JORDAN Thompson gave an influential all-round performance as Pudsey St Lawrence recovered from their trial-by-spin defeat at Farsley.

The 22-year-old Yorkshire star hit 82 off 76 balls to help the Saints to 207-5, having been a dodgy 29-3 at home to New Farnley, and then took a brace of wickets at the beginning and end of the innings to finish with 4-23 as their visitors and fellow title contenders were restricted to 193-9.

Left-handed bat Thompson and Harry Cullingford, who scored 44, mounted a rescue operation after the early dismissals of Mark Robertshaw, trying to pull a ball that kept low, Charlie Best and Archie Scott, who were both bowled by pearlers after playing forward defensives.

Thompson and Cullingford added 103 for the fourth wicket at an increasing rate, despite two brief interruptions for rain, after New Farnley won the toss and opted to bowl.

Thompson, who didn’t play against Farsley, hit seven fours and five sixes, while Cullingford found the boundary seven times in a game that was restricted to 38 overs per side as it started 70 minutes late.

James Smith joined in the fireworks at the end with a brisk 39 not out off 26 deliveries that included two fours and four sixes, with 21 runs coming off the last over, which was significant as the winning margin was only 14 runs.

Alex Lilley and Max Law had caused the early stutter of wickets with some telling deliveries, but Saints found things a little easier against spin and the returning opening duo, managing to lose – temporarily or otherwise - five balls, with one clattering onto a house roof beyond the hedge.

Adam Waite, not allowed to forget that he was returning to his former club, and Dan Hodgson also fell early in the reply to edges, both off Thompson, but Lee Goddard, who hit Richie Lamb for two fours in his first over, found a capable ally in Steve Bullen as they added 54 for the third wicket to make it 74-3.

Bullen them scampered down the wicket for a single that wasn’t on and was run out for 18.

Goddard went on to make 73 off 74 balls, including nine fours and a six, and Pudsey St Lawrence could never rest easy while he was at the crease despite Alex Baldwin and Billy Whitford being dismissed at the other end.

That was why the hosts celebrated so much when Goddard was bowled by Thompson to make it 125-6 – almost as much as when Waite was dismissed - but Law (15) and Lilley (35 off 25 balls) kept the visitors in the hunt and they needed 24 off the last three overs.

However, Thompson, who was restricted by his county to six overs, and Lamb added to the good earlier work of off-spinner Steve Watts to help the home side to victory.

Smith took a fine one-handed diving catch over his shoulder to get rid of Lilley, and the game was up when Lamb bowled Sam Barraclough with two overs remaining.

Lamb, whose first spell was generally too full or too wide – “I was stiff from Saturday” - but whose second spell was on the mark, said: “Jordan’s bowling made a big difference, getting two early wickets and then coming back and getting Lee Goddard out, which changed the game a lot.

“But we were still worried big time as Alex Lilley was batting really nicely. He reverse swept Spike (Chris Marsden) twice and it was still game on when he was in but he chipped one into the ring, and that helped.”

Lamb added: “The spinners have been bowling well all season, and it helps having two off-spinners (Marsden and Watts) that are different, and Archie Scott has come in and done well too.

“He has good control for a leg-spinner. He didn’t take any wickets here but has been getting loads previously.

“We were in a bit of trouble at 29-3 but Jordan batted sensibly and it was nice to see Harry, who was in a bit of trouble early on, build an innings and accelerate - batting beyond his years really - and get some confidence. It was then a perfect time for James to come in.

“There was a massive momentum shift with Jordan and Harry’s century partnership and after that we accelerated quite well, and we took that momentum into the second innings, which was really important and we got a couple of early wickets, but there are obviously times when the opposition play well and you have to dig in.

“I am glad that I came back at the end and was able to contribute but we need to learn from Saturday and the way that we played Farsley’s two spinners (James Logan and Josh Poysden), although they bowled well when it hadn’t rained and then the rain came and it was quite difficult to grip the ball and keep your feet.

“But we fought really well to get them seven down and we will just try and keep winning, go under the radar and hope that we are there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”

Second-placed St Lawrence’s gap to leaders Woodlands has now grown by a point to 21, while New Farnley have dropped a spot to sixth as Farsley have risen to fourth.