Opening stand paves way for Methley cup win

Former Cleckheaton all-rounder Marcus Walmsley safely makes his ground during Methley's victory over Birstall in the Jack Hampshire Memorial Trophy final

Former Cleckheaton all-rounder Marcus Walmsley safely makes his ground during Methley's victory over Birstall in the Jack Hampshire Memorial Trophy final

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Sports Reporter

FORMER Cleckheaton all-rounder Marcus Walmsley captained Methley to an eight-wicket success against Birstall in the final of the All Rounder Cricket Equipment Central Yorkshire League's Jack Hampshire Memorial Trophy at Ossett.

Walmsley (44) put Methley on the road to victory during a 152-run opening stand with Richard Foster (94).

Birstall, playing only their second Jack Hampshire final, made a slow start and, although skipper Eric Austin dug in to make 69 out of 169-6 in their 40 overs, the Methley openers paved the way for a convincing win with seven overs to spare.

It was a disappointing end to the campaign for Birstall – but the weekend was not totally devoid of success as they completed a crucial four-wicket Premier Division victory at Carlton.

This was thanks to a fine 61 from junior player Joe Woodhouse, who opened the batting with Craig Wood.

Wood, along with Rob Macfarlane, had earlier taken three Carlton wickets to dismiss them for 166.

That win, coupled with a defeat for Hopton Mills at home to Ossett, has given Birstall some breathing space in the bid to avoid relegation.

Their next game is a trip to out-of-form Scholes, while Lower Hopton have a derby at Mirfield Parish Cavaliers.

The promotion issue in the Championship is becoming a nail-biter.

While Batley are racing away at the top, second-placed Liversedge have lost two in a row, going down by seven wickets at Northowram in their last game.

Only four points now separate three teams battling it out for the second promotion spot.

Buttershaw St Paul's are the other team in the frame after a superb 103 from young Kevin McDermott earned them a narrow win over Oulton.

So this week's fixtures could be make or break as Buttershaw entertain leaders Batley, Northowram go to Oulton and Liversedge are at home to Wakefield St Michaels.

Westwood Park are ten points adrift of second-placed Gildersome in Division One but that could all change this week.

The Bradford side have a game in hand and the sides meet at Gildersome with that second promotion spot still up for grabs.

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