METHLEY blew the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League Premier Division relegation battle wide open with a thrilling two-run win over Cleckheaton on a day when the three teams immediately above them all lost.

Lightcliffe went down by 49 runs against Hanging Heaton, Wrenthorpe were bowled out for just 32 as they lost by 224 runs against Townville and Undercliffe suffered a seven-wicket loss in a 25-overs-per-side contest against Farsley.

It means there is just 18 points between ninth-placed Undercliffe and bottom team Methley with four games to play.

Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite (5-46) and former Undercliffe spinner Amir Hussain (4-53) took the bowling honours, but just as important to Methley’s nail-biting win was the 37 made by their young wicketkeeper Josh Neal.

He arrived at the crease with his side floundering at 98-7 and made a crucial contribution which helped his side to post a total of 166.

Former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq (4-35) and Josh Thurwell (3-35) were the best of the bowlers for Cleckheaton, who also found run scoring difficult when they batted.

Opener Nick Lindley made a battling 42 before Nick Walker (49) threatened to win the game for Cleckheaton before becoming a victim of Waite with six runs needed.

Methley secured 17 points for their win and are now just four behind Lightcliffe who were unable to repeat the surprise win they recorded over Hanging Heaton earlier in the season.

They hoped their decision to put Hanging Beaton in would pay dividends, but opener Nick Connolly had other ideas as he compiled an unbeaten 86 which helped his side to make 166-9 after being put into bat.

Overseas player Suleman Khan (3-51) posed the main threat for Lightcliffe so it was no surprise when fellow left-arm spinner Callum Bethel (5-29) proved to be Hanging Heaton’s most-successful bowler.

David Stiff (3-29) was also among the wickets as Lightcliffe, despite 37 from Rob Burton and Alex Stead’s (35), were bowled out for 117.

Wrenthorpe had an afternoon to forget against Townville. Richie Bresnan, younger brother of Yorkshire all-rounder Tim, was the chief destroyer with 6-17, while his new-ball partner Conor Harvey bowled eight over without conceding a run a he picked up three wickets.

Last man Ollie Kilburn (11) and eight extras spared Wrenthorpe from even greater embarrassment as five of their batsmen registered ducks in a dismal total of 32.

Half-centuries from overseas player Imran Rafique (74) and Harry Warwick (55) were backed up by an unbeaten 35 from Harvey as Townville – who are now fourth in the table – made 256-7 when they batted first.

Only overseas player Khalid Usman (48no) looked at ease as Undercliffe’s batsmen struggled after being put into bat. Pat Kruger (3-35) was the best Farsley bowler while opener Chris Beech (37) and Ryan Cooper (30no) ensured their side reached their target with 11 balls to spare.

The results mean Undercliffe are 14 points above second-from-bottom Lightcliffe while Wrenthorpe are just 10 clear of the relegation places.

Things are looking clear cut at the top where Woodlands took another big step towards a league and Priestley Cup double with a comfortable 71-run win over defending champions Pudsey St Lawrence.

New Zealander Brad Schmulian, the Premier Divisions top runscorer, added a further 54 to his tally as he and skipper Cieran Garner helped their side to recover from the early loss of openers Sam Frankland and Tim Jackson to post a score of 179-9. Leg spinner Archie Scott (4-57) was again the most-successful Saints bowler.

Only opener Charlie Best (30) looked like posing a threat as spinner Chris Brice picked up 5-30 as St Lawrence wilted to 108 all out.

Woodlands have a 29-point lead and a game in hand on Bradford & Bingley who suffered a 42-run defeat at the hands of New Farnley.

Off spinner Dave McCallum bounced back from his Priestley Cup final mauling by the Woodlands batsmen to taken 5-59 as Bradford & Bingley were restricted to 183-9 in reply to New Farnley’s 225-9.

Opener Callam Goldthorp (39) and Patrick Dixon (45) were the top scorers for Bradford & Bingley while New Farnley built their total around the efforts of skipper Lee Goddard (50), Steve Bullen (48) and Alex Lilley (33). Paceman Jack Hartley (3-53) and spinner Bradley Reeve (3-47) were the pick of the Bradford & Bingley bowlers.