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Battle to survive takes centre stage

Battle to survive takes centre stage


 

The big issue this week is who will get relegated out Division One with Hartshead Moor, Keighley and Lightcliffe all fighting for survival.

Ossett will now take their place in the Premier League for 2022 after securing the Division One title in style with an emphatic nine-wicket win over Baildon at Jenny Lane.

It was fitting that their all-rounder Marcus Walmsley should hit a century to crown what has been an outstanding first year for him since moving from Methley.

Bankfoot will join Ossett in their Premier League if they manage to secure just one point from their final game against Carlton.

It was not plain sailing for Bankfoot last week against relegation strugglers Hartshead Moor who had to chase a modest 147.

Not for the first time his season, Seif Hussain excelled with bat and ball, top scoring with 32 runs, and taking 4-28 with the ball as Hartshead Moor fell 51 runs short.

Birstall, who need to take maximum points at Hartshead Moor on Saturday and hope Bankfoot draw a blank against Carlton, had to work hard for a two-wicket win over Undercliffe.

Skipper Nick Kaye hit an unbeaten 57 and Eric Austin (37) as they overhauled Undercliffe’s total of 206-5 with eight wickets down.

The relegation struggle is still a tangled web with Hartshead Moor (159 pts), Keighley (165) most in danger of going down, with Lightcliffe (173) and Gomersal (176) anxiously looking over their shoulders.

The Keighley v Lightcliffe match is critical with the losers almost certainly going down. Keighley went down to a 49-run defeat against East Bierley after their opponents had set a challenging 285-5.

Ben Hemsley (58no), Louis Horsfield (46), Shahzada Khan (40) and Max Davidson (38) battled hard in the defeat, and will have to take their batting form forward to the Lightcliffe crunch match.

Lightcliffe had an impressive win at Carlton as Alex Stead (77) anchored their innings to make a competitive 215. The experienced seamer Rob Burton took 6-59 to seal Lightcliffe’s vital 77-run win.

Gomersal slid to a 23-run win against Pudsey Congs despite the form of Liam Fletcher (57) and Andy Gorrod (47).

They now have a daunting home match against champions Ossett, and will be anxious to take as many bonus points as possible.

Hartshead Moor also have a difficult game against Birstall, but unlike Gomersal will have to aim for a `high points’ win.

Undercliffe complete their programme with an away game at Jenny Lane to take on Baildon.

The Intake Road side lost on the Saturday last week, but won their re-arranged match on the following day with Oliver Hardaker again making the headlines.

He made a fine 124 knock in the defeat at the hands of Birstall, and scored 28 on the following day in the victory against East Bierley.

This took his tally of league runs to 997 in his debut season and will be keen to score at least three against Baildon.

The Pudsey Congs v East Bierley clash features two sides that contain young players for the future, and they might well have laid down the foundation for a big promotion push in 2022.

Division One: Bankfoot v Carlton, Pudsey Congs v East Bierley, Gomersal v Ossett, Hartshead Moor v Birstall, Keighley v Lightcliffe, Baildon v Undercliffe,

Division Two

Jer Lane have not mathematically confirmed promotion, but nobody would bet against them now.

After their four wicket win over Northowram Fields they remain top on 290 points with a 10-point lead on second place East Ardsley and have a further eight points more than Hopton Mills.

Jer Lane’s Amjid Khan took 5-9 as Northowram Fields struggled to 126-9. The consistent Kyle Welsh (73no) carried his bat through the innings but lacked tangible support.

They had to battle hard for their win, but Abubakar Dawood (31), Raqeeb Younis (30) and Ibrar Younis (30no) got them home.

Jer have an away match at Bowling Old Lane whose two defeats last week scuppered their outside promotion chance.

The real promotion battle this weekend is between East Ardsley (280pts) and Hopton Mills (272 pts) for the second place.

Hopton Mills kept in second place on Saturday night after their three wicket win over Bowling Old Lane. Michael Carroll (3-34) and Umar Abbas (3-57) were again the key bowlers for Hopton Mills.

However, East Ardsley overtook them when they won both matches last weekend. They had an emphatic nine wicket victory over Wakefield St Michael’s on the Saturday with Damien Bowles (76no) and Simon Tucker (46no) taking the batting honours.

The following day they had a comfortable five wicket win in their re-arranged match with Bowling Old Lane with Louie Hurley excelling with 66 not out.

This leaves East Ardsley the big favourites to go up and a potential weekend to remember. Not only could they confirm promotion to Division One, they could also win the Jack Hampshire Cup the following day.

East Ardsley have an away match at Hunslet Nelson, while Hopton Mills visit Wakefield St Michael’s.

Yeadon should finish their league campaign with victory at Spen Victoria, while Sandal should polish off relegated Scholes.

Old Bradford Central League rivals Buttershaw St Paul's and Northowram Fields do battle at St Paul’s Avenue.

Division Two: Wakefield St Michael’s v Hopton Mills, Sandal v Scholes, Spen Victoria v Yeadon, Bowling Old Lane v Jer Lane, Hunslet Nelson v East Ardsley, Buttershaw St Paul's v Northowram Fields,

Division Three

The race for promotion to Division Two will come to a thrilling conclusion on the last day as Great Preston take on Crossflatts.

Great Preston need just one point to be sure of promotion as they lead Crossflatts by seven points. No doubt they will be more intent on beating Crossflatts to secure the title.

If that happens, Brighouse could sneak past Crossflatts depending on how many points they secure if they beat Heckmondwike & Carlinghow. It is possible that Crossflatts could lose and still pip Brighouse on the basis of securing vital bonus points.

The situation now is Great Preston (306 pts), Crossflatts (299 pts) and Brighouse (286 pts).

Great Preston’s James Conlon smashed eight sixes and eight fours while making 103 in his side’s massive 323-6 total against East Leeds. The 20 points gained pulled them further away from Crossflatts.

 Crossflatts survived a series of scares against Liversedge before scraping home by one wicket.

They slipped to 56-6 in reply to 148 before Mohammed Shahnawaz (47) restored some order, but they still needed their last wicket pair of Mayank Singh and Charlotte Boulton to see them home.

For much of the season Mohammed Shahnawaz has been the lynchpin of the Crossflatts side, and Great Preston will need to find some way to subdue him.

Brighouse are still very much in contention after a 19-point victory over Rodley.        Quadratullah Azizi (5-47) and Parvaise Khan (4-25) bowled out Rodley for 73 as Brighouse picked up a routine seven-wicket win.

Brighouse’s must win their match this weekend against Heckmondwike & Carlinghow who suffered a six-wicket defeat at the hands of second bottom Windhill & Daisy Hill, a week after beating leaders Great Preston.

This might be a matter of which Heckmondwike & Carlinghow team turns up this week, but whichever does, Brighouse will have to aim for maximum 20-point win.

Adwalton are showing some decent form of late, with openers Will Cutt (94), and Matt Donohoe (73) sharing a stand of 173 last week as a total of 301-7 set them on course for a 118-run victory over Altofts.

They are at East Leeds this weekend hoping to conclude their programme on a positive note.

Crossbank Methodist’s have had a very good season and will want to end on a flourish at Liversedge, while Windhill & Daisy Hill face Gildersome & Farnley Hill at Busy Lane.

Division Three: Brighouse v Heckmondwike & Carlinghow, East Leeds v Adwalton, Great Preston v Crossflatts, Windhill & Daisy Hill v Gildersome & Farnley Hill, Liversedge v Crossbank Methodists.

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