Woodlands need 11 points from their last three game to be crowned Premier Division champions after a nail-biting win over Bradford & Bingley which had echoes of their last title triumph in 2012.
The league leaders squeezed home by six runs after their opponents lost their last four wickets for ten runs when in sight of the victory that would have kept alive their hopes of winning the league for the first time since 1998.
It was a collapse almost as dramatic as the one Bradford & Bingley suffered at Albert Terrace in the final game seven years ago which enabled Woodlands to pip Lightcliffe for top spot.
Muhammad Bilal (3-36) and Brad Schmulian (3-14) took two wickets each as Bradford & Bingley faltered in the closing overs and were bowled out for 125.
Yorkshire player Harry Brook, above, looked to be winning the game on his own when he raced to 39 but after he was run out, nobody else was able to play with the same fluency.
Brook had earlier shown his prowess with the ball by taking 4-41 as Woodlands, who are chasing the league and Priestley Cup double in Cieran Garner’s first season as captain, were dismissed for what looked a disappointing 131. There bowlers clearly had other ideas though.
Two of the day’s most significant victories saw Undercliffe and Methley ease their relegation fears. Khalid Usman inspired Undercliffe to an 11-run win at New Farnley while Methley overcame Wrenthorpe by eight wickets.
It means that Undercliffe now have 165 points, Methley (150), Wrenthorpe (146) and Lightcliffe, who suffered an eight-wicket loss against Townville are bottom with 136.
Overseas player Khalid Usman again demonstrated his value to Undercliffe as he made an unbeaten 48 in their total of 135 and backed it up by taking 5-34 with his left-arm spin as New Farnley were bowled out for 124. Farrouk Alam (3-28) gave him good support.
Luke Jarvis (4-45) and Andrew Brewster (3-24) were the pick of the New Farnley bowlers on a day when they suffered their sixth defeat of the season.
Methley lifted themselves out of the bottom two for the first time this season as they swapped places with their old foes Wrenthorpe.
Opener Marcus Walmsley guided them to victory with an unbeaten 60 while Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite was 35 not out when Wrenthorpe’s score of 121 was passed.
Luke Patel battled hard for his top score of 33 not out but lacked support as Wrenthorpe faltered against the spin of Sudara Udagadara (3-36).
Lightcliffe’s batting woes surfaced again as in-form Townville bowled them out for 107, with spinner Jack Hughes taking 5-28 and Richie Bresnan (4-19). Opener Jonathan Booth was unbeaten on 56 when third-placed Townville eased to victory for the loss of two wickets.
If Lightcliffe are to pull off a great escape act then their next two games are critical as they are at home to Wrenthorpe next Saturday and Methley the week after.
The top-flight’s tightest finish of the day came at Bennett Lane where Pudsey St Lawrence pulled off a one-run win over Hanging Heaton.
Even a superb innings of 105 from Ben Kohler-Cadmore, above, which contained two sixes and 13 fours, and 52 from Gary Fellows wasn’t enough as Hanging Heaton finished on 249-8 in response to St Lawrence’s 250-5.
Opener Charlie Best (75) led the way for St Lawrence and was well supported by Australian Joel Curtis (64) and Harry Cullingford (39). David Stiff took 3-55 against his old club.
The day’s quickest winners were Farsley as they defeated Cleckheaton by seven wickets. Their overseas player Pat Kruger produced stunning figures of 7-19 as the Moorend side were skittle out for just 48. Only number 10 batsman Jonathan Whiteoak (17) spared them from greater embarrassment.
East Bierley pulled off one of the shocks of the season with a thumping 186-run win over table-topping Batley.
Overseas player Ompal Boken showed his quality by making a splendid 125 not out from just 85 balls which was the cornerstone of his side’s 248-8. Boken hit nine sixes and 11 fours as the Batley attack took a rare battering.
Gulsheraz Ahmed (41) also made valuable runs as only Mohammed Bhoola (3-38) looked like halting the onslaught by a Bierley side still looking to pull clear of relegation trouble.
Batley’s batsmen had an afternoon to forget as Umar Farooq (5-35) and Rizwan Ali (5-20) bowled them out for just 62.
The defeat saw Batley’s lead over second placed Morley cut to 23 points with three games to play, with Bankfoot a further two points back.
Reggie Thomas was Morley’s match winner in a low-scoring encounter with in-form Hartshead Moor. He made 32 not out and rescued his side from 28-6 as they struggled to overhaul their visitors’ score of 92.
Former Yorkshire and Scotland seamer Iain Wardlaw made things difficult for Morley with 3-20 after earlier top scoring with 28 not out in his side’s innings. Paceman Matthew Dowse was the pick of Morley’s bowlers with 3-15.
Bankfoot dealt a big blow to Baildon’s hopes of forcing their way into the promotion positions as they recorded a 118 run.
Despite being without their captain James Lee and spinner Andrew Stothart, two key men this season, Bankfoot dominated the encounter after making 195-6 when they batted first, with Hamzah Iqbal leading the way with a fine knock of 91.
Baildon were soon in trouble when they batted and never recovered as they were dismissed for 77. Jawad Waheed (3-25) and Ijaz Ahmed (3-21) did a good job for their side.
There was a dramatic finish at Ossett where the home side lost their last five wickets for just two runs to tie with second-bottom Wakefield St Michael’s who only made 74 batting first.
Imran Mahboob (38no) top scored for St Michael’s as they struggled against the bowling of Dan Busfield (5-23) and Mushy Rafique (3-25).
