Cleckheaton's defeat breathes new life into JCT600 Bradford League title race (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Cleckheaton's defeat breathes new life into JCT600 Bradford League title race
Cleckheaton, who were shot out for a mere 69 at Wagon Lane, saw their lead cut to 16 points after second-placed Pudsey Lawrence gained an easy ten-wicket win down the Aire Valley at bottom club Saltaire.
Meanwhile, defending champions Woodlands are not totally out of the picture after their five-wicket home win over Hanging Heaton, which leaves 23 points behind the leaders. Saltaire’s defeat condemned them to relegation.
Bingley made 160 in 48.5 overs, with wicket-keeper Charlie Best, recently promoted to open the innings, top scorer with 47 as James Lee took 4-38 and Iain Wardlaw 3-35.
Cleckheaton were soon in trouble against Bingley’s opening bowlers Matthew Simpson and teenager Jack Hartley, losing both openers, skipper John Wood and Tim Jackson, at 15 before slumping to 36-6.
They then lost their last four wickets for 11 runs. Simpson took 5-36 and Hartley 4-26.
Despite this defeat, Cleckheaton remain favourites to win the title for the first time as they will be expected to beat Saltaire at home next Saturday, while second plays plays third when St Lawrence meet Woodlands at home.
St Lawrence bowled out Saltaire for 96 in 43 overs, with teenager Jordan Thompson taking 3-13, before racing to victory in 20.1 overs.
Skipper Mark Robertshaw scored 53 and reached his 1,000 league runs in the process, while Adam Waite made 37 to leave Saltaire pointless.
After two successive defeats left them all but out of the title race, Woodlands returned to form. Sarfraz Ahmed took 3-47 and Sam Frankland 3-24 as they bowled out visitors Haning Heaton for 144, Gary Fellows (40) and Mark Lawson (36) being their top scorers.
There were no problems for Woodlands in chasing the target, which they achieved in 26.2 overs thanks to openers Frankland – completing a fine all-round performance with 38 - and Scott Richardson (33).
Richard Atkins, playing against his old club, took 4-22 and overseas pace bowler Waqas Maqsood 4-31 as the visitors were bowled out for 85. Tabbi Bhatti, also playing against his old club, made 43 and Liam Walsh 37 as Bierley coasted to their target.
Andrew Bairstow scored 58 as Pudsey Congs were bowled out for 139 against Manningham MIlls, who had made 46-2 in reply when the match was abandoned. There was no play in the match between Lightcliffe and Morley because of rain.
In the Second Division, the top two clubs Farsley and New Farnley saw their matches abandoned without a ball being bowled because of rain, and Spen Victoria took advantage by climbing into second place above New Farnley after beating Windhill by seven wickets.
Pace bowler Joel Pollard was the match-winner, taking 6-41 as they bowled their opponents for 87.
Gould, who needed 68 to reach the milestone, hit five sixes and 15 fours as he showed no mercy for the league’s bottom team.
Earlier this season, Gould made a league-record score of 218 against Great Horton and has now made 345 in two knocks against them.
Jonathan Boynton (53) shared a second-wicket stand of 123 with Gould, while Greg Pickles made an unbeaten 38 as Gomersal reached 264-3. Great Horton were struggling at 37-2 when the rain saved them for the second successive week.
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