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Peter Wilcox keeps Crossgates in hunt for Bradford League title
Crossgates kept their chances of retaining the Bradford Saturday League title alive with a home victory over Naylor Premier leaders Pudsey A.
The top-of-the-table clash saw Crossgates win 20-10, with Peter Wilcox’s 21-9 the pick of seven winners for the hosts. It closed the gap at the top to 18 points, although the Leeds team do still have a game in hand.
It appears to be a two-horse race for the title approaching the halfway point of the season, although Clayton A could still be in with a shout.
Clayton continued their impressive run of form with a 21-9 home win over Shipley Club A, with Phil Lister (21-4), Paul Gill (21-6) and Steve Wilkinson (21-9) doing much of the damage.
Elsewhere, Ladyhill A trounced visiting Brighouse Sports A 24-6 to leave the five-times champions deep in trouble. Scott Haynes (21-5) and Mick Hall (21-9) were impressive winners for the hosts.
Pudsey Littlemoor A, who have been struggling in recent weeks, left bottom side Eccleshill B staring at relegation after inflicting a 23-7 away victory that included eight away winners.
Asa Briggs A kept up their 100 per cent home record with an 18-12 defeat of Eccleshill A, carding six home winners as they edged above the relegation zone.
* Chris Brown (Lower Hopton) and Rob Wiltshire (Sheffield) were the first qualifiers in the Spen Masters, sponsored P&I Hopkins Butchers. They drew numbers one and eight respectively for finals day.
Qualifying continues on Saturday, with Nigel and Joe Cranston (Crossgates), Tony Riley (Brighouse Sports), and former Bradford League bowler Ian Tordoff (now Merseyside) all in action.
Week one qualifying scores – First round: Chris Brown (Lower Hopton) 21, Brian Hill (Chesterfield) 7; Neil Jones (Almondbury) 20, Danny Barwise (Merseyside) 21; Philip Holroyd (Sowerby Bridge Hillcrest) 10, Martin Gilpin (Kendal) 21; Mark Bramall (Huddersfield) 21, Thomas Hanson (Pudsey) 14; Peter Clark (Skipton) 21, Matt Gillis (Chadderton) 20; Glen Pratt (Littlemoor) 13, Graeme Wilson (Audenshaw) 21; Ian Nicholson (Kendal) 21, Lee Davies (Chesterfield) 15; Rob Wiltshire (Sheffield) 21, Mike Tunstall (Merseyside) 8. Second round: Brown 21, Barwise 18; Gilpin 16, Bramall 21; Clark 9, Wilson 21; Nicholson 20, Wiltshire 21. Third round: Brown 21, Bramall 15; Wilson 17, Wiltshire 21.
Week two qualifying draw: Matthew Hill (Milton Recs) v Ian Tordoff (Liverpool); Joe Cranston (Leeds) v Tommy Johnstone (Warrington); Chris Slater (Conwy) v Paul Bailey (Sheffield); Dave McDermott (Pensby) v John Metters (Preston); Craig Newton (Wakefield) v Gary Smith (Leeds); Daniel Higginson (Milton Recs) v Alan Hill (Manchester); Nigel Cranston (Leeds) v Matt Gilmore (Wirral); Tony Riley (Brighouse) v Lee Heaton (Preston).
* The Yorkshire Cup, Henry Taylor Cup, Eric Hutchinson Memorial Trophy and Derrick Radley Trophy competitions reach their quarter-final stages on Saturday.
Pudsey BC, who beat favourites Thongsbridge BC in the previous round of the Yorkshire Cup, have a tough game against Lower Hopton WMC at Pontefract, while Brighouse Sports A will be looking to improve on their recent poor league form when they take on Canalside A at Outwood WMC.
In the Eric Hutchinson tournament, six of the eight remaining teams bowl in the Bradford League and all will feel they have a chance of taking the title.
Crowghyll Park are the last remaining Bradford League team in the Derrick Radley Trophy. If they want to progress to the semi-finals they must overcome Newsome WMC at Spen Victoria.
Yorkshire Cup: Spen Victoria A v Mirfield Old Bank A, at Horbury WMC; Lower Hopton WMC A v Pudsey BC A, at Pontefract BC; Canalside A v Brighouse Sports A, at Outwood WMC; Lockwood Con A v Sandal BC, at Drighlington Park.
Henry Taylor Cup: Spen Victoria B v Milnsbridge Lib A, at Sowerby Bridge Hillcrest; Clayton West v Marsh Utd, at Netherton Con; Elland CA & BC v Borough BC, at Thorner; Sowerby Bridge Hillcrest v Lindley Lib, at Wakefield BC.
Eric Hutchinson Memorial Trophy: Drighlington Park v Cranmore, at Kirkheaton C&BC; Eccleshill v Garforth Rec A, at Alverthorpe WMC, Greengates v Pudsey BC, at Rastrick; Cowcliffe Lib A v Rufford Park A, at Sowerby Bridge West End.
Derrick Radley Trophy: Thorner v Garforth Rec B, at Magnet Sports; Bridlington Bay v Aberford, at Sandal BC; Oxenhope v Magnet Sports, at Slazengers; Newsome WMC v Crowghyll Park, at Spen Victoria.
* Bradford take on Leeds in the next round of Yorkshire Veterans Inter-District League fixtures on Friday.
The home match is to be played at Oakenshaw Park, with the away leg at Scatcherd Park in Morley, and Bradford will be looking for a big win against a Leeds team currently adrift at the bottom of the table.
Home team: Mick Bastow (Eccleshill), Rod Bastow (Eccleshill), Graham Oliver (Clayton), Malcolm Iles (Asa Briggs), Derek Relton (Eccleshill), Ian Matthews (Eccleshill), David Bottomley (Crowghyll), Paul Hillam (Eccleshill). Reserve: Bob Baines (Littlemoor).
Away team: Bill Hutchinson (Crowghyll), Tony Riley (Clayton), Ian Johnson (Clayton), Mick Lambert (Wyke), Dennis Thorpe (Crowghyll), David Hodgson (Crowghyll), David Burns (Peel), Gerald Bromley (Peel). Reserve: Alan Hurdley (Ladyhill).
* There are still very few entries for the Howarth and Supplementary Cups, although other options are being considered. Clubs will be informed of the outcome.