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Top-flight prize after 11-year Harden fight to Aire-Wharfe League summit
James Seymour hit his second century in four matches to steer Harden to an eight-wicket win over Olicanian and clinch the Division Two title to book a place in the Aire-Wharfe League top flight for the first time since joining the league in 2001.
Despite pressure from four other clubs, Harden kept their nerve in the run-in, taking 48 of 54 points on offer in their last nine completed games after dropping to fourth place in mid-June.
Ben Burkill (4-49) and Andrew Bailey (4-21) restricted Olicanian to 170, in which Chris Wheeler hit 59, before Seymour smashed 14 fours and seven sixes in racing to 118 not out off just 53 balls.
The fight to see who will go up with Harden will go to the final week. Pool are favourites, needing just four points from their match against Bardsey after winning by eight wickets at Upper Wharfedale (137).
Rawdon are still in the chase after a sensational victory over Bolton Villas. Chasing 197, Rawdon collapsed to 74-8 – but Aussie batsman Joe Loorham was still in and he hit 92, putting on 122 with Josh Hobson (35no), and Rawdon managed to clinch victory by one wicket with less than an over to spare.
Green Lane kept alive their hopes with a convincing win at Bardsey. Michael Slater’s season-best 5-41 saw the home side bowled out for 140 before Ian Hawkridge (46no) and Rob Britton (48) saw Lane home with seven wickets in hand.
Julian Thornhill (27) and Anthony Jones (26) gave Calverley a solid start but Henry Wilson (5-61) and Batty (5-37) dismissed them for 193.
Yet Calverley were able to breathe a sigh of relief because Pool’s win meant it will be Upper Wharfedale who go down with Olicanian.
Majid Inayat passed the half-century mark for the ninth time this season but could not prevent Silsden going down to defeat against Colton, who were confirmed as Division Three champions.
Gareth Lee (4-25) and John Storey (3-27) boosted Menston’s hopes when they restricted the visitors to 128 but the hosts could not cope with the accuracy of Nadeem Hanif, who picked up 6-33 as Menston collapsed to 82 in 30.2 overs.
Rob Walker hit 56 in Skipton ’s 194 and Gary Owens and Keir Nelson each picked up four wickets but they still lost at Woodhouse and, with Alwoodley beating Illingworth, drop to the foot of the table.
Horsforth are still in danger of ending in the re-election spots after they were skittled out for 65 in reply to New Rover’s 183.
Mark Scaife took 5-33 as Hall Park tried to defend a meagre 98 but Daryl Robinson (27no) saw Addingham home with three wickets to spare.
In Division One, the only certainty going into the final match is that Adel are down.
Collingham will be crowned champions if they take two points off Steeton , with Beckwithshaw the only side that can catch them.
Burley are certain of at least third place and could climb to second after they beat Otley . Ryan Cooper hit 108 in 99 balls as Burley recovered from 24-2 to 273-9. And with Nick Brook (4-39) and Ed Brown (3-48) pegging away, Otley could only manage 214 in reply.
David Wildsmith was another century-maker, hitting 103 and together with Craig Walton (48) helping Steeton to 222-6. Josh Nelson scored 88 in Guiseley ’s reply but, with Andrew Luxton taking 6-40, the visitors were dismissed for 178.