Woodlands and Cleckheaton embroiled in title tussle

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WOODLANDS are closing in on the Bradford League Division One title after a hard fought 27 run victory over Manningham Mills.

Scott Richardson Snr dominated the Woodlands batting. The opener was the last man out, having made 99, from a miserly total of 134.

Quite remarkable considering there were five ducks in the rest of the innings and the only other batsman to reach double figures was Richard Spittlehouse, batting at number 10, who posted 10. Mills’ Imran Khalid did most the damage with a terrific haul of 7-29 in 13 overs.

Woodlands refused to panic and the triple threat of Safraz Ahmed 2-27, Pieter Swanepoel 4-34 and Chris Brice 4-30 combined in fine fashion to restrict Manningham to 107.

Victory leaves Woodlands 29 points ahead of nearest rivals Cleckheaton.

The Moorenders hold a solid 24 point lead over third placed Farsley, following a comprehensive 120 run win at Hanging Heaton.

Put into bat, Cleckheaton got their heads down and grafted for a competitive score. They were led by John Wood who opened up with a solid 30.

It set the stage for Tim Jackson who shared a matchwinning third wicket stand of 179 with Marcus Walmsley. Jackson was unbeaten on 98 as Cleckheaton laid down a target of 240-4 for Heaton to beat.

Walmsley was eventually removed for a valuable 74.

Rob McFarlane (3-26) was the pick of the bowlers.

The Hanging Heaton batsmen had very little in the tank when it came to a reply. Mark Lawson (28) and McFarlane (26) opened with much promise but things quickly fell apart as Cleckheaton’s Wood brothers made their mark. John’s handy haul of 3-40 was eclipsed by his brother Ian who finished with an econonical 3-11 from 4.4 overs.

Heaton were bowled out for 120 in 28.4 overs. They remain third bottom in Division One 44 runs ahead of Baildon who are second bottom.

East Bierley’s four wicket win over Pudsey Congs helped them to stay fourth, closing the gap between themselves and Farsley, to six points. The win also sent Congs sliding from third to fifth place.

Chris Elstub 4-43 and Kez Ahmed 4-36 combined to sow the seeds of doubt in the Congs innings. Barbar Butt made 31, Glen Roberts added 39 and Adam Patel top scored with 45 as Congs reached 187-9.

Bierley’s batsmen showed they were up to the task even after losing Gavin Hamilton for 1. Gharib Razak got things going with 25, Lee Goddard added 22 and Thomas Owens 34 as they took the game to Congs. It was left to Andrew Rennison to steer Bierley to victory with a hard earned 51 on their way to 188-6.

Gomersal’s position at the bottom of the table was cemented as they fell to a six wicket defeat at Pudsey St Lawrence, leaving them 18 points adrift of nearest rivals Baildon.

The Oxford Roaders were invited to bat and after an early departure for Andrew Gorrod (8), Shabir Rashid and Danny Lloyd tried to steady the ship with Rashid departing for 31 and Lloyd 38.

A frail middle and lower order batting line up tumbled from 100-4 to 128 all out as Gareth Clough (5-32) and Steven Watts (4-13) twisted the knife.

The home side eased to 132-4 thanks largely to Mark Robertshaw 73 not out.

In Division Two Hartshead Moor slipped to a 75 run defeat at Morley.

Kashif Naveed hit 29 for Morley, while Matthew Baxter added 41, there was a wobble in the middle order and captain David Nebard came in at no8 and added 32 to help the home side reach 140.

Jonathan Gould was the leading Moor wicket taker with 4-14 from only 8.5 overs.

For the second Saturday running Nathan Bromby claimed a vital five wicket haul, his 11 over spell yielded 5-32 with five maidens.

Naveed was the star of the show as he claimed a remarkable 5-10 from just 6.4 overs to reduce Hartshead to 65 in 25.4 overs.

Moor opener Graham Hilton (17) top scored.

Spen Victoria lost by 167 runs to leaders Lightcliffe.

Chris Taylor passed 1,000 league runs for the season as he hit 102 with support from Alex Stead (87) on the way to 227-2. Spen’s reply was distinctly lightweight as opener Matthew Garside top scored with 18 in a total of 60.