HANGING Heaton and Cleckheaton are stepping up their challenge in the Division One title race following their latest victories on a day when bottom club Saltaire gained a surprise win at East Bierley.

Third-placed Hanging Heaton are 28 points behind leaders Pudsey St Lawrence after demonstrating their championship credentials with an impressive run chase at home to New Farnley.

The visitors made 274-5 through the efforts of Lee Goddard (68 no), Scott Richardson (46), Rishi Limbechaya (40) and Matthew Good (38).

Openers Gary Fellows (67) and Nick Connolly (66) gave Hanging Heaton a great start with a first wicket stand of 134 and Ian Philliskirk (39) and Joe Fraser (34) maintained the momentum as they reached their target with 11 balls to spare.

Cleckheaton – three points behind Hanging Heaton – enjoyed a comfortable win at Pudsey Congs after recovering from a bad start. The defending champions were struggling at 67-5 before James Lee (72) and overseas all-rounder Tanzeel Altaf (50) transformed the innings with a sixth-wicket stand of 118, which enabled them to reach 210. Australian James Pearson (4-50) and Joe Greaves (4-52) were Congs’ most successful bowlers.

Opener Nick Lindley carried his bat through the Congs innings for 53 not out, but only Adam Patel (31) gave substantial support as they collapsed to 115 all out, losing their last four wickets for one run. Paceman Iain Wardlaw took 4-50 and leg spinner Altaf picked up 3-37.

Just a week after ending St Lawrence’s 11-match unbeaten run, East Bierley were brought down to earth by Saltaire.

Former Saltaire batsman Danish Hussain (45) was top scorer as Bierley were bowled out for 153 with overseas player Chauhan Landev and Adil Mustafa each taking 3-28.

Asif Ayub with 47 not out and Tariq Mehboob (41no) led Saltaire to a seven-wicket victory with an unbroken stand of 85. Despite their win, Saltaire are still 25 points adrift.

Farsley dropped back into the bottom two after a two-wicket home defeat against fellow strugglers Undercliffe despite the efforts of left hander Greg Pickles. He made 119 not out, with six sixes and ten fours, in their total of 211-4. Only Yorkshire second-team.wicketkeeper batsman Dan Hodgson (37) offered significant support.

Undercliffe reached their target with 13 balls to spare thanks to Gulsheraz Ahmed (59), Liam Brearley (45no) and Zeeshan Qasim (43).

Lightcliffe moved out of the bottom two after a tense two-wicket win at Bradford & Bingley.

Overseas all-rounder Noman Ali was top scorer with 73, leading the recovery after Bingley were struggling at 72-6 against Lightcliffe’s predominately spin attack. Jacob Roach gave good support with 44 not out as slow left-arm bowler Suleman Khan took 5-38.

Openers Alex Stead (52) and Josh Wheatley (31) gave Lightcliffe a solid start with a first wicket stand of 73, but they lost six wickets for 37 runs to slump to 170-8 before an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 37 between Jonathan Whiteoak and Danny Ahmed saw them home.