All-rounder Rob McFarlane steered Hanging Heaton to an unexpected, but much deserved victory, over the Bradford League Division One leaders Bradford and Bingley.
The win has transformed Heaton’s position from hovering on the brink of the relegation zone to one of mid-table security.
McFarlane opened the batting and was unlucky not to make a half century when he was trapped lbw for 47. His efforts were supported by Mark Lawson (20) before James Stansfield put on 87 for the fourth wicket with Nick Bresnan.
Stransfield’s 50 came in 70 deliveries while Bresnan was even quicker as his 50 came in 61 balls as Heaton set a target of 247-7. Stansfield went on to post 89.
There was little to indicate the drama that would follow as the leaders, who had amassed 1304 runs in six previous league matches, capitulated under pressure from McFarlane, who hit his stride with two wickets in one over.
He continued to strike fear into the batsmen and Bingley were all out for 67. Bresnan finished with 1-13 and Mark Lawson 2-22 but the day belonged to McFarlane who finished with a remarkable 6-27 from 11 overs to give his side a 180 run victory.
The Bees surrendered the lead to Farsley who are two points ahead and Woodlands are only a point behind in third.
Woodlands stretched their run to six straight victories with a 37 run derby win over Cleckheaton at Albert Terrace.
Opener Scott Richardson gave Woodlands a great start with 74 and it set the tone as Tim Orrell struck a fine 55. They set the platform for Sarfraz Ahmed for a swashbuckling innings of 80 from a mere 36 balls including seven sixes and six fours to push Woodlands to 270-8.
Iain Wardlaw was Cleckheaton’s main threat with 3-50.
Cleckheaton lost captain John Wood went without scoring and although Mark Cummings hit 52, with good support from Marcus Walmsley and Ian Nicholson, who added 42 apiece, it was in vain as Ahmed took 3-41 with support from Chris Brice 3-75 and Pieter Swanepoel 2