeb Younas (39) were their top scorers while Danyaal Ahmed (5-35) and Sunny Matharu (3-47) bowled well for Brighouse.
Two former Spen Victoria players, Adal Islam and Bilal Ejaz, played key roles as Bowling Old Lane defeated their old club by four wickets.
Islam took 3-40 as he and Haroon Tariq (3-35) helped dismiss Spen Victoria for 134, Alex Leadbeater top scoring with 32. Ejaz made an unbeaten 40 and was supported by Ayyaz Akram (33) as Old Lane recovered from 57-5 to win.
Opener Chris Scott made an unbeaten 72 as Hopton Mills scraped home by two wickets against Carlton. Carlton’s 148 included another good knock from Farrukh Alam (79) while Phil Scott (3-16) and Umar Abbas (3-6) bowled well for Hopton Mills.
Buttershaw St Paul’s made it six wins from six games as they racked up the day’s biggest score of 354-3 on their way to an emphatic 235-run win at Adwalton.
Opener Kevin McDermott led the way with an unbeaten 129 which contained 22 fours.He shared a first-wicket stand of 147 with Jonathan Burston (73) and an unbroken 108 for the fourth wicket with Ben Platt (79no). His third wicket stand with Adam Wainwright (67) was worth 99.
Adwalton crumbled to 119 all out when they replied as Tosh Baker picked up 4-36.
Second-placed Northowram Fields were also in good form with the bat. They compiled a total of 259-8 on their way to a 68-run win over Wakefield St Michael’s.
Ben Grech led the way with 83 while Chris Metcalf (42) and Majid Jahangir (39) helped boost the total despite the efforts of Tom Robinson (4-43).
Jonathan Lee (5-52) was the most-successful bowler as Wakefield St Michael’s were dismissed for 191, Mark Atkinson (47) and Ayaz Seedat (44) were their top scorers.
Great Preston’s promotion hopes suffered a setback as they suffered a 31-run defeat against Azaad. Zaeem Zulfqar (52), Waheed Ahmed (36), Syed Shah Bukhari (35) and Imran Mahboob (35) helped Azaad to 207-8. Great Preston, despite 62 from David Illingworth, were dismissed for 176 as Imran Mahboob took 4-28 and Waheed Ahmed (3-54).
Fourth-placed East Ardsley picked up the full 20 points after defeating Oulton by 28 runs. League chief executive Mark Heald (4-21) and Adam Pearson (4-55) helped their side wrap up victory after Parvaz Khan (69) and William Harrison (42) had given Oulton hope of chasing down East Ardsley’s 225-9.
Louie Hurley (51), Ashley Battye (41) and Tom Daniels (33) were the main contributors for East Ardsley, while Joseph Sykes (4-59) was the pick of the Oulton bowlers.
There was a tense finish at East Leeds as the home side edged a one-wicket win over newcomers Heckmondwike & Carlinghow
Dan Lawrence (41) and John Gomersall (32) helped East Leeds to pass Heckmondwike’s total of 146. Paul Cooper (3-30) and Adnaan Rawat (3-41) were not quite able to save their side from defeat.
Khurram Shehzad (42) and Usman Qureshi (41) were the top scorers for Heckmondwike while James Watling (4-17) was the best of the East Leeds bowlers.
James Coulborn’s unbeaten 76 was the highlight of Crossbank Methodists’ 46-run win over lowly Gildersome. He was supported by Christian Duncan (42) and Frederik Ras (31) as his side posted a score of 223-9.
Asif Sheraz made 52 for Gildersome but his side were dismissed for 177. James Lord picked up 3-30 and James Abbott (3-47).