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Crossgates in pole position to win top title
Crossgates are closing in on the Bradford Saturday League title after taking a 20-point lead over Pudsey A in the Naylor (Division One) section with just three games left.
There was a significant swing as Crossgates triumphed 23-7 at home to Pudsey Littlemoor A thanks to big wins from Jon Wilcox (21-3), Joe Cranston (21-6) and James Wilcox (21-8).
This came as Pudsey were suffering a 17-13 defeat at Asa Briggs A, despite a fine 21-9 victory from Tom Hanson. Clive Foord produced a great 21-5 effort which ensured the hosts edged the aggregate.
Crossgates are now in the box seat but the destination of the championship could yet hinge on their final game at closest rivals Pudsey.
Shipley currently hold a 12-point advantage over Littlemoor, and still have to play them at home, but have the harder run-in so this battle looks like going all the way to the end too.
Pudsey B and Whitkirk look favourites for promotion from the Godwin (Division Two) section but third-placed Wyke A are on a roll and could well have a say in who goes up.
Whitkirk have slipped up in recent away games but with three out of four games left at home – including a final-day fixture against leaders Pudsey – they still look nailed on to win a top-flight place.
Pudsey Littlemoor B are almost certainly relegated, as they find themselves almost 50 points adrift, and it looks to be between Brighouse Sports B, Greengates A and Hove Edge A as to who joins them, with only three points between all three teams.
Drighlington A look favourites to take the Observer (Division Three) title but still have to visit Wibsey A and Horsforth Woodside A, who are in with a chance of promotion along with Hollies S&SC and Ladyhill B.
Wibsey A, with two home games left, look to have promotion in their own hands, while Hightown and Queensbury A are fighting a relegation battle with three games left.
Queensbury currently have a 17-point advantage over Hightown but, with a tougher run-in, look favourites for relegation alongside newcomers Blakeborough Albion, who were definitely placed in the wrong league.
* Gary Ellis (Whitefield) and Peter Wilcox (Crossgates) were the latest qualifiers in the £5,300 Brighouse Classic, sponsored by Naylor Wintersgill (Chartered Accountants).
Ellis beat Danny Petcher (Burton) 21-13 to go through, while Wilcox defeated Danny Sillitoe (Dearne Sports) 21-8. The action continues on Friday evening.
Draw (6.30pm start): Allan Thompson (Mirfield Old Bank) v Ryan Bancroft (Hyde), Nicky Bastow (Eccleshill) v Mark Booth (Doncaster), Graham Hirst (Mirfield Old Bank) v Nigel Cranston (Crossgates), Ryan Clark (Sheffield) v Finlay Hickey (Halifax), Matt Jones (Duckinfield) v Kevin Nixon (Doncaster), Andrew Sykes (Mirfield Old Bank) v Chris Kelly (Sheffield), Joe Cranston (Crossgates) v David Scott (Silsden), Keith Hall (Eccleshill) v Graham Law (Salford).
* Simon Coupe (Preston) and Danny Fountain (Brighouse Sports) were the week six qualifiers in the Yorkshire Building Society-sponsored Pudsey Classic.
Coupe went through after beating Paul Rooks (Eccleshill) 21-16, Clive Chapman (Heywood) 21-11 and Daniel Jones (Llanwrst) 21-5, drawing number three for finals night.
Fountain drew number five after seeing off Mike Riley (North Wales) 21-15, Dave Scott (Lower Hopton) 21-16 and Tommy Johnstone (Poynton) 21-16.
Qualifying continues on Friday evening, with three former winners locked in the same quarter. They are Gary Ellis (2005 and 2010), Chris Brown (2007) and Ashley Daykin (2012).
Draw (6.30pm start): Peter Hepworth (Myrtle Park) v Nigel Roper (Pudsey Littlemoor), David Walker (Scholes) v Elliot McGuinness (W&W), Gary Ellis (Whitefield) v Gerald Merry (Tarporley), Ashley Daykin (Netherton) v Chris Brown (Lower Hopton), Jack Hargreaves (Hyde) v Graeme Wilson (Lower Hopton), Greg Smith (W&W) v Dave McDermott (Heswall RBL), Phil Walworth (Sheffield) v Gary Smith (Pudsey Littlemoor), Danny Radcliffe (Huddersfield) v Matt Gillies (Farnworth).
* The conclusion of the Spen Masters, sponsored by P&I Hopkins Butchers, takes place on Saturday.
Three Bradford League bowlers have made it through to finals night, with two of them facing each other in the first game as Chris Mordue (Pudsey) takes on Mark Hughes (Crossgates).
Richard Stockdale (Eccleshill) is the other Bradford qualifier but he faces a tough opening game against Callum Wraight (Shropshire).
Draw (practice from 4.30pm for 5.15pm start): Chris Brown (Lower Hopton) v Chris Slater (Colwyn Bay), Wayne Ditchfield (Eccleston) v Kevin Nixon (Doncaster), Chris Mordue (Pudsey) v Mark Hughes (Crossgates), Robert Hitchen (Halifax) v Rob Wiltshire (Sheffield), Richard Stockdale (Eccleshill) v Callum Wraight (Shropshire), Mike Leach (Preston) v John Bailey (North Wales), Joe Westall (Sheffield) v George Podmore (Potteries), David Walker (Leeds) v Andy Buckley (Chadderton).
* As a final attempt to run the Bradford League team competitions, the executive committee have come up with some end-of-season proposals. If this proves unsuccessful, then these events will not be played this year.
The Four-a-Side Knock-out, sponsored by Kolorco (Printers), to be played as a one-day competition on Sunday, September 29, using numerous venues.
The Pairs Knock-out, sponsored by Leeming & Peel Ltd, to be run as a floodlit competition during weeks commencing September 23 and 30 (possibly first round on Tuesday, September 24, quarter-finals on Thursday, September 26, semi-finals on Tuesday, October 1 and the final on Thursday, October 3).
The Howarth and Supplementary Cups to be played as a one-day competition on Sunday, September 15, using numerous venues.
Any club wanting to enter any of these competitions should contact John Preston on 07460-851570 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Friday.