Premier Division:*Booth 429-7 (Midgley 140, Ric Laycock 83*, Rob Laycock 65, Senior 62, Sykes 4-92), SBCI 164 (S Wood 52): pts 12-5. *Bridgeholme 143, Sowerby St Peter's 144-4 (Clarke 70); pts 3-12. Thornton 302-4 (J Hutchinson 92*, N Hutchinson 74, Burkill 61), *Copley 307-6 (Blagborough 167, M Rowles 79*): pts 4-10. Southowram 286-5 (Crossley 79*, Belfield 62, Hall 53, Gledhill (49), *Mytholmroyd 229 (Hussain 63*, Spink 48): pts 4-12. *Oxenhope 253-6 (J Tetley 78*), Shelf Northowram HT 131 (D Tetley 5-31): pts 12-2. Triangle 356-6 (Silkstone 166*, Crosland 53, Stocks 50, van Rensberg 4-78), *Warley 151 (Keywood 53*, L Turner 6-36): pts 12-3. First Division: Great Horton PC 206 (Beesley 70, Malik 55, Fisher 5-24), *Bradshaw 203 (Pell 60, Cotton 58, Ryan 43, Fenton 7-58): pts 12-6. *Queensbury 216 (Senior 56, Challis 46, Dougall 41), Illingworth St Mary's 219-1 (Murfet 116*, Cook 44, Sewell 42*); pts 3-12. Clayton 104 (Shannon 5-36, Dixon 4-19), *Sowerby Bridge 108-1 (Mattock 51*, Smith 42*): pts 1-12. *Stones 212-9 (Collins 85, Stenson 4-48), Blackley 216-6 (Mindham 60): pts 4-11. Second Division: Outlane 92 (A Mitchell 9-40), *Bradley & Colnebridge 96-4: pts 1-12. *Cullingworth 119 (Poole 74, Walker 5-42, Allison 4-35), Leymoor 122-8 (Poole 5-26): pts 3-12. *Greetland 173-9, Luddendenfoot 176-6 (Allen 61*, Hosker 40): pts 3-11. Upper Hopton 165, *Low Moor HT 169-9 (Broadbent 4-41): pts 4-12. *Mount 326-6 (Gheewala 170*, Laher 64*), Old Town 214-9 (Mahmood 56): pts 11-4.
DIVISIONAL REPORTS Next Saturday’s Premier Division clash between Thornton and Booth took on major significance after leaders Thornton lost at a resurgent Copley, that put the title chase into overdrive. Thornton’s players, particularly the Hutchinsons, Joshua (92 not out) and Nikki (74), must have thought that their team’s posting of 302-4 was a winning effort. Copley opener Alex Blagborough had other ideas however as he hit a magnificent 167 not out aided by Matthew Rowles (79 not out) as they combined to put on a 110 run unbroken seventh-wicket partnership, to hit the target from the penultimate ball of the match. Booth reduced the deficit at the top of the table to eight points as it accounted for SBCI, by 265 runs, at Broad Fold Park. Opener Jon Midgley set the batting tone with 24 boundaries in his knock of 140 with Richard Laycock later adding 83 not out to take the score to 429-7. SBCI had no real answer to that total and succumbed to 164 all out, only Simon Wood (52) causing any problems as five host bowlers shared the wickets. Southowram, aiming to win at least two of his remaining fixtures in its relegation fight, achieved the first of those at Mytholmroyd, winning by 57 runs. For the first time this season four of its top order hit respectable scores, unsurprisingly led by Dean Crossley’s 79 not out. Support came from Tom Belfield (62), Ian Hall (53) and Ian Gledhill (49) in a total of 286-5 that proved too much for the home team, despite a battling innings from Saad Hussain (63 not out) who unfortunately ran out of partners. The Rams will have been disappointed to hear of Copley’s win however, as it is still 18 points adrift of safety. Shelf Northowram HT’s season appears to be drifting away as it lost again, on this occasion at Oxenhope by 122 runs. The Tetleys caused its problems at The Flatt as first Josh hit 78 not out to be followed by Duncan, whose 5-31 accounted for Hedge Top as it fell to 131 all out. Revenge for its Parish Cup Final defeat came sweetly for Triangle as it travelled to Warley and dealt a massive blow to the host’s championship aspirations, particularly after Thornton’s loss. Batting first Triangle amassed 356-6 as openers Daniel Crosland (53) and Adam Stocks (50) set the scene to be followed by Christian Silkstone (166 not out) who despatched the usually efficient Warley bowlers all over Paradise Lane, Greg Keywood will not have a worse afternoon in his career as he returned 1-151 off 19 overs. A dispirited batting effort followed and when first change bowler Liam Turner entered the fray it was match over, as he took 6-36 in only 7.2 overs to earn a 205 run victory. Sowerby St Peter’s eased its fears of being dragged into the relegation mix with a six-wicket win at bottom club Bridgeholme who itself will be relegated next week if it fails to win. Opener Adam Clarke’s 70 ensured the Sowerby win and the twelve points.
