BUTTERSHAW St Paul's have emerged as this season's surprise Central Yorkshire League promotion contenders after a convincing win over leaders Batley lifted them to second place in the Championship Division.

Batting first, Buttershaw lost four early wickets but a steady knock from opener Ian Carradice (46), useful contributions from the middle order and a crucial 46 from number nine Nic Haralbidis eventually took them to 211-9 by the close of their innings.

It was a challenging total for Batley and they fell well short as Bruce Neyland (4-58) and Paul Robinson (2-33) decimated the top order.

A late top-scoring 40 from wicketkeeper Naik Zada provided some resistance but they were all out 160 and took just one point.

As it was, that proved enough to secure the title for Batley for they finished the match with a 13-point lead over Buttershaw and only 12 points left available from the two remaining games.

Who joins Batley in the Premier Division next season remains wide open as Buttershaw (62 points), Liversedge (59) and Northowram (55) scrap for second place.

Buttershaw are at Wakefield St Michaels this coming weekend, Liversedge travel to East Leeds and Northowram host East Ardsley.

But the key outstanding game will almost certainly be at St Paul's Road on the last day of the season when Buttershaw take on visiting Liversedge.

While who goes up remains open to question, the same can be said for who goes down as the last three Premier Division games promise to see a real scrap to avoid relegation.

Birstall, with just two points from their washed-out game at Scholes, remain under pressure from second-bottom Hopton Mills, who finished four-wicket winners in their derby clash at Mirfield Parish and are now only five points from safety.

Basment club Hunslet Nelson could still avoid the drop if they take maximum points from their game at Hopton Mills this week.

Birstall desperately need a win at home to Altofts and Bradford League-bound Scholes could affect the situation if they can win at a Carlton side who are level on points with Birstall.