PUDSEY St Lawrence needed 232 off 50 overs to defeat Townville at Tofts Road.

At first it seemed as if the run chase in the Bradford League Premier Division had been set up for opener Mark Robertshaw.

Then the baton seemed to have been transferred to fellow Saints stalwart James Smith, but in the end the honours went to Townville’s opening bowlers Ritchie Bresnan and Conor Harvey, whose accuracy and nous helped the visitors to win by seven runs in a contest that showcased much of what is good about the Bradford League.

Townville won the toss and, not surprisingly on a sunny afternoon in front of a decent crowd, opted to bat, with their top six all making contributions.

Openers Jonny Booth (21) and the splendidly named Athelbert Brathwaite (36) put on 66, and Harry Warwick (35) and Chris Grey (31), dismissed by a filthy Archie Scott full toss which he spooned to mid-on, added 70 for the third wicket.

Saints did not have Chris Marsden, with the all-rounder having injured a quad muscle on Saturday, but Josh Priestley impressed, conceding only 18 runs in his seven overs, and twirler Jude Roberts also kept a lid on the scoring with 2-44 off his 12 overs.

It looked like the hosts would be chasing more than 232 but the Townville batsmen played and missed too often for their liking, often when looking to guide the ball through the slips and gully with an open-faced bat.

And a fine piece of fielding by Josh Dracup, running out Harry Clewett when he only had one stump to aim at, was also influential.

The crowd were nonplussed in the Saints reply when rapturous applause from outside the changing rooms greeted elegant left-hander Robertshaw getting off the mark with a nick onto his pads for two behind square leg.

All became apparent, however, when it was revealed that those runs had taken Robertshaw to 12,000 in league matches for PSL – no mean feat.

Townville had been 84-2 at drinks after 25 overs but the home side were only 68-2 at an identical stage after the dismissals of skipper Charlie Best and Priestley – to a golden duck, cleaned up by a peach of a Bresnan delivery.

Robertshaw, who nearly always makes batting look easy, and the willowy 6ft 4in Scott, who took a while to find his feet, started to rotate the strike, with Robertshaw reaching his half-century with a straight six and a beautiful square cut.

He then launched another maximum with a back-foot six over extra cover, and after the dismissal of Scott, who over-reached pushing forward and was bowled for 24, Robertshaw was joined by Harry Cullingford.

With 20 overs left, 136 were needed and with 14 left 108 were wanted, but Robertshaw mistimed his shot when coming down the track to Harvey and was caught at mid-on by Jack Hughes for an 84 that included seven fours and two sixes.

Smith then kept up the asking rate in tandem with Cullingford, with Smith remarkably planting Bresnan over midwicket for six when down on one knee, and Cullingford, who ended up making 51, taking Harvey for three fours in his last over – through the covers, straight and through mid-wicket.

With five overs left, PSL needed 53 but a clinical over by Bresnan, in which he only conceded two, gave Townville the edge.

Smith tried his best, but could not quite time enough shots, and Barrie Frankland proved an able partner, but Saints fell seven runs short in the end, with Charlie Parker being bowled last ball when a single would have garnered the home side another bonus point.