PUDSEY St Lawrence's third defeat in a row has opened up the JCT 600 Bradford League First Division title race.

Two weeks ago St Lawrence enjoyed a 25 point lead. Now, following their two-run defeat at New Farnley, they are only four points clear of second-placed Woodlands, who beat bottom club Saltaire by 92 runs and only 28 points separates them from fourth-placed Cleckheaton.

The defeat at New Farnley was the second time in successive weeks that St Lawrence have been on the wrong end of a tight finish, having lost by one wicket at Woodlands seven days earlier.

New Farnley posted 245-8 thanks to an aggressive innings from Nick Walker. They were struggling on 108-5, of which opener Matthew Good made 43, before Walker got to work. He struck seven sixes and nine fours in his innings of 105, one over from off spinner Chris Marsden costing 30 runs.

Teenage paceman Josh Wilson was St Lawrence's most successful bowler with 4-36.

Opener Mark Robertshaw (76) and skipper James Smith (39) kept St Lawrence on track and they needed six off the last over bowled by Mark Lawson,but the New Farnley skipper conceded only three runs and also took his fourth wicket to give his side their narrow victory.

Wicketkeeper Greg Finn, promoted to No 3, was Woodlands' top scorer at Saltaire with 43 in their total of 205 while opener Sam Frankland made 41. Left-arm spinner Chris B|rice took 4-39 as the home side were bowled out for 113.

Champions Cleckheaton beat Lightcliffe by six wickets after bowling out the visitors for 160 with overseas leg-spinner Tanzeel Altaf taking 6-43 and fellow spinner Andrew Deegan (3-38)

Skipper Alex Stead was Lightcliffe's top scorer with 52. Former Lightcliffe batsman Andrew Gorrod led Cleckheaton to their target with 65. Lightcliffe dropped into the bottom two as a result of this defeat.

There was a feast of runs at Pudsey Congs – all 620 of them – as the home side gained a 14-run win over struggling Farsley.

Opener Nick Lindley (89) shared a second-wicket stand of 147 with Joe Greaves (42) while Callum Geldart (66) and Andrew Bairstow (60) put on 107 for the fifth wicket in Congs' total of 317-7.

Farsley's strong reply was led by skipper Mark Harrison (73), Greg Pickles (54), Chris Henry (49no) and Dan Hodgson (46) as off spinner Kez Ahmed took 5-82 and, although they lost, maximum batting points lifted them out of the relegation places.

Undercliffe improved their chance of avoiding relegation with a tense two wicket home win over Bradford & Bingley with two balls to spare. The visitors were restricted to 178 with spinner Amir Hussain taking 5-54, including a hat-trick. Patrick Dixon – one of the hat-trick victims – was top scorer with 46 while Scott Etherington made 43 and David Clow (35).

Opener Farakh Hussain (37) got Undercliffe off to a good start before Zeeshan Qasim (24no) guided them home in an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 36 as spinner Numan Ali took 4-22.