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Bilal hits 37-ball ton as title race between Woodlands and Townville goes to the wire

Bilal hits 37-ball ton as title race between Woodlands and Townville goes to the wire


Mohammad Bilal hit a stunning 37-ball century on a dramatic day in the Premier Division which has ensured the battle for the title will go down to the wire.

Bilal's hit 13 sixes and four fours as he powered Woodlands to a total of 345-4 in their 141-run win over relegation-threatened Morley, but Townville are just eight points behind after defeating third place New Farnley by 131 runs just 24 hours before the sides meet in the Gordon Rigg Priestley Cup final at Undercliffe.

In next Saturday's final matches, Woodlands face a tough trip to New Farnley while Townville are away to bottom side Batley.

Bilal's century beat the previous record for the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League of 39 balls which was set by the Jer Lane batsman Farakh Hussain at Hopton Mills last month. Despite still being hampered by the ankle ligament injury he sustained in his side's Heavy Woollen Cup final defeat by New Farnley two weeks ago, Bilal quite literally stood and delivered. 

He put on an unbeaten 130 for the fifth wicket with skipper Cieran Garner (51no) to capitalise on the earlier good work of Tim Jackson (61), Liam Collins (83) and Tom Clee (36).

After such a hammering it would have been easy for Morley to crumble, but they showed character to make 204-8 to pick up four valuable batting points which keep their hopes of avoiding the drop alive and they also denied Woodlands what could prove to be a crucial bowling point. Overseas player Kavindu Kulasekara (61) and Henry Rush (46) battled hard for Morley as off spinner Kez Ahmed picked up 4-58.

Townville were aware that they needed to get maximum points from their  match with New Farnley and they achieved that objective in fine style.

Harry Warwick led them to a challenging total of 298-8 with a fine knock of 112. He hit three sixes and 14 fours while receiving strong support from Jonny Booth (53) and skipper Jack Hughes (46). Paceman Andrew Brewster posed the man threat with 4-55.

Like so many sides this season, New Farnley faltered against the seam bowling of Conor Harvey (5-58) and the spin of Hughes (5-35).

Gary Fellows, left, and Nick Connolly leave the Bennett Lane pitch for the last time. Picture: Ray Spencer

Nick Connolly marked his last home appearance in style by making an unbeaten 130 as Hanging Heaton won their derby clash with Batley by 78 runs. Connolly hit 20 fours on an emotional day as Gary Fellows and Joe Fraser also played their last games at Bennett Lane.

Thanks to Connolly and Callum Geldart (42), Hanging Heaton made 234-6 before bowling out their opponents for 156 with off spinner Josh Wheatley (6-62) doing much of the damage. Opener Abdul Wahid top scored with 41.

On a day when the runs flowed, Pudsey St Lawrence opener Mark Robertshaw made 104 as his side defeated Clekheaton by 83 runs. The left hander struck two sixes and 14 fours and was joined in a fourth wicket stand of 130 by Harry Cullingford (78) before James Smith made a brisk 40/ Harvey Booth (4-50) was the best of the Cleckheaton bowlers.

Sri Lankan Charitha Kumarasinghe (89) and Kris Ward (65) shared 143 for the third wicket before a dramatic collapse saw the last eight  wickets fell for just 21 runs. Young spinner Jude Roberts (5-44) returned his best figures of the season. The seven bonus points Cleckheaton earned mean they are now safe from relegation.

The same cannot be said for Wrenthorpe after their 10-wicket defeat at Farsley they need four points from their final match at home to Hanging Heaton to ensure that neither Morley - who play Cleckheaton next Saturday - or Batley who are at home to title chasing Townville, can catch them.

Wrenthorpe's weakened side was bowled out for just 98 as Ryan Cooper (5-37) and Adam Ahmed (3-19) got to work. Cooper completed a good all-round display by hitting 71 as the runs were knocked off in just 14.4 overs.

There were 614 runs scored at Wagon Lane where Bradford & Bingley defeated visitors Methley by 32 runs. The highlight of the game was a splendid 103 not out from the home captain Ed Brown. His innings contained two sixes and 14 fours and was backed up by positive contributions from Kyme Tahirkheli (70) and Riecko Parker-Cole (50).  Rob Withers was the pick of the Methley attack with 4-66.

Eitan Litvin (69) and Jordan Laban (42) gave Methley a foundation to challenge Bradford & Bingley's total of 323. Their good work was built on by Yasir Ali (82) and Jason Marshall (32) but paceman Jack Hartley (3-40) ensured that Bradford & Bingley prevailed.

