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Updated: Woodlands return to the top

Updated: Woodlands return to the top

 

Defending champions Woodlands hit the front in the Premier Division title race after defeating Farsley by eight wickets to record their second win of the weekend.

Muhammad Bilal was again in the thick of the action with 4-24 as Farsley were bowled out for 111, a total which owed much to an unbeaten 40 from Adam Ahmed.

With the rain clouds hovering over Red Lane, Woodlands again sent Bilal in as a pinch hitter and he responded with 34 as they cruised to a Duckworth Lewis Stern Target of 89 in just 12 overs.

Bilal, right, had proved even more dynamic in Saturday's ten-wicket demolition of Pudsey St Lawrence. He took 6-19 as a weakened Pudsey St Lawrence side were skittled out for just 64 with acting skipper Charlie Best carrying his bat for 24 not out.

If that was not enough, Bilal followed up by hitting an unbeaten 54 from just 14 balls as the defending champions knocked off the runs in just 3.4 overs.

Bilal, who suffered an ankle injury during last Sunday’s Heavy Woollen Cup final defeat by New Farnley, was clearly back to his best as he smashed seven sixes and two fours to ensure Woodlands secured victory and 20 points before rain could foil them.

For St Lawrence, who were without their skipper Chris Marsden along with batsmen Mark Robertshaw and Barrie Frankland, it was a day to forget.

Left-armer Alex Lilley impressed with 5-39 while Mark Lawson (3-22) continued his run of good form as Batley were dismissed for 82 by New Farnley. Steve Bullen made 33 as New Farnley eased to their DLS in 18.5 overs to bag 18 points.

Townville were indebted to skipper Jack Hughes and Richie Bresnan for the contributions they made to the win over bottom team Morley at Scatcherd Lane.

Skipper Hughes took 5-30 as Morley lost eight wickets for 50 runs after a promising opening stand of 69 between James McNichol (34) and Jack Rowett (29). The home side finished on 132-8 in an innings reduced to 44 overs.

Townville were set a DLS target of 137 from 41 overs after a further rain interruption. Morley’s Matthew Dowse (4-45) posed problems but Bresnan’s unbeaten 37 ensured Townville retained their place at the top with a hard-earned win.

With two games to go, Woodlands have 317 points, Townville (308) and New Farnley (294) in what is proving to be an absorbing title race.

The defeats for Batley and Morley leave them stranded in the bottom two while Wrenthorpe gained a little more breathing space by securing seven points from their abandoned clash with Bradford & Bingley.

They are now level on 160 points with Cleckheaton and are 22 ahead of Batley and 31 in front of Morley who suffered an agonising six-run defeat at Hanging Heaton on Sunday.

Overseas player Kavindu Kulasekara seems to produce his best form against the Bennett Lane side. Earlier this season he took 8-34 as Morley defeated Hanging Heaton at Scatcherd Lane and this time he shone with the bat, making his highest Bradford Premier League score of 103.

The Sri Lankan hit one six and eight fours before being the last man out with Morley a tantalising seven runs away from overhauling the home side's 212. Kulasekara was bowled by Josh Wheatley (4-63) who along with fellow spinner Callum Bethel (3-67) posed the main threat.

Nick Connolly (56) and Joe Fraser (50) made half centuries fro Hanging Heaton while David Stiff weighed in with 37 when they batted first. Henry Rush (3-25) and David Nebard (3-54) were the pick of the bowlers.

Matthew Race hits out for Wrenthorpe against Bradford & Bingley. Picture: Ray Spencer

Kyme Tahirkheli on the attack for Bradford & Bingley against Wrenthorpe Picture: Ray Spencer

Matthew Race scored 65 and skipper Sam Storr (30) as Wrenthorpe made 177 in 33.3 overs. Riecko Parker-Cole (3-8) had the best bowling figures for Bradford & Bingley who were 563 chasing 148 from 28 overs when the match was abandoned.

Chris Beech hit the top flight’s only century as he scored 106 for Farsley at Hanging Heaton. He hit a six and nine fours and shared in a stand of 125 for the third wicket with Dan Revis (52) as the visitors made 245-5 in 43 overs before rain brought an early end to the game. David Stiff was the most successful bowler with 3-65.

Toby Booth’s 76 was the highlight for Cleckheaton as they made 172-7 in 27.1 overs before their encounter at Methley became another victim of the weather. Gharib Nawaz took 3-29 for Methley.

Chris Beech is congratulated on his century by Farsley team-mate Adam Ahmed

Division One

Once again, the rain was unkind to Division One with all six matches being abandoned – one without a ball being bowled.

It made for a frustrating afternoon for promotion chasing Ossett, Bankfoot and Carlton, along with Lightcliffe and Hartshead Moor who are fighting to avoid relegation.

Bankfoot’s impressive overseas player Azeem Ghumman made a stylish 104, one six and ten fours, as his second-place side made 220-9 in 39 overs at Pudsey Congs.

