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New Farnley v Townville is top of the bill

New Farnley v Townville is top of the bill

No doubt the neutrals will be heading for Lawns Lane this weekend, to see two of the Premier Division heavyweights New Farnley and Townville square up. It will not be a title defining game, but it could be a pointer to the team most likely.

After last week’s defeat, it is probably a match that Townville dare not lose if they want to sustain their challenge. If they had to lose, it would amount to four losses in the first half of the season which could very well rule them out of the running.

These crunch matches seem to be coming thick and fast for New Farnley, but if they manage to beat Townville, they will be in a great position as they head for the half-way mark of the season.

The tightly fought win last week at Woodlands shows there is nothing between the top two, and this could run until the season’s end like last year.

Woodlands won’t have an easy task a couple or so miles away at Tofts Road where they do battle with an extremely competitive Pudsey St Lawrence side. The Saints are now in the mix at the top. New Farnley lead with 163 points, Woodlands have (146pts), Pudsey St Lawrence (140pts) and Townville (140pts).

Bankfoot are showing lots of spirit this season, and despite winning three matches out of eight, including against title challengers Townville last week, they are only 18 points above the last two drop zone.

However, they are well capable of beating Bradford & Bingley who nevertheless will offer another big challenge to them.

Bottom club Batley have had a number of fighting performances that have ended in defeat and will hope their luck will change when they entertain fifth place Farsley this weekend.

Cleckheaton still can’t get their game together and their position is now precarious. It won’t be easy at Ossett, particularly having to get the prolific Nick Connelly out. Perhaps their greatest hope is that the big left-hander is due a failure.

Hanging Heaton are showing better form now and have started to pull away slightly from the relegation quagmire. They have a realistic chance of more winning points when they visit a Methley side that have gone off the boil since being early leaders.

The best of the action last week

The big shock was at Townville where a very gutsy Bankfoot side pulled off a four-wicket win over the title challengers.

The match had everything from the time Abdul Wahid (100) and Jonny Booth (70) had put on 177 for the first wicket when Townville batted first. Bankfoot’s overseas spinner Zia Ul Haq Parwani then proceeded to return the season’s best bowling figures of 9-54 as Townville had to settle for 242-9.

Most neutrals would have assumed Townville would have defended such a total, but it was not to be, as Hisan Ahmad (98), Jaweed Waheed (50), Hamzah Iqbal (30) and Osama Ahmad (34no) all played vital knocks in the win.

Last week’s title cruncher went the way of New Farnley who beat Woodlands by three-runs. Farnley’s Lee Goddard (82), Adam Waite (67) and Steve Bullen (39) ensured a handsome total of 264-9, and whilst Brad Schmulian (77) and Tim Jackson (67) were in the groove, Woodlands were in the ascendency.

But, Farnley showed the value of having genuine pace in reserve as Australian Liam Guthrie got the vital wicket of Schmulian in his four-wicket haul.

Pudsey St Lawrence defeated Ossett by 90-runs after Josh Priestley had scored his first Bradford Premier League century. The phenomenal season of Nick Connelly continued as he carried his bat for 104, but he needed more support in the batting line-up.

Methley thought they had set a commanding score of 251-6 after Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite had made 110. However, Bradford & Bingley successfully chased down the target with Australian Corey Miller showing his quality by scoring a match-winning 117.

In a remarkable match, Batley set a cracking score of 289-6 against Hanging Heaton after Kasir Maroof had hit an unbeaten 102. Hanging Heaton seemed to be miles away from winning until Tom Lindsay smashed a stunning century from 53 balls, including seven sixes and 11 fours.

Opener Nick Lindley was the other key figure in the successful run chase, anchoring the innings with an innings of 109.

Cleckheaton’s woes increased at Red Lane as they went down to another defeat. Mally Nicholson deserved more help from his batting colleagues as he registered a defiant century in response to Farsley’s 269-6. Jonathan Read had been Farsley’s top scorer with 86.

Best Batting Average

Dan Hodgson (New Farnley) 131.50 (263 runs)
Premier Division: Ossett v Cleckheaton, Batley v Farsley, Methley v Hanging Heaton, Bankfoot v Bradford & Bingley, New Farnley v Townville, Pudsey St Lawrence v Woodlands.

Division One

Jer Lane might have lost their most destructive batsman Farakh Hussain for the season, but they continued on their winning ways last week against Morley. They now have a 25-point lead at the top of the table after securing a maximum 20-points in all eight league games.

Jer Lane’s exciting batters might just take a fancy to Gomersal’s Oxford Road ground this week. It’s usually full of runs and the home side will need to keep it tight. However, Gomersal themselves can pull big scores out of the hat, and you can’t rule them out.

