Woodlands are still setting the pace at the top of the Premier Division with Townville closely following 11-points behind after both recorded two wins over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The returning Muhammad Bilal had the astonishing bowling figures of 8-17 from 13 overs in the Woodlands win at Methley. This followed his belligerent innings of 48 in the defeat of Wrenthorpe.
Townville downed Methley by 10-wickets before beating Pudsey St Lawrence in a thriller on Monday.
Conor Harvey and Ritchie Bresnan excelled with the ball in both matches, while the 231-8 score against Pudsey St Lawrence was an excellent team affair with no batter reaching his half-century. This further illustrates Townville’s elevation into genuine title challengers.
Woodlands have an entertaining looking home match against Pudsey St Lawrence who beat New Farnley last Saturday. It was a close affair with Charlie Best’s painstaking innings of 69 runs proving to be the match winning knock.
St Lawrence, without their skipper Chris Marsden, took Townville all the way before losing a nail biter by seven runs.
Townville have a home game against ninth place Morley who are proving their worth in the top flight, and will always have a chance with Kavindu Kulasekara in their eleven. It is also worth noting that the team spirit in the Morley camp is outstanding.
Only Lee Goddard of the New Farnley batsmen is shining this season, and his 130 against Morley was his third century of the season.
Although New Farnley beat Morley in some comfort, they will be still disappointed with their defeat at the hands of local rivals Pudsey St Lawrence.
They were only chasing a modest total, and with young Aidan Langley getting 44 of them, they had enough strength in their batting to get home.
A positive for New Farnley was the form of their third seamer Dan Houghton who now completes an impressive five man attack.
A negative is the loss of Shropshire batsman Russ Aucott to a serious knee injury in their win against Morley. He damaged knee ligaments and is set to miss the rest of the season.
New Farnley, who are 20-points behind leaders Woodlands, will be hoping to get something like maximum points from bottom club Batley.
Farsley’s recent form suggests they could enter the title chasing pack. They registered two victories last week with fine performances from Ryan Cooper, Matthew Lumb, Jonathan Reed and Max John.
This week they have a home match against Hanging Heaton who have slipped badly in recent weeks.
Just as it looked like Cleckheaton had turned the corner with a thrilling tie with Hanging Heaton, they fell back into the bottom two after an emphatic defeat at the hands of Wrenthorpe who swapped places with them.
Skipper Mally Nicholson must have been frustrated with the lack of batting support for his fine innings of 74 against Wrenthorpe in an under par score.
It will not be easy against a Methley side that had two losses last week but are capable of much more.
Bradford & Bingley made short work of Hanging Heaton last week as they made up for their defeat against Farsley on the Saturday.
Charlie Davy had a brilliant weekend with the bat, and his late start to the season should boost the Wagon Laners batting. They will look to continue their winning run against a Wrenthorpe side that will never give up.
Wrenthorpe struggled in 2019 but survived because of their plucky performances across the team. And they have given themselves a great lift with their comfortable win against Cleckheaton.
Wrenthorpe’s overseas man Khalil Khan will again be key to them staying up, and this was illustrated by his innings of 41 and 63 not out last week.
Premier Division: New Farnley v Batley, Townville v Morley, Woodlands v Pudsey St Lawrence, Cleckheaton v Methley, Bradford & Bingley v Wrenthorpe, Farsley v Hanging Heaton.
Birstall cemented their place at the top last week reaching 100 points, and ten more than second place Ossett.
Their victims, Gomersal, were found wanting in their promotion challenge, as Birstall bowled them out for 59 and knocked the runs off for the loss of two wickets.
Former Gomersal opening bowler James Russell, above, took 4-6, while left-arm spinner Josh Haynes gave him splendid support with 3-11.
Birstall could reinforce their position further with another win against 10th place Keighley this weekend.
Paul Quinlan is Keighley’s main man as he proved again last week taking 4-21 in the defeat by Undercliffe.
Gomersal visit East Bierley who were another team that was firmly put in their place last week, beaten by Bankfoot to the tune of 139-runs.
Both theses sides started the season brightly, and it will be interesting to see how badly this setback will affect them.
Bankfoot are now looking good and have reached third place almost unnoticed. Overseas player Azeem Ghumman (50) and Jawad Waheed (40) helped to set up the challenging 218-9 score, while Ijaz Ahmed (3-28) was instrumental in defending it.
This week they play Pudsey Congs who have now dipped into the relegation places after defeat by Ossett.
Marcus Walmsley (4-27) and Max Chappell (4-22) did the damage for Ossett before opener George Hadfield (45) guided them to their target.
Ossett, who are ten points behind leaders Birstall, play a Hartshead Moor side that will be feeling down after their ten wicket defeat at the hands Lightcliffe.
Lightcliffe should be able to `push on’ now they have got their first win under their belts, The architect of their ten wicket win was pace bowler Jonathan Whiteoak who took 6-28. Next up for Lightcliffe is Baildon who have started to put some decent runs on the board.
They defeated rock-bottom Carlton by 39 runs with the consistent Jonny Reynolds (37) and Kevin McDermott (34) ensuring a competitive total of 190-8, while Simon Bailey (5-36) and McDermott (3-46) joined forces to defend it.
Undercliffe were dealt a blow last week when they found out that their overseas player Khalid Usman had to return to Pakistan to play in a tournament.
They needed a run of victories to get on the promotion trail, but it nearly all went wrong when they were dismissed for 111 by Keighley.