Hamzah Iqbal (38) provided the main support against a bowling attack in which Jamie Allen (4-77) and Josh Chapman (3-52) enjoyed the most success.

Congs were set a target of 168 in 23 overs and were 72-4 when the weather prevented any furth play. All four wickets fell to Ijaz Ahmed at a personal cost of 31 runs.

Just 10.4 overs were possible in the top versus bottom clash between Ossett and Hartshead Moor. The table toppers reached 47-1 before play was halted.

Undercliffe opener Ollie Hardaker took his tally of runs for the season to 812 with 59 in his side’s game at Carlton.

Former Undercliffe player Farrouk Alam took 5-41as his old club scored 189 in 36 overs. Carlton’s pursuit of 152 in 23 overs came to an end with them on 72-2, Daniel White making 34 not out.

Matthew West (88no) and Andrew Duckworth (75) added 146 for the second wicket as East Bierley made 197-4 at Gomersal while Baildon were 19-2 after seven overs against Lightcliffe when play was brought to an early end.

There was no play at all in the match between Keighley and Birstall.

Today’s results mean that leaders Ossett now need just eight points from their remaining three games to be sure of promotions. They have 261 points, Bankfoot are on 227 and Carlton (209). At the bottom, Keighley have 156, Lightcliffe (147) and Hartshead Moor (140).

Division Two

East Ardsley boosted their promotion hopes with an 83-run victory over Yeadon on Sunday which takes them up to fourth in the table.

They now have 223 points and are just 11 behind second-place Hopton Mills with a game in hand after Ashley Pearson (5-44) and Jonathan Macgregor (4-29) bowled out Yeadon for 97.

Muhammad Khan (38no) provided the only resistance after earlier taking 5-52 as East Ardsley made 180 after batting first. Simon Tucker top scored with 45.

Saturday was a frustrating day for the five teams battling it out for promotion with all six games being abandoned due to the heavy rain.

Leaders Jer Lane had their lead cut to 20 points as second place Hopton Mills took eight points from their encounter at Sandal.

Jer Lane were 53-3 against Hunslet Nelson where just 13.2 overs were possible while Mills picked up maximum bowling points for dismissing their hosts Sandal for 196.

Skipper Michael Carroll (4-54) and Umar Abbas (3-62) spearheaded the Mills bowling attack while Leighton Shuttleworth (42) and Brandon Hewlett (41) were Sandal’s top scorers. Mills had reached 29-1 when play was called off.

Third place Northowram Fields scored 217-7 in 38 overs against Wakefield St Michael’s. Farhan Hussain (79) and Lewis Moore (47) led the way while Kashif Najam (6-53) posed the main threat. St Michael’s, who were set a target of 218 off 20 overs were 25-2 off five when play was terminated.

Bowling Old Lane dismissed Yeadon for just 99 but the rain prevented them starting their reply. Skipper Gareth Lee made 44 for Yeadon while Gurdev Singh took 3-19 for Old Lane.

Just three overs play was achieved in the clash between the bottom two Spen Victoria and Scholes while there was not a ball bowled in the clash between Buttershaw St Paul’s and East Ardsley.

Sunday's rearranged game between Buttershaw St Paul's and Spen Victoria also fell victim to the weather with no play possible.

Division Three

Great Preston extended their lead to 14 points by defeating Adwalton by 37 in the only Division Three game to be completed.

Lee Russell proved to be their match winner with 6-41 and was backed up by Oliver Newton (3-24) as Adwalton were restricted to 121-9 in reply to their score of 158-9 declared made in 36.2 overs.

Will Cutt top scored with 51 for Adwalton after taking 3-20 in the Great Preston innings alongside Umar Bashir (3-30). Ian Newton (58) and Jacob Wright (36) top scored for the leaders,

The win takes Great Preston to 278 with Crossflatts – chasing promotion in their first season in the league – on 264 and Brighouse (249).

The only other game to get into the second innings was the clash between Altofts and Gildersome & Farnley Hill.

Australian Hayden Bagoly impressed with 104 not out for Altofts, a knock containing four sixes and nine fours. He was joined in a fifth wicket stand of 143 by Ben Walsh (88) as a total of 264-5 was posted. Gildersome & Farnley were 70-1 after 12 overs chasing 196 from 33 overs when play was called off.

Opener Parvaise Khan (79) and Shahzaib Khan (38no) shared an opening stand of 113 as Brighouse scored 130-3 in the 20 overs of play that was possible against Crossbank Methodists.

James Lunn led the way with 93 and was supported by Syed Shah (33), Will Atkin (40) and Asad Mahmood (33) for Liversedge against Rodley.

Windhill & Daisy Hill were 32-1 after 12 overs against second place Crossflatts when the rain came while East Leeds were 14-2 in eight overs against Heckmondwike & Carlinghow when their match suffered the same fate.

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