WITH seven matches remaining, Bingley Congs have put themselves in a very strong position to win Division One of the Craven League.

They defeated nearest rivals Oakworth, who they meet again in the Wynn Cup final at Skipton CI on Sunday (1pm start), by two wickets in a tense encounter and now lead them by 32 points.

Visitors Oakworth were sent in and had four players in the twenties in making 146, but lost their last three wickets at that score as Matty Roberts took 3-29, Neil Copping 2-19 and Johandre Barnard 2-27.

Oakworth’s total looked more than enough, however, when Congs were 42-6, but partnerships of 69 and 32 helped them over the line.

The outstanding Roberts scored 68, adding 69 for the seventh wicket with Chris Dibb (39), who had seen wickets fall all around him up to that point, and 32 for the eighth with Charlie Raistrick (14).

Another close game involved Cowling at home to Haworth Road Meths, who made 160 after contributions from Ian Robson (22), Mohammed Sajjad (26) and Tom Kaznowski (29).

Cowling only fell nine runs short of victory in their reply, with last pair Danyal Mahmood (20) and Junaid Hussain (20no) giving Meths the jitters, despite Sajjad taking 4-30.

Third-placed Hepworth & Idle did well to dismiss visitors Barrowford for 143 as they had been 135-5, with Harry Pinkney (2-40) and the in-form Jonathan Robinson (3-25) among the wickets.

The Westfield Laners replied with 144-6, with Ryan Welsh top-scoring with 45, backed up by Muzaffar Hussain (21) and Simon Raistrick (22no).

Hasnat Bukhari, not for the first time this season, made a big impact for Wilsden, this time at home to Ingrow.

His 79-ball knock brought him 107 not out, including 12 fours and six sixes, and he was the mainstay of their 279-8, which also included 58 by Chris Mitchell, 20 by Tanveer Hussain, 26 by Pete Longley and 23 not out by skipper Chris Longley.

Sam (5-74) and Ben Mitchell (2-24) then got to work with the ball as Ingrow were dismissed for 187.

In Division Two, Eldwick & Gilstead continued their promotion push with a five-wicket home victory over Bradford & Bingley III, who were dismissed for 108 by a combination of Matthew Sharp (3-31), Arnie Raistrick (3-17) and Jordan Bayliss (2-19).

Oliver Hall (28no) then guided the twin villages home after Kieren Temprell had made 29 and Bayliss 19.

Skipton CI became the latest victims of a resurgent Bingley Congs II at Sandylands, being dismissed for 85 by the triple threat of Safraz Mahmood (3-35), Ali Asghar (4-7) and Towhid Ali (2-3).

The latter then made 35 with the bat but Congs still needed an unbroken stand of 39 between Mahmood (29no) and Chris Hemsley (5no) to win by four wickets after 15 overs.

Runs were also hard to come by in Division Three at Gargrave II, where Wilsden II could only make 98-9 in their 40 overs, with dogged batting by Nigel Butterfield (12) and James D’arcy Brain (20) and breezier efforts of 28 by Mudassar Riaz and Luke Stableford (12).

The hosts were then skittled for 36 in 18.4 overs by Stableford (5-14) and Riaz (3-2).

Hepworth & Idle II continued their push for Division Two with a six-wicket win at Haworth II, who were dismissed for 152 by Muhammad Abdullah (4-27), Owen Price (2-23) and Dave Dunne (2-63).

The second-placed Westfield Laners won by six wickets in the 33rd over after being given a grand start of 67 by Malcolm Kershaw (26) and Mark Davies (38).

Yousaf Iqbal then scored 21 and the Bradford club were seen home by James Bentley (41no) and Dunne (24no) in an unbroken partnership of 67.

Bingley Congs III remain top of Division Four after a convincing home victory over Hepworth & Idle III, who were dismissed for 71, despite in-form skipper Kara Price making 10 and keeper Dave Roberts 22.

Andy Greenwood (4-16), skipper Simon Webster (2-18) and Rayan Mahmood (3-16) got among the wickets, and Congs lost only one in passing their target, with Shahid Mahmood (29no) and Jamie Teale (34no) putting on 61 unbroken.