Division One

Ossett's  players celebrate above after clinching promotion to the Premier Division with a comfortable six-wicket win over Keighley.

Marcus Walmsley took 6-24 as they bowled out Keighley for 66 before knocking off the runs with four wickets down. It means they now need seven points from their last two games to be crowned champions.

Second place Bankfoot were made to fight hard for their three-run win over Gomersal which leaves them requiring 20 points from their final two fixtures to clinch promotion.

When skipper James Lee (71), Hisan Ahman (49) and Danny Colehan (46) got Bankfoot off to a good start before nine wickets fell  for 39 and a final total of 213 looked under par. Chris Rhodes (5-57) and Richard Wear (3-36) brought about the collapse.

Jonathan Boynton (51), Andy Gorrod (45) and Graham Hilton (35) threatened to take Gomersal to victory, but they faltered in the closing overs and finished on 210-9 with Usman Shakir taking 3-45.

Birstall kept their promotion hopes alive with a 78-run win over Baildon. Matthew Dyson (81), Nick Kaye (51) and Eric Austin (42) powered them to a total of 297 despite the efforts of Dwayne Heke (3-66) and Simon Bailey (3-79).

Baildon were restricted to 219-9 as left-arm spinner Josh Haynes impressed with 6-48. The Reynolds brothers Chris (44) and Jonny (43) were the top scorers for the Jenny Lane side.

Pudsey Congs could still force their way into the promotion positions after putting a big dent in Carlton's hopes. Congs bowled out their opponents for 117 as they raced to victory by eight wickets.

Leg spinner Rishi Chopra took 5-31 as Carlton's batting, apart from Daniel White (41) crumbled. Congs had little trouble easing to victory with opener Jacob Slator (55no) and skipper Richard Jubb (41) leading the way.

Hartshead Moor kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation after forcing a tie at East Bierley. Opening bowler Josh Marsden held his nerve and conceded just one run in his final two overs  - the 47th and 49th of the innings - while taking one wicket

East Bierley were hot favourites to win when they needed 16 from the final five overs to overhaul the Hartshead Moor total of 273-7, but Marsden and his skipper Dave McCallum had other ideas.

McCallum produced a wicket maiden in the 46th over and when just a single came from Marsden's next over the pressure was on. It appeared that East Bierley were back on top when 10 runs came when McCallum delivered the 48th over.

But Marsden hit back with a wicket maiden and when just four runs came from the final over from McCallum, the  match was tied with East Bierley on 273-9. Alex Midgley finished unbeaten with 40 after Ben Walter (85) and Paul Martin (41) had put their side in a strong position.

Veteran Iqbal Khan was in top form for Hartshead Moor with 98, while Craig Field (58) and McCallum (33) provided good support.

Hartshead Moor are now level on points with Lightcliffe and just four behind Keighley as the battle for relegation is set for a nail-biting conclusion.

Fifteen-year-old Tom Burton made his highest Bradford Premier League score of 89 but it wasn't enough to spare Lightcliffe from a 25-run defeat against Undercliffe. Zeeshan Qasim (4-41) and Mohammad Nazim (3-41) ensured Undercliffe defended their total of 195. Opener Ollie Hardaker top scored with 33 as Rob Burton picked up 4-39.

Division Two

The battle for the promotion places is no closer to resolution as the Division Two campaign enters its final two weeks.

Jer Lane continue to lead the way but Hopton Mills, East Ardsley, Northowram Fields and Bowling Old Lane all remain in the scramble for a top-two spot.

Jer Lane skipper Raqeeb Younis made an unbeaten 65 as his side romped to a win by eight wickets in their derby clash with Buttershaw St Paul's. Aezaz Dar (5-35) and Mohammed Jamal (5-25) had done the damage as Buttershaw, despite 39 from Jamie Robson, were dismissed for 121.

Second place Hopton Mills, 20 points behind Jer Lane,d showed little mercy for rock bottom Spen Victoria as they piled up a massive 461-5 declared. Sohail Hussain led the way with 15 sixes and 17 fours in his 185 while Ashley Mackereth raced to his century in 44 balls while making 112 with nine sixes and 11 fours. Hussain and Mackereth added 177 for the fourth wicket.

That partnership was topped by the 188 Hussain added with Kashif Talib (34no) for the fifth wicket as the Spen Victoria bowlers were blasted to all parts of the ground. Mark Ashton's 42 was dwarfed by the later efforts of Hussain and Mackereth.