Probably, the match of the day in this division is at Birstall’s Leeds Road ground, where the home side take on Pudsey Congs. Both sides are very much in the mix towards the top and the game should be keenly fought.

Undercliffe’s victory over Birstall last week has strengthened their position amongst the promotion contenders behind Jer Lane. It won’t be easy at Jenny Lane this week, but they will be out to exploit Baildon’s inconsistencies.

Despite East Bierley’s disappointing `first third’ of the season, they remain dangerous opponents and high flying Carlton could come a cropper at South View Road. However, it really depends if Bierley’s bowling attack can cope with Carlton’s deep batting line-up.

Keighley have not really got their bandwagon consistently on the road yet, but they should beat East Ardsley who are struggling to adapt to the higher division.

It won’t be a foregone conclusion given Ardsley’s battling one-wicket win over Baildon last week.

Few would have thought at the start of the season that the Wrenthorpe v Morley match in June would be a genuine relegation scrap. However, Morley has enough strength in depth to win this one and ease their position slightly.

The best of the action last week

Again, Jer Lane lost early wickets, and again they came out of it the other side with a big score. This time it was 255-6 against Morley, thanks largely to Raqeeb Younis (pictured above, 76no), Cosmond Walters (64) and Deron Greaves (47).

Morley’s Sri Lankan Kavindu Kulasekara (77) gave the game a flicker of interest in reply, but they never really threatened Jer’s score.

Undercliffe issued an impressive statement of intent by defeating promotion rivals Birstall in some style. Birstall’s Nick Kaye (76) gave his side’s score an air of respectability at 191-6, but this proved to be woefully short.

Big hitting Oliver Hardaker struck four sixes and 14 fours while making 101 and was joined in an opening stand of 186 by Danish Hussain (72no) as they reached their target in just 28 overs.

On this form Undercliffe could be serious challengers to second place Carlton who beat Wrenthorpe by 159-runs. Daniel Ford was the star batsman on this occasion striking six sixes and 14 fours in an innings of 139.

Bottom side Wrenthorpe made 183 in their reply with Mustafa Bhatti (45), Adal Islam (40) and Sam Johnson (33) striving hard for their side.

Pudsey Congs are still in touch in third place after their 42-run win over out of form East Bierley. Sri Lankan batsman Yohan Mendis again impressed with 64.

Keighley are still in the bottom half despite their convincing six-wicket win against Gomersal.

Australian Noah McFadyen hit his third century of the season as Keighley passed Gomersal’s 275-5 with 21 balls to spare to a six-wicket win. Nathan Storton continued his fine form with 74. Gomersal skipper Richard Wear top-scored for his side with 53 not out.

East Ardsley had a much needed win, beating Baildon after their last-wicket pair of Daanyaal Ahmed and Paul Langley had an unbroken stand of 25. It was nerve wracking stuff for the home side who displayed plenty of character in their fight to stave of relegation.

Again, Kevin McDermott was Baildon’s star man, scoring 53 runs and also taking 3-39 with the ball.

Best Batting Average

Noah McFadyen (Keighley) 84.33 (506 runs)

Division One: Gomersal v Jer Lane, Wrenthorpe v Morley, East Bierley v Carlton, Birstall v Pudsey Congs, Baildon v Undercliffe, Keighley v East Ardsley.

Division Two

Just when it seemed to be all plain sailing for Lightcliffe at the top, they have been brought down to earth with a bump after two successive defeats.

They are now in third place and in a four-way promotion fight which features new leaders Northowram Fields who have 126 points, followed by Sandal (119pts), Lightcliffe (118pts) and Yeadon (115pts).

It would appear that Buttershaw St Paul's and Bowling Old Lane can also get into the mix too with a couple of good results.

The key game this week is the Lightcliffe v Buttershaw St Paul's fixture where anything can happen. It will be interesting to see if Lightcliffe can get back on the horse against a side that are capable of compiling big scores.

A lot of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of Alex Stead and Rob Burton who will need to keep coaxing the young Lightcliffe side.

Top plays bottom when leaders Northowram Fields travel to Hartshead Moor. It will be a mighty shock if the Moor pull off a victory, but there is no greater incentive given the position they find themselves in.

Last week they had a convincing win in the Jack Hampshire Cup against East Leeds, and maybe this could ignite their season.

Second place Sandal should have too much for Wakefield St Michael's, while Yeadon will be expected to beat Crossflatts.

Yeadon have flattered to deceive in the past, but seem to be getting their show on the road now.