With only four weekends remaining in the First Division schedule the promotion race now involves just three clubs and Illingworth St Mary’s, following a nine-wicket win at Queensbury, are now clear favourites for the title. The home team batted first, with No 6 batsman Ryan Senior (56) top-scoring in a total of 216 not out but in response Daniel Murfet (116 not out) made batting look easy, coming in at first-wicket down, his contribution the majority of a 151 run match-winning partnership with Matthew Sewell (42 not out). Sowerby Bridge, desperate to return to the top flight, are in second place, eighteen points adrift of St Mary’s but seven clear of third placed Great Horton PC. However the final placings are in the melting pot as the quirk of the fixture list sees both the latter teams having to visit Illingworth, with the final weekend throwing up a cracker – Sowerby Bridge v Great Horton. The Bridge made light work of Clayton at Walton Street, winning by nine wickets, as Steve Shannon (5-36) and Jake Dixon (4-19) combined to dump the visitors out for just 104 runs, Lewis Mattock (51 not out) and Paul Smith (42 not out) ensuring maximum points. Twelve points were also earned by Great Horton at Bradshaw – but only by a whisker. Adam Beesley (70) and Waqas Malik (55) were the main contributors in a below par 206 all out Horton total, Piers Fisher taking 5-24, and when the home team reached 145-3 defeat looked likely. However after Christopher Pell (60) and Dean Cotton (58) both hit half-centuries Bradshaw somehow contrived to lose its last seven wickets for 57 runs as Stuart Fenton (11.3-2-58-7) was handed the ball and Horton scraped a three-run win thanks to him. Whilst the batting of bottom of the table Stones has given much encouragement over the last few weeks, Jack Collins (85) in the runs on this occasion, that first maximum haul of the season still eludes it. Blackley won at Swift Cross by four wickets and the win was vital as it eased its own relegation concerns to put it 27 points of second-bottom place – Sam Mindham (60) top-scoring in a team effort where six batsman made double figure scores.
In the Second Division Bradley & Colnebridge made the short trip to Outlane a memorable one, or more accurately Andrew Mitchell did, as he recorded the best First Xi’s bowling performance of the season by taking 9-40, as Outlane fell to 92 all out. Six of his victims were clean bowled with the one wicket from Yasir Arfat preventing an all-ten. B&S lost four wickets in taking the twelve points that keeps it mathematically in the promotion hunt. Mount continue to top the table and the reward for its ever-consistent batsman, Mahmad Gheewala, came in a stunning innings of 170 not out at home to Old Town, 136 in boundaries. No 8 Fakir Laher chipped in with 64 not out, in a seventh-wicket unbroken partnership of 111 runs, that left the Town chasing another mammoth total of 326-6. A brave effort was made as Sajid Mahmood hit 56 runs and eventually its last pair thwarted a Mount maximum by adding 49 undefeated runs. Upper Hopton’s promotion aspirations took a severe knock at Low Moor HT where the hosts’ last pair scored the required eight runs for a very tight win. No Hopton batsman managed a score of note as four Moor bowlers shared the wickets in a low total of 165 all out. The Moor also struggled, as Matt Broadbent took 4-41, but the final winning words came from Mandeep Sidana and Damiel Russon. Luddendenfoot took full advantage of Hopton’s loss to put itself nine points clear of the Mirfield team, with a four-wicket win at Greetland. The home side limped to 173-9 as four Foot bowlers took wickets and the visitors were then indebted to Ryan Allen’s 61 not out to see it to victory. Cullingworth’s struggle of a season continued but it came close to a rare win as visiting Leymoor lost eight wickets in chasing just 119 runs. Full credit to Phil Poole in this match as he almost single handled took the fight on, first scoring 74 of the 119 runs and then taking 5-26 when brought on a first change. Leymoor’s No 8 Pierce Walker however spoilt the home team’s afternoon as his 35 not out to win the day.