EAST Bierley improved their chances of avoiding relegation from the First Division with a surprise 41-run win over leaders Cleckheaton, while the two other clubs in danger, Morley and Yeadon, both lost.
The results leave Bierley 18 points ahead of Morley with bottom club Yeadon a further eight points behind.
Left-arm spinner Luke Jarvis produced a match-winning bowling performance, exploiting helpful conditions by taking 6-12 as Cleckheaton were bowled out for 112 in reply to Bierley’s 153-9, while Richard Atkins took 3-35.
Stand-in opener Neil Gill batted through Bierley’s innings, scoring 69 not out as they also found run-making far from easy. Spinner Andrew Deegan (4-28) and pace man Iain Wardlaw (3-61) were Cleckheaton’s main wicket-takers.
Second-placed Woodlands’ 33-run win at Farsley means Cleckheaton’s lead at the top has been cut to 21 points with four matches to play.
Woodlands made a challenging 245-8 thanks to a third-wicket stand of 132 between Simon Mason (82) and Logan Weston (52). Former Yorkshire batsman Joe Sayers led Farsley’s reply with 80 and received good support from Ian Philliskirk (42) and skipper Mark Harrison (35) but they finished short on 212-7.
Pudsey Congs won the Pudsey derby, inflicting on their local rivals St Lawrence their second defeat in a row. Congs restricted St Lawrence to 163, of which skipper James Smith made 58 as pace bowler James Pearson took 4-48 and left-arm spinner Glenn Roberts 3-41, before cruising to victory with Callum Geldart scoring 76 and Adam Patel 41 not out.
Alex Stead and overseas all-rounder Suleman Khan were the match-winners as Lightcliffe gained an outstanding six-wicket win in a high-scoring home game against Hanging Heaton.
Khan took 7-46 with his left-arm spinners as Hanging Heaton totalled 248-9, skipper Gary Fellows top scoring with 87 while David Paynter (42), Nick Connolly (38) and David Stiff (37) gave good support. It looked to present a formidable task for Lightcliffe but they rose to the challenge thanks to a superb innings from Stead, who struck four sixes and 14 fours in an unbeaten 125, sharing a third-wicket stand of 137 with Khan, who made 80 as they won with 28 balls to spare.
Spinner Ian Fisher produced a match-winning performance to help New Farnley beat Yeadon by 19 runs.
Lee Goddard dominated New Farnley’s innings, scoring 88 out of his side’s total of 211-8. Yeadon made a determined effort to win, led by Oliver Stephenson (67), but were restricted to 192-9 with Fisher taking 6-26.
Morley’s hopes of avoiding relegation were dealt another blow as they went down by 91 runs at Bradford & Bingley. Overseas all-rounder Noman Ali top-scored with 72 in Bingley’s total of 227-9 before Morley’s batting problems were again exposed as they were bowled out for 136 with Ali (3-28), Jack Hartley (3-41) and Harry Smallwood (3-41) each taking three wickets.