Relegated Spen's afternoon to forget was complete when they collapsed to 67 all out, Michael Carroll taking 5-26 and Umar Abbas (3-35) to seal a mammoth 394-run win.

East Ardsley continued their promotion charge with a 27-run win over Northowram Fields. They are now 12 points behind Hopton Mills but have played a game less.

Opener Peter Bowles (40) helped East Ardsley to post a total of 189-9 as Joe Hough (4-35) again proved to be the most successful Northowram Fields bowler.

Northowram Fields were never able to get into the stride when they batted. Jonathan Macgregor (4-37) and Louie Hurley (3-60) helped bowl them out for 162.

Bowling Old Lane, who also have a game  in hand, are a further nine points back after defeating relegated Scholes by 72 runs. Farham Hussain (48) and Ahsan Alisha (44) helped Old Lane counter the threat of Ali Rafiq (5-33) as they made 208.

The wily Gurdev Singh (6-39) and Alishan (3-38) led the way as Scholes were dismissed for 136, Ali Rafiq making 34 and Nick Firth (30).

Zaeem Zulfqar (5-19) and Syed Bukhari (4-35) bowled out Sandal to 139 to secure a 36-run win for Wakefield St Michael's. Brandon Hewlett (31) and Matthew Westwood (30) were the only batsmen to get starts.

Ashley Hale (50) and Kashif Najan (34) helped St Michael's to post 175 when they batted first. Lee Geldard (3-28), Hewlett (3-45) and Amjid Sadiq (3-56) shared the bulk of the work for Sandal.

Hunslet Nelson's good form in the second half of the season continued as they defeated Yeadon  by  46 runs. Skipper Will Stiff took 5-27 and leg spinner Sam Thewlis (4-18) as Yeadon, despite 56 from Asif Ayub, were bowled out for 11 when replying to Nelson's 157. Patrick Hinchcliffe (51) and Alastair Finn (39) led the way against an attack in which Gareth lee took 3-31 and Ismail Patel (3-36).

Division Three

Leaders Great Preston have had their lead cut to four points with two game to go after they suffered a surprise 30-run defeat against Heckmondwike and Carlinghow while their two closest challengers both won.

Crossflatts had a comfortable six-wicket victory over Altofts while Brighouse defeated East Leeds by 107 runs. It means Great Preston now have  286 points, Crossflatts (282) and Brighouse (268).

With Great Preston due to host Crossflatts on the final day of the season, Brighouse are ideally placed to pounce and snatch a promotion place.

Consistent batting from Adnan Butt (56), Abdullah Qureshi (53no), Fahad Imam (48) and Michael Crowther (33) enabled Heckmondwike & Carlinghow to make 264-7. Stuart Ruddick took 4-55 for Great Preston while Ben Broxup (74) and Richard White (64) were the top scorers as they were bowled out for 234, Javed Iqbal taking 3-66.

Crossflatts were indebted to Joe Hicks for their victory. He took 5-13 and followed up with 42 not out as the Altofts score of 122 was overhauled. Hicks was backed up by Wasim Hussain (4-18) as Altofts suffered a stunning collapse which saw their last eight wickets fall for just six runs.

Abdullah Ijaz made 56 and Mohammed Waseem (34) as Brighouse scored 223 before bowling out East Leeds for 116 to seal a seven-run win. James Watling (33) top scored for East Leeds as Parvaise Khan (3-20) and Ijaz (3-26) sealed victory for Brighouse,

Crossbank Methodists edged home by one wicket with five balls to spare in a nail-biting finish at Rodley Imran Patel (32) and Simon Copland (30) followed up their earlier bowling efforts of 4-17 and 4-11 respectively to help their side edge past the home side's 159. Bailey Wilson (55) and Luke Cosford (44) top scored for Rodley while Cosford followed up with 4-30 in the Crossbank reply. Tom Ritchie took 3-41.

Openers Matt Donohoe (59) and Will Cutt (53no) shared a first wicket stand of 119 as Adwalton cruised to a nine-wicket win over Windhill & Daisy Hil who made 129 batting first. Byron Greenwood (36) and Parwinder Singh (34) were their top scorers as Umar Bashir (4-37) and Cutt (3-15) posed the main threat.

Umar Faroq's unbeaten 64 and 42 from Wasim Nazir couldn't save Liversedge from a 40-run defeat against Gildersome & Farnley Hill. Tom Lindsay (3-37) and Liam Pearson (3-46) led the bowling effort got Gildersome & Farnley Hill as they bowled out their rivals for 169. Mick O'Halloran (35no) and Lindsay (34)led the way in the home side's score of 209.


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