Ossett looked to be cruising to victory until opener Oliver Newton (34) was the sixth man out. His dismissal triggered the collapse as Mahboob completed a fine individual display by taking 4-14.
Keighley climbed to fifth in the table as they defeated Pudsey Congs by 47 runs with overseas player Alex Antoine making a crucial contribution.
Antoine (74) shared an opening stand of 124 with Luke Chapman (70) which was the foundation for a total of 214-8. Louis Horsfield (38) also chipped in with useful runs as Jacques Allen impressed with 5-33.
The Congs batsmen were kept in check by the accurate bowling of Paul Quinlan (4-28) and Antoine (3-36) as they were dismissed for 167.
Spinner Chris Rhodes bagged 5-26 to kill off any hope bottom team Scholes might have had of overhauling Gomersal’s 178-6. Opener Muhammad Rafiq gave them hope with 35 but lacked support.
Jonathan Boynton was the lynch-pin of the Gomersal innings with an undefeated 88 while Liam Thomas Chipped in with 33. Young spinner Jade Roberts was again the pick of the Scholes bowlers with 3-50.
Carlton moved to the brink of promotion with a four-wicket win over Northowram Fields who are fighting to avoid relegation.
They only need one point from their last three games to secure a place in Championship One because even if third-placed Yeadon gained maximum points from their remaining fixtures, they would still have less wins than Carlton.
Arman Hussain took the bowling honours with 5-26 and was backed up by Nick Busby (3-12) as Northowram Fields were dismissed for 104.
Carlton didn’t find the run chase easy and lost six wickets before securing victory as Joseph Hough picked up 3-44.
Second-placed Birstall bounced back from their Jack Hampshire Cup final defeat by Yeadon with an emphatic nine-wicket win over Buttershaw St Paul’s.
Opening bowlers James Russell (5-30) and Josh Haynes (5-35) skittled St Paul’s out for 79. Eric Austin (37no) and Brad Lay (35no) steered Birstall to victory.
Gareth Lee showed no mercy for his old club Adwalton as he made an undefeated 121 for Yeadon in their 66-run win over the bottom team and followed up by taking 4-24 with his left-arm spin.
Lee hit three sixes and 19 fours as he dominated the Yeadon score of 236-8. Vinit Patel (3-70) was the best of the Adwalton bowlers.
Matt Donohoe (60) led the Adwalton response but Lee and leg-spinner James Massheder (3-72) played key roles in bowling them out for 170.
Hunslet Nelson all-rounder Will Stiff made an unbeaten century but ended up on the losing side as Jer Lane overhauled his team’s score of 211-8 with just three wickets down.
Stiff hit four sixes and 10 fours as he countered the threat of Amjid Khan (4-45), but Jer Lane hit back to bag 19 points thanks to some robust batting from Mick Hustler (64), Tom Watson (53no) and Abubaker Dawood (51).
Altofts continued their climb up the table by chasing down a Spen Victoria score of 254-8 to win by six wickets and move into seventh place.
Openers Azhar Sharif (71) and Sam Huitema (65) shared a stand of 143 which provided the foundation for the successful run chase. Ismail Patel (42) and Dominic Richardson (39) ensured that their work didn’t go to waste.
Peter Jackson (87) and Sam Gatenby (50) provided the main impetus in the Spen Victoria innings which also saw skipper Bilal Ejaz chip in with 31.
Second-bottom Liversedge kept their hopes of avoiding relegation alive with a four-wicket win over Hopton Mills in a low-scoring encounter.
Sohail Hussain (3-7) was the best of the bowlers as Mills were skittled out for 66. Liversedge lost six wickets securing victory as Umar Abbas (5-33) impressed.
Bowling Old Lane are just 11 points above the relegation positions after suffering a 21-run defeat against East Ardsley.
Experienced batsmen Richard Vigars (44) and Simon Davies (44no) helped East Ardsley to make 206-8 despite the efforts of Arslan Mahmood (4-40) and Arsalan Ijaz (3-39).
Old Lane were bowled out for 185 with Peter Bowles taking 5-22 in an innings where Zeeshan Haider (37) was top scorer,
The battle for the championship and the one promotion place is set for could well be decided when the top two meet next Saturday.
Sandal currently lead Great Preston by 31 points but have played a game more than the team they host in the crunch match.
Sandal maintained their pursuit of top spot with a six-wicket win over Windhill & Daisy Hill. They bowled out their rivals for 125, Adam Swaine top scoring with 33 as Sam Noden picked up 3-30.
Great Preston continued their winning ways with a 42-run victory over third-placed Gildersome & Farnley Hill.
Australian Tyson Freeman (37) and Ben Broxup (36) helped Great Preston to make 232 despite the efforts of Josh Edmondson (5-62).
Gildersome & Farnley Hill, who have now suffered two defeats in a row after reaching mid-August unbeaten, were bowled out for 190. Adam Campion was again their top scorer with 62 as Freeman (3-32) and Jordan (3-47) shared the bowling honours.
Bottom team Heckmondwike & Carlinghow notched only their third win of the season as they defeated East Leeds by 50 runs.
Javed Iqbal top scored with 51 in Heckmondwike & Carlinghow’s 219 and backed up his efforts by taking 4-30 as East Leeds were all out for 169. John Steel top scored with 41.
Crossbank Methodists are now just four points above Heckmondwike & Carlinghow after being bowled out for just 45 in a six-wicket defeat by Oulton. Joe Sykes produced stunning figures of 7-20.