However, Scott Etherington (3-24) and Zeeshan Qasim (3-23) managed to sneak a 10-run win for the team from Intake Road.
They will need to beat bottom side Carlton this week to continue their rise in the league table where they are currently 34-points behind a promotion place.
Division One: Undercliffe v Carlton, Lightcliffe v Baildon, Birstall v Keighley, Ossett v Hartshead Moor, East Bierley v Gomersal, Bankfoot v Pudsey Congs..
Second place Buttershaw St Paul’s slipped up last week losing by 57 runs against Wakefield St Michael’s, despite Jack Seddon’s well struck 61.
In what is indisputably the match of the day in the division, St Paul’s go to third place East Ardsley who also slipped up last week.
Bowling Old Lane bowled them out for 54 after Zeeshan Haider has got to work with 6-24, helped by Adam Zahid who picked up 4-27. Old Lane are now showing their true colours as they climbed the table with this victory. Batting first they scored 222-5 with Imran Malik (62) and Haider (57no) the main run getters. Old Lane go to Yeadon who last week gained an impressive four wicket victory over Sandal.
They chased down Sandal’s 196 with Gulsheraz Ahmed in the runs again with 44, and skipper Gareth Lee making a crucial 43.
The impressive seamer Sam Noden (3-44) was the best of the Sandal bowlers, and proved to be a genuine all rounder as he top scored with 45. Matthew Westwood (39 runs) was the other main contributor while Nadeem Hanif (4-56) and Lee (3-32) took the bowling honours for Yeadon.
Sandal will have to attempt to get back on track at Hopton Mills who are up to fifth after their eight-wicket win over Scholes. Umar Abbas (4-24) and Michael Carroll (4-20) did the damage with the ball, while Sohail Hussain (38no) guided them home.
Northowram Fields have an interesting clash with Wakefield St Michael’s who defeated Buttershaw St Paul’s last week.
Adil Mehmood (58) and Hanif Mahboob (52) shared a fifth wicket partnership of 100 as Wakefield St Michael’s made 214-8, eventually winning by 57 runs.
Scholes play fellow strugglers Spen Victoria in a game that neither can afford to lose, even this early in the season.
Leaders Jer Lane’s match with Hunslet Nelson has been postponed due to Covid-19 which continues to impact on their lowly opponents’ squad.
Division Two: Northowram Fields v Wakefield St Michael’s, East Ardsley v Buttershaw St Paul’s, Jer Lane v Hunslet Nelson, Yeadon v Bowling Old Lane, Scholes v Spen Victoria, Hopton Mills v
Brighouse are still top after Quadratullah Azizi had a remarkable game in helping his side beat Liversedge by 76 runs.
He hit 10 sixes and four fours while top-scoring with an innings of 88, and followed this with a bowling analysis of 6-31.
Brighouse have an interesting away match at Crossbank Methodists who are now in fourth place after beating Altofts.
Crossflatts continued their run with an impressive win against the previously unbeaten East Leeds.
Openers Josh Brooksbank (69) and former Saltaire player Joe Hicks (50) provided the foundations for the win with a partnership of 111, while Mohammad Shahnawaz (43no) and Joe Greenwood (42) pushed the total up to 282-6.
East Leeds never looked like challenging the Crossflatts total and were bowled out for 81 to lose by 201 runs. Spinner Wasim Hussain, pictured above, impressed with 4-19.
Crossflatts will probably see their home game with Windhill & Daisy Hill as a great opportunity to win and put pressure on leaders Brighouse.
However, they will have to find a way to contain their Windhill’s best player Tabassum Bhatti
Bhatti produced a fine all-round performance to lift Windhill & Daisy Hill to their first win last week. He took 6-19 as Rodley were dismissed for 127 and made 63 runs as his side triumphed by five wickets.
Fourth place Great Preston are back in business after their 100-run win over Gildersome & Farnley Hill.
An unbroken seventh wicket partnership of 128 between Jacob Wright (80no) and Sam Wright (42no) helped them post a score of 222-6, while Wright also took 3-54 in support of Lee Russell (5-46).
Great Preston will have to be on their game when they visit an Adwalton team that had an impressive, if narrow win last week.
An unbroken ninth wicket stand of 67 between Kabir Bashir (35no) and Chris Priestley (34no) saw them overhaul Heckmondwike & Carlinghow’s 261-8 to win by two wickets. Matthew Donohoe (52 runs) and Matty Waller (45 runs) helped set up the thrilling finish.
Heckmondwike & Carlinghow had a stalwart in defeat in Abdullah Qureshi who scored 112 runs batting at number nine, smashing 11 sixes and seven fours. Heckmondwike play an East Leeds outfit this week who will be looking to bounce back.
Altofts are still badly out of sorts after only putting 68 on the board last week, and they go to Gildersome & Farnley Hill who also needs a lift.
Rodley will have been disappointed to lose to Windhill & Daisy Hill as they drop to 7th in the table.
Bottom side Liversedge visit Rodley this week seeking their first win, and despite their loss to Brighouse had an impressive bowling performance from Asim Rafique who took 7-74.
Division Three: Crossbank Methodists v Brighouse, Rodley v Liversedge, Gildersome & Farnley Hill v Altofts, Crossflatts v Windhill & Daisy Hill, Adwalton v Great Preston, Heckmondwike & Carlinghow v East Leeds.