THE battle for the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League Championship One title has been turned on his head after leaders Batley suffered their third straight defeat to drop from first to third.

They went down by 65 runs against Keighley and that enabled Morley, seven-wicket winners over Pudsey Congs to take top spot.

Bankfoot also leap-frogged Batley after their crushing 150-run win over an East Bierley side still not mathematically safe from the threat of a second successive relegation.

Just nine points separate the top three ahead of next Saturday’s final round of matches where Morley and Bankfoot have away games against Baildon and Wakefield St Michael’s respectively, while Batley will try to arrest their slump at home to fifth-placed Gomersal.

Keighley opener Richard Gould became the second highest runscorer in Bradford League history after scoring 84 to take his tally to 16,261. Only the former Keighley player Richard Robinson on 17,471 is ahead of him.

Gould helped Keighley to a total of 205-5 which Batley never threatened to challenge as Paul Quinlan (6-38) and Alex Antoine (3-53) dismissed them for 140. Mohammad Tahir (40no) was the only batsman to challenge the dominance of the bowlers.

Pudsey Congs were left to rue their decision to bat first at Scatcherd Lane as they were dismissed for 96. Oliver Halliday (3-12) was the most-successful bowler. Skipper Matt Baxter (35) top scored as Morley knocked off the runs.

Bankfoot skipper James Lee produced another outstanding individual performance as he inspired his side to victory over East Bierley.

He set the tone for his team’s 11th win by making a fine unbeaten 109 which was the cornerstone of Bankfoot’s 252-4. Lee hit four sixes and seven fours in his century and was well supported by Hamzah Iqbal (72).

East Bierley had no answer to the bowling of their former left-arm spinner Andrew Stothart (5-15) and Lee (3-34) as they were bowled out for 102.

It means that Morley lead the way with 244 points, followed by Bankfoot (240) and Batley (235). Up into fourth place are Ossett who have won three and tied one of their last four games to surge up the table.

A second-wicket stand of 131 between Jack McGahan (79) and Harvey Anderson (58) set Ossett on course for a total of 239-7 in their 125-run win over relegated Scholes.

Spinner Jude Roberts (3-87) and Haris Khan (3-70) were the best bowlers for Scholes who were bowled out for 114. Only Josh Fell (34) got going as spinner Matt Varley (4-19) impressed.

Gomersal are another side making a late move up the table. They defeated Baildon by six wickets to climb to fifth.

Callum Flynn led Gomersal to victory with a superb knock of 102, He struck two sixes and 18 fours during a second-wicket stand of 149 with Phil Carter (46) which enabled his side to pass Baildon’s score of 159 with just four wickets down.

Baildon’s batsmen struggled against the bowling of Joe Duffy (4-46) and Chris Rhodes (3-48) when they batted first.

Wakefield St Michael’s will have to win their final game against title-chasing Bankfoot if they are to have any chance of avoiding an immediate return to Championship Two after their 94-run defeat by Hartshead Moor.

Iain Wardlaw went to the top of the Championship One bowling averages after taking 6-22 as St Michael’s were dismissed for just 78.

Hartshead Moor had struggled early in their innings against Imran Mahboob (6-26), but determined knocks from Martin Ellis (37) and James Hardcastle (36) swelled their side’s score to 172-9.