There was an amazing match at Warley in the Premier Division as it hosted pre-match leaders Thornton. Batting first the top order of the home team were again in fine fettle with Andrew Oates (106) and Ben Schofield (76) helping to set a target of 275 runs. The opposite was the case with the visitors as a mid-innings score of 68-7 would suggest. However enter No 9 batsman Christopher Hartley who proceeded to smash the Warley attack all over Paradise Lane in a knock of 101 runs, ably assisted with 51 from Mick Burrows. Both were out within a few runs of each other with many after-match comments starting ‘If only’ as there was still 4.4 overs left when the innings closed, Warley winning by 62 runs and now leading by division by six points. Bowlers had a hard time at Booth with only ten wickets falling for a combined total of 517 as Copley visited. The home team had the best of the encounter as four batsmen topped forty runs with Mark Johnstone heading the list with 82 runs. Copley had to chase 301 to win but lost four early wickets, which put it behind the clock, before recovering to post 217-6 as No 6 batsman David Pickett scored 84 not out. There was a cracking match at Bridgeholme where Blackley just squeezed a one-wicket win in the 43rd over. The home team batted first, scoring 274-6, as Simon Dunkley hit 77 runs aided in the middle-order by veteran groundsman Keith Hudson’s 63 not out. In reply Blackley were indebted to Marcus Roberts (106*) who steered the visitors to victory with help in a ninth-wicket partnership from Bilal Malik (25), Neil Barraclough (67) having earlier set the wheels in motion. Coincidentally another score of 106 was recorded by Triangle’s Anthony Sykes at Mytholmroyd with the visitors in fine batting form again, Steven Wood adding 86 runs in a score of 311-7. The home team were only in the hunt for a short period, Abdul Rauf (70) pushing the score along, but once fifth bowler Gary Rodger was handed the ball it was game over as he took 6-42. Batting first, in the local derby versus Sowerby St Peter’s, Sowerby Bridge‘s top six batsmen were in fine form and posted 259-4, with Martin Mellor (64*) and Lewis Mattock (61) leading the way. The reply from St Peter’s never really got off the ground as wickets fell at regular intervals with the result never in doubt – the hosts winning by 93 runs, Matthew Harrison taking 5-42. The biggest winning margin of the day came at SBCI where Upper Hopton were put to the sword by Sam Hinchcliffe (141), David Brown (75) and Tyson Illingworth (75) in a 242-run victory. The visitor’s, somewhat deflated by the batting onslaught, could only muster 71 runs in reply, not helped by two run outs and being a man short.
Shelf Northowram HT now lead the First Division by 15 points after its fourth win of the season, this one at Queensbury. The home team batted first and, led by evergreen skipper Phil Sharples (54), recorded a respectable 182-7. The visitors though made light work of the task winning in a canter as its top order of Tait Coles (67*), Craig Green (48*) and Taylor Swaine (46) reached the target in 23.5 overs. Mount moved into second place in the table with a comprehensive win at home to Stones. Batting first the Batley team amassed 349-5 with Jabir Patel hitting 107 runs, supported by Mahmad Makda (82) and Makbul Patel (60). Spare a thought for Gregory Baldwin of Stones who toiled throughout to record 23-1-135-3, a tremendous effort on a hot afternoon. The visitors had little to offer with the bat however and were rolled over for 94 runs – six bowlers sharing the wickets. Southowram registered its first win of the year as Scott Griffiths (48), Damion Parry (47) helped to push the score to 200 runs as the hosts batted first. Surprisingly Great Horton PC was off the pace in its reply and was dismissed for only 82 runs, Tariq Mahmood taking 5-11. Outlane’s Dan Proctor enjoyed his team’s longest journey of the season, to Oxenhope, as he hit 46 not out as his team scored 256 all out. He then took 6-79 in the home team’s innings that fell 51 runs short. Steven Hellewell also enjoyed the trip, but with some reservation, as he joined this season’s fast expanding list of nervous nineties victims, being bowled for 92 runs.
Illingworth St Mary’s continue to lead the Second Division, but only just, as four other teams are now concertinaed behind it to within four points. Bradley & Colnebridge was responsible for St Mary’s second loss of the season, winning by an impressive 81 runs. Batting first B&C reached 214 all out with Shahraiz Khan hitting a half-century. However St Mary’s never looked like achieving that target, only one batsman reaching 20 runs, opener Liam Kelly with 51 runs, as Mohammed Khan took 4-13 in only five overs. The surprise result in this division came at Bradshaw where previously winless Luddendenfoot put up a terrific performance to win a high-scoring match of over 500 runs by four wickets. The home team batted first with Steve Beck (73) and Brian Shierson (58) top scoring to set a 253-run target. It was met with some aplomb, led by Daniel Barron and Jacob Whitehouse (75), whilst Elliott Reynolds took 5-97. However Barron, whilst enjoying the win was seen kicking himself when departing at 228-5 – yet another joining this season’s nervous nineties club on 97 runs. The scorers at Low Moor HT had a much easier afternoon as the home team crawled to 95 all out in 40.3 overs, the persistence of Leymoor’s Colin Johnson being rewarded with a 8-45 return. The visitors needed 25.3 overs to gain maximum points, with Eddie Raw scoring 40 runs, and it is now one of the four teams just behind the leaders. Score wise it was much the same story at Old Town with the home team dismissed for 99 against Clayton, only Adil Shah (51) coming to terms with the bowling of Damien Walker (7-59). The Bradford team took only 20 overs to hit the required runs, 53 of those from the bat of Andrew Windle.