EAST Bierley’s approach of going hard at the start of their innings and then hoping that their bowlers can put a squeeze on their opponents, allied by scoreboard pressure, has again paid dividends.

The formula helped the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League Championship promotion chasers defeat top-flight Bradford & Bingley by 117 runs at Wagon Lane in a Priestley Cup quarter-final.

Bierley, who were without skipper Adam Brown (coaching Yorkshire under-14s), were led instead by opener Matthew West, and he won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bat under a largely cloudless sky.

Although Jack Hartley, who is edging towards becoming an all-rounder now, bowled left-hander Sam Gatenby via the faintest of inside edges as he looked to leave the ball, it did not temper the aggression of West.

He found a good ally in No 3 Dan Cross and they put on 188, with West the dominant partner initially before settling down and allowing Cross to become the chief run-getter.

The bowling of the home side was not always accurate, with Riecko Parker-Cole a prime example as his only over cost 19 runs, including three wides and three boundaries to West, propelling the score to 76-1 after eight overs.

The biggest danger to Bierley, other than the odd shot just falling wide of fielders, was their running between the wickets but a good grab at what would have been third slip by Bingley skipper Ed Brown finally did for Cross.

His 92 came off 107 balls and included 13 fours and a six, and big-hitter Ben Walter was just getting into his stride with 20 off 14 balls, including three fours and a six, when he was left stranded halfway down the wicket to be run out.

West was so frustrated at his part in the dismissal that he hurled his bat in disgust when he got to the umpire’s end.

If Walter had hit his straps, Bierley could have posted 400 plus, but spinners Bradley Reeve and Lachlan Doidge put a brake on the scoring, as well as dismissing Andrew Duckworth, and Bierley re-set their target at 100 at worst 100 fewer.

Dodgy running between the wickets resurfaced when Cross was out for 90 from a direct hit by Parker-Cole, making the score 245-5 at the end of the 40th over.

West, despite his strike rate coming down, still scored his runs off 81 balls, including eight fours and three sixes, and Paul Martin (28) and Dan Abbott (26no) ensured that Bierley did indeed pass 300, ending on 311-7, with no Bingley bowlers earning eye-catching figures as the wickets were shared around.

The home side, without the suspended Kyme Tahirkheli, Matthew Swallow (working), Will Luxton (Covid bubble) and George Heartfield (working), were soon on the back foot after the early dismissals of Jack Sharp, off a mishit pull, Charles Davy, to a low catch in the slips, and Parker-Cole, who trudged off very, very slowly after an lbw decision.

From 26-3, Arjun Ramkumar, with a run-a-ball 39, started a recovery, but half the side were out for 85 after both he and skipper Brown were dismissed.

The key partnership was for the sixth wicket between wicket-keeper Matthew Duce and all-rounder Yassir Abbas but they had only added 46 when Duce was caught by Walter off the bowling of Addison Holland for 43, made off 37 balls.

Duce hit seven fours, and Abbas eventually fell for 67 from 51 balls, including five fours and three sixes, but not before adding 33 for the ninth wicket with youngster Lewis Brown (11).

Jack Hebden finished with 3-34 and Holland 4-48 as Bierley booked their semi-final at Townville on Sunday, August 8.

New Farnley will be at home to the winners of the other delayed quarter-final between Pudsey St Lawrence and Birstall, which will be played next Sunday.