PUDSEY St Lawrence maintained their lead at the top of the Bradford League First Division with a six wicket home win over Lightcliffe, but they are being hotly pursued by Woodlands and defending champions Cleckheaton with just three matches to play.

St Lawrence’s lead over second-placed Woodlands – eight wicket winners over Priestley Cup finalists Bradford & Bingley – is ten points, but all eyes are on third-placed Cleckheaton who beat New Farnley by 74 runs – their seventh win in eight matches to leave them 15 points behind the leaders.

Skipper Alex Stead made an unbeaten 103, including four sixes and seven fours, against his old club to help Lightcliffe reach 188-5. St Lawrence were in trouble at 48-3, but opener Mark Robertshaw stood firm, making 88 to take his season’s aggregate to 872 and was joined in match-winning fourth-wicket stand of 121 by skipper James Smith (65 no).

Bingley were bowled out for a mere 109 after choosing to bat first at Woodlands. Overseas pace bowler Sarfraz Ahmed (3-20) made the breakthrough before left-arm spinner Chris Brice (5-23) took charge. Only wicketkeeper Charlie Best (56no) showed much resistance.

Woodlands reached their modest target in 22.1 overs for the loss of two wickets with opener Sam Frankland making 54 not out.

Cleckheaton, aiming for their third title in a row, were in trouble at 146-9 as former Yorkshire and Gloucestershire left-arm spinner Ian Fisher took 5-26. James Lee – who hit six sixes in his 59 – and Ian Wood put on 46 for the last wicket to lift their total to 192.

Pace bowler Iain Wardlaw (4-24) took the early wickets before spinners Andrew Deegan (3-31) and Tanzeel Altaf (3-32) took over as New Farnley were dismissed for 118.

Hanging Heaton’s title hopes suffered a blow with a two-wicket home defeat against Pudsey Congs. David Stiff hit six sixes in his 51 not out as Hanging Heaton totalled 209-7.

Congs made a great start with an opening stand of 96, but when Callum Geldart was out for 48, wickets began to tumble. Fortunately for Congs, fellow opener Nick Lindley guided them to victory with an unbeaten 103.

Mark Gill’s undefeated 111 helped East Bierley to gain a welcome 37-run win against next to the bottom Farsley and ease their relegation worries. Gill’s innings, supported by Gavin Hamilton (42) and skipper Danny Shuffe (31no), enabled Bierley to reach 274-5.

Farsley were soon in trouble at 29-3 and, although Greg Pickles (81) and James Wainman (59) revived their hopes with a fourth wicket stand of 100, they were bowled out for 237 with Awais Ejaz taking 5-29.

Saltaire are 19 points adrift at the bottom after losing at home to Undercliffe 110 runs. Hamid Khan (88) and Gulsheraz Ahmed (89) shared a second wicket stand of 118 in Undercliffe’s total of 281-4.The home side, handicapped by injury to overseas player Iandev Chauhan, which prevented him from batting, were never in contention and were dismissed for 171 with young spinner Amir Hussain taking 5-47. Asif Ayub was top scorer with 62.