A FANTASTIC innings from Josh Hutchinson helped Thornton put a dent in Halifax League Premier Division leaders Illingworth St Mary's' title bid.

He crashed 118 runs in 107 balls, in the process reaching 1,069 runs for the season in league and cup competitions, and that after Thornton had been wobbling at 75-6. Support from the lower order came to push the score to 232-8.

The home team were in early trouble at 26-4 and, despite Luke Brooksby’s 46 not out, they were rolled over for 118 – Ross Parr the bowling star with 6-27.

Illingworth's defeat saw their lead reduced to seven points as Booth closed the gap.

Warley sit 20 points behind the leaders but are not out of the frame yet after an easy eight-wicket home win over Oxenhope. Greg Keywood (5-27) and Zeeshan Iqbal (4-15) exploited the conditions as the Keighley team fell to 84 all out.

Christopher Marsh (53 not out) ensured the maximum return although he was circumspect as 25 overs were used up.

In Division One, Clayton took full advantage of Bradshaw's loss to Blackley with a crushing maximum-point defeat of Southowram at The Avenue. That left the Bradford side level with Bradshaw with three matches to play.

The upcoming clash between the two at Bradshaw could well decide who plays top flight cricket next year but Clayton visit leaders Blackley on the last day of the season.

Their victory over the Rams came courtesy of a fine team batting performance led by Sam Wilson (62) and finished by a flashing contribution from Matthew Roe of 64 not out in a mere 22 balls.

Their total of 304-8 was far too big for the visitors and, although Dan Pummell (44) stayed around for a time, it was Wilson’s day as he added figures of 5-46 as Southowram was all out for 168.

Just 92 runs for 20 wickets signalled an interesting match at Great Horton PC where the home team’s promotion hopes took a severe knock as they lost to Mount by seven runs.

A minefield best described the pitch at Ewart Street as only two players, one from each team, reached double figures!

Seven players failed to trouble the scorers, who were recording dismissals by the minute. Mount batted first and scored 52 all out, the wickets shared by Zubair Patel (5-16) and Dominic Anderson (5-26) whilst Horton replied with 45 all out, Anees Rawar (6-24) and Ismail Mayat (4-9) bowling the Batley team to a strange victory in a match that lasted only 35.1 overs.

In Division Two, promotion favourites Luddendenfoot and Low Moor HT clash at The Trinity Oval on Saturday in what looks like the championship decider.

The Foot are two points in front of Low Moor whilst the latter has a 21-point cushion over third-placed Greetland.

Low Moor travelled to bottom-of-the-table Augustinians and while the Rastrick team performed much better than of late, the away team still won by 74 runs.

Lee Broadbent (76) led the way for the visitors as several other batsmen chipped in with runs in a 214-9 total. The Augustinians batting has been brittle at best but their effort of 140 all out was a pleasing improvement. Abdul Hafeez (36) top scored whilst Tom Jenkins’ 3-31 doubled his wicket haul for the season.

Greetland had a successful trip to Cullingworth, bowling out their opponents for 102 as Waqas Ali, now the division’s leading wicket-taker, notched 5-33. The visitors required only 17.2 overs to earn a six-wicket win.

Queensbury stuttered to 105 all out at home to Bradley & Colnebridge, with Andrew Mitchell taking 5-31. Shahraiz Khan (55no) almost single-handedly led the visitors to victory, only for Joseph Clough (6.1-3-12-7) to star for Queensbury in a nine-run win.