The remarkable demise of Oxenhope from early-season pacesetters in the Premier Division continued as Thornton’s Ross Parr demolished its batsman at The Flatt by taking 8-42, in an all out score of 80. It could yet find itself in the one relegation spot, should bottom team Queensbury manage to win its last three matches – very unlikely but stranger things! Oxenhope has now lost its last nine matches since beating Copley on 24 June. Queensbury was also shot out for a score in the eighties as Booth moved to within 25 points of retaining its champions tag, Moazzam Ayub (4-8) and Nigel Horsfall (4-36) were the main wicket-takers. Jer Lane has not given up the championship chase, taking visitors Mytholmroyd apart in a 192-run win. Wayne Cotton (124), Imtan Mirza (58 not out) and Johnny Lister (46) were amongst the runs, followed by Amjid Khan’s 5-44. SBCI enjoyed its short trip to Warley, winning by 52 runs, as Jamie Sykes had an afternoon to remember with a nine-wicket haul initially reducing the home team to 68-5. Greg Keywood rallied Warley but Sykes stepped in again, thwarted for his all-ten by a lone wicket from Thomas Wood. Earlier Simon Wood (55) and Charles Hyland (52 not out) had set up SBCI’s 258-6. Daniel Cole’s 101 runs in Northowram HT’s 10-run victory at Sowerby St Peter’s all but mathematically alleviated its relegation worries. It was tight as St Peter’s made a valiant chase led by Aiden Green (83), assisted by Hayden Bruce (44 not out), but Jack Hemblys had the final say with two of the final wickets in his 6-80. Triangle cruised to an easy home mid-table win against Copley as a 101 unbeaten partnership between Adam Stocks (83 not out) and Christian Silkstone (55 not out) doubled the score to overtake the 199 target.
The race to gain promotion from the First Division will go all the way to the wire as, with only two matches remaining, just 7 points separate the top four. A resurgent Southowram (170) lead the way from Cullingworth (169) and Bridgeholme & Sowerby Bridge (163 each). The Ashday Lane team are now slight favourites to go up whilst Bridgeholme hold the key to one of the places as it entertains both the Bridge and Cullingworth at Eastwood in the last eight days of the division’s season. Christopher Kibble (101 not out), assisted by Yasir Mahmood (40 not out), ensured that Bridgeholme stayed in the frame with the second unbeaten partnership of the day, this one of 90 runs to win at Blackley. Cullingworth’s challenge continued at Great Horton PC as it recorded a ten-wicket victory and congratulations go to Ben Birkhill who went past 1,000 league runs for the season with another high score of 86 not out. Southowram did not have it all its own way on its trip to Shelf but a team effort ensured a four-wicket win in a low scoring match. Relegated Stones will need to re-group next season as it showed no signs of losing its unfortunate record of being the only team in the whole League not to have recorded a maximum this season, losing to Sowerby Bridge by eight wickets as Steve Shannon cleaned up the tail with 4-3.
Congratulations to Illingworth St Mary’s as it made certain of the Second Division title with a seven-wicket home win against Low Moor HT, Daniel Murfet (5-22) and Callum Cook (46 not out) taking the main plaudits. Bradshaw remain favourites to take second place as it narrowly won a fine contest against visitors Leymoor by 13 runs. A seventh-wicket partnership of 113 runs between Mohammed Yousaf (67 not out) and Steve Beck (64) proved to be the decisive factor despite a sterling effort in reply from Leymoor’s Martin Allison who hit 109, which took him past 500 runs for the season. However once he was seventh out the tail end failed to muster the 26 runs required for victory. Clayton, 10 points adrift, has however not given up the chase, proven by its result at Luddendenfoot where it won by a massive 191 runs. Chris Ramsden (65) & Tanweer Aslam (63) led the batting surge, followed by Mitesh Mistry (5-43) & Paul Gelder (4-46) doubling up to take the first nine of the hosts’ wickets. Old Town’s sixth win of the season saw it heading for mid-table respectability as it easily beat visitors Upper Hopton by 82 runs with No 9 batsman Mohammed Ahdeem the star of the Boston Hill show. Entering the fray with the score at 135-7 his innings of 92 not out contained 12 x 6’s and 2 x 4’s – running between the wickets not a priority! A demoralised Hopton, at one stage looking for a welcome win, were then bowled out cheaply as no less than six Town bowlers took a least one wicket. Mount has found its first season in the League somewhat of an eye-opener as the Batley team was considered one of the pre-season favourites, its latest defeat however, at unfancied Greetland, proving that nothing is easy. The West Vale team on the other hand must be well pleased with 2017 as it recorded its seventh maximum, compared with not a single one last season. A trio of batsmen in Paul Quarmby (46 not out), Ilaq Jamal (43) and Damien Reynolds (41 not out) secured the five-wicket win. Outlane took maximum points in the Huddersfield derby versus Birchencliffe, Lee Mellor (46) and Andrew Holding (43 not out) guiding it to a six-wicket win.