THE top two games in the first division of the J P Mewies Craven & District Cricket League pitted the top four against each other and when the dust settled, Cowling, who enjoyed a handsome win at Cullingworth, and Embsay, who were equally impressive at Barrowford, were left on top of the table.

Keith Woodhead's vast experience is paying dividends for Cowling, who just avoided relegation last season. He scored 64 as his side posted 159. Cullingworth were then dismissed for 99.

Barrowford were reduced to 21-4 before F. Shaezed staged a mini recovery. He made 39, which helped the red rose side to a modest 86, Richard Phillipson 4-23 and Stephen Speak 4-26 doing the damage.

The Shires Laners then cantered to a comfortable eight-wicket win.

A point behind the top two come Long Lee, who accounted for Bradley by 26 runs. The Keighley side batted first and made 183-9 in their overs, with Matt Taylor top scoring with 40 as John Duffy claimed 4-53.

After a positive start, Bradley crashed to the bowling of Paul Swindlehurst, who finished with 7-52 from 15 overs. For the losers Neil Andrews made 58 and Neil Robinson 37.

Denholme were under the cosh at home to Oakworth as they tumbled to 61 all out, with Graham Rankin taking 6-11.

The Cure Hill side lost three wickets reaching their target.

The Haworth bowlers were on top down at Sandylands. Jamie Rowell 5-29 and Gary Binns 3-10 restricted Skipton CI to just 57. The Bronte side didn't have things their own way despite winning by eight wickets - it took them 39 overs to reach their target. Home skipper Shaun Williamson putting in a terrific spell of 14 overs 12 maidens and taking 1-8.

The two leaders in the second division were victorious. Sutton travelled to Chatburn and rattled up 201 in their innings, with Paul Williams leading the way with 65. The Ribblesdale side were brushed aside for 92.

Ingrow were at Cononley and dismissed the home side for 159, with M Williams 45 and Steve Filkin 37 being the top scorers. Andy Parker then made a brilliant 96 to take the Keighley side to the points by five wickets.

Foulridge travelled to Airedale and restricted them to 155, with Tom Stephenson taking 4-35. The Noyna side knocked off the runs for the loss of seven wickets, Alan Hayes taking 5-35.

Glusburn's recent recruit, Kevin Hird, quickly made his mark as he scored 50 of his side's 150-9 at Carleton, Jonathan Brewin taking 6-55.

However, Simon Hagerty, who took 8-15 in 19 overs to help the Ramper Park side back to the hut for 96, upstaged him.

Ingrow St John's were in uncharitable mood up at Morton. The Street Lane side made 170 in their knock, with Phil Walker top scoring on 43. Visitors Gargrave were dismissed for a paltry 33, with Anthony Haigh taking 5-10 and Chris Walker 4-6. Visiting skipper Chris Flood took 6-68 in the Saints innings.

Jimmy Nelson's went down by seven wickets over at Pendle Forest.

The third division's match of the day went the way of visitors Barrowford at Shires Lane, but it was a close run thing.

Embsay staggered to 68-6 before Simon Holt took the bowling by the scruff of the neck. He made 64no, which helped his side to 153-7 in their overs.

The Bull Holme side also lost wickets to find themselves 74-5. However, skipper Nigel Hargreaves anchored the innings and weathered the storm to take the score to 135-7.

Victory, by three wickets, was achieved on the first ball of the final over, Hargreaves making 69.

Oakworth move into second spot after a solid six-wicket win at home to Ingrow St John's. The Saints made 111 in the innings, with Q Khaksar scoring 34. Veteran Lee Hollingsworth, making his seasonal debut, made 41 for the Cure Hill winners.

Martin Rishton was in fine fettle as Cowling triumphed over visitors Cullingworth by 46 runs. He scored 51no and took five wickets.

Nigel Carr rattled up 64 for Skipton CI, but to no avail as his side went down by five wickets at Haworth. Glenn Ogden scored 34 for the winners.

Thornton encountered few problems at home to Pendle Forest and cantered to a seven-wicket win.

Of the top three in the fourth division, perhaps the most impressive performance came for Keighley Tech at Pendle Forest III. They smashed 268-6 in 33 overs and then declared. Ian Copsey made a sparkling 107, D Jopson 61 and Wayne Coppack 48. The eight-man Fence side could only muster 108-6 in reply, with J Selby scoring 55no.

Bradley dismissed Foulridge for 140 up at Noyna. Stephen Kegg made 55 and David Haworth 49 as Ashley Walmsley took 6-41. Chris Simpson made 65 for the South Craven side.

Denholme dismissed home side Gargrave for just 27, but then lost five wickets reaching their target.

Glusburn walloped 281-7 off luckless Long Lee III. Openers Matt Lloyd 85 and Robert Butcher 61 put on 145 for the first wicket before T Akbar chipped in with 61no. The 10-man Keighley side managed 133-9 in reply, Kelvin Doane scoring 42 as Ian Shoesmith claimed 5-34

Ingrow were 51 runs too good for visitors Cononley, while Sutton had a good chance to open their account when they dismissed visitors Chatburn for 75. Sadly they fell three runs short of their target.