The resurgence of Bowling Old Lane could well continue at Hunslet Nelson who are scrapping in the bottom three,

Great Preston v Hopton Mills could be a tight game between sides in mid-table who are locked together on 97-points,

The best of the action last week

Bowling Old Lane had a fine win against Lightcliffe after Abdullah Ijaz (5-42) had controlled Lightcliffe’s score to a doable 197-8.  The experienced Alex Stead top scored with 53 in a very young Lightcliffe side who will have their off days. Old Lane’s Farhan Hussain (82) and Tahir Khan (77no) eased their side to victory.

Northowram Fields were impressive again last week, defeating Hunslet Nelson by 121-runs. Paceman Max Gardner took 8-27 as Fields skittled out Hunslet Nelson for 68.

Earlier, Australian Harry Houenstein had hit an unbeaten 108 for Fields.

Sandal are still proving they are here to stay in the promotion race after an 89-run win over Great Preston. The catalysts of Sandal’s win were their close season signings Zaeem Zulfqar (6-49) and Michael Carroll (4-63) who proved too much of an handful with the ball for their opponents.

Yeadon have risen to fourth in the table, but were made to fight hard for their three-wicket win at bottom side Hartshead Moor.

The Moor‘s score was a very heartening 212-9 after Iqbal Khan (69no) and Josh Marsden (51) had worked hard for the team. Yeadon’s best performers were Muhammad Khan (58), Adeel Ashraf (33no) and Andrew Robinson (4-44),

There were centuries for Adam Wainwright and James Robson as Buttershaw St Paul’s compiled a total of 339-7 in their 158-run win over Wakefield St Michael’s. Another hero for the side was Amer Ayoub who took 7-56. St Michael’s had overseas player Lalit Mangalarapu impressing with 68.

Crossflatts are still in a sticky spell after capitulating to the Hopton Mills bowling of Usman Maqsood (5-48) and Sohail Hussain (4-17) who dismissed them for 141.

The ever consistent Chris Scott (50no) saw Mills comfortably through, helped by Hussain, who contributed 54 runs to prove his all round value to the side.

Best Batting Average

Kyle Welsh (Northowram Fields) 81.83 (491 runs)

Division Two: Yeadon v Crossflatts, Great Preston v Hopton Mills, Wakefield St Michael's v Sandal, Lightcliffe v Buttershaw St Paul', Hunslet Nelson v Bowling Old Lane, Hartshead Moor v Northowram Fields.

Division Three

Leaders Liversedge are now in a commanding position, 32-points in front of third place Heckmondwike & Carlinghow. Between them in second place is Adwalton who had a shock defeat to Windhill & Daisy Hill last week.

Liversedge could boost their position further with a home game with 11th place Rodley, while Adwalton have a derby match with Gildersome & Farnley Hill.

If the formbook goes to plan Heckmondwike & Carlinghow should win at seventh place Altofts.

Brighouse have perked up of late and they are now on the fringes of the chasing pack with Scholes, who they visit this weekend.

Another side not far away from promotion contention is Spen Victoria, who has a gilt edged chance for further progression with a home fixture with Crossbank Methodists.

If Windhill & Daisy Hill can topple East Leeds, they could be in mid-table territory.

The best of the action last week

Liversedge made short work of bottom club Crossbank Methodists with left arm opening bowler James Russell taking 7-21.

Heckmondwike & Carlinghow have been showing a good turn of form lately, but the emerging Brighouse beat them with some ease. Saqib Mehmood was instrumental in bowling them out for 55 after an impressive spell of 5-26.

High flying Adwalton had a shock when struggling Windhill & Daisy Hill beat them by 46-runs. Shoaib Iqbal (5-45) and Zohail Iqbal (4-29) were key to their success as they ensured their side defended their modest total of 164.

Spen Victoria continued their winning ways with an impressive six-wicket win over Scholes. Bilal Ejaz (93), Corey Roebuck (43) and Muhammad Ullah (55) led the successful run chase of Scholes’ 247-8.

Opener Adam Greenwood (95) was the main man for Scholes.

Liam Pearson took 6-38 to help Gildersome & Farnley Hill bowl out Rodley for 151 to complete a 31-run victory, while East Leeds had the evergreen James Watling (4-25) to thank for their narrow win over Altofts.

Best Batting Average

Matty Waller (Adwalton) 53.38 (427 runs)

Division Three: Scholes v Brighouse, Altofts v Heckmondwike & Carlinghow, Windhill & Daisy Hill v East Leeds, Gildersome & Farnley Hill v Adwalton, Liversedge v Rodley, Spen Victoria v Crossbank Methodists.

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