So Far so good for Red Lane leaders

So Far so good for Red Lane leaders

DRIVE TIME: Gareth Phillips is watched closely by East Bierley wicketkeeper Neil Gill during his top-scoring knock of 52 for Pudsey Congs in their five-wicket defeat

Bowler Tabbi Bhatti in action for East Bierley against Pudsey Congs

Batsman Joe Greaves in action for Pudsey Congs

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

Farsley and Pudsey St Lawrence maintained their unbeaten starts to the season in the JCT600 Bradford League Division One by inflicting first defeats on Morley and champions Cleckheaton respectively.

Farsley are three points clear at the top after triumphing by 36 runs at Red Lane, which saw them recover from 12-3 to post 168-6 as Andrew Duckworth (63) and South African Graham Hume (58) led the recovery with a determined fifth-wicket stand of 97.

Run scoring wasn’t easy on an unusually slow pitch and Morley were dismissed for 132, with Chris Henry (3-16) and Ian Philliskirk (3-24) keeping the batsmen in check.

Pudsey St Lawrence had Cleckheaton in a spin at Tofts Road. Leg spinner Tom Hudson (4-9) and off spinner Steve Watts (3-24) sparked a collapse which saw the visitors lose their last nine wickets for 58 runs to be dismissed for 130. Opener Tim Jackson (36) was their top scorer.

Cleckheaton skipper John Wood, who has achieved considerable success against St Lawrence throughout his career, caused the home side early problems as he took 3-21.

Opener Mark Robertshaw steadied things down before Matthew Duce played a breezy 56 not out to secure a four-wicket win. Cleckheaton’s Indian spinner Tanzeel Altaf finished with 3-36.

Woodlands are third after inflicting a nine-wicket defeat on a weakened Lightcliffe line-up. Chris Brice (4-23) and Scott Richardson (4-28) took the bowling honours as the visitors were dismissed for just 83.

Big-hitting Sarfraz Ahmed was promoted to open the Woodlands innings and hammered five sixes as he made 33 off just 13 balls to speed his side to victory.

At the opposite end of the table there were first victories of the season for Hanging Heaton and East Bierley.

Hanging Heaton recovered from the shock of seeing their big guns Gary Fellows, Nick Connolly and David Paynter dismissed with only 30 on the board as they made 235-8 against bottom team Yeadon.

Joe Fraser (66) and former Yeadon player Ben Elvidge (58) shared a fourth-wicket stand of 119, before David Stiff blasted seven sixes in an unbeaten 54 off just 25 balls. The one Yeadon bowler to impress was Oliver Halliday with 5-61.

The newly-promoted hosts were bowled out for 122 as they suffered a 113-run defeat. Tariq Mehboob was their top scorer with 49.

East Bierley’s first victory, a five-wicket success against Pudsey Congs, owed much to an unbeaten 68 from opener Tabbi Bhatti which, with support from Mark Gill (39) and Andrew Rennison (33) enabled them to overhaul the Congs’ total of 195.

Skipper Gareth Phillips (52) and Callum Geldart (43) were the main contributors for Congs, who faltered against the left-arm spin of Luke Jarvis (4-47) as they slipped to their third-successive loss.

New Farnley are still waiting for their first home win since winning promotion to the top flight after suffering a 79-run defeat against Bradford & Bingley.

Only Lee Goddard (45) made an impression as former Manningham Mills spinner Noman Ali (4-6) and Chris Thompson (4-39) dismissed them for 101.

Youngsters Jacob Roach (38) and Charlie Best (30) were the top scorers in Bradford & Bingley’s total of 180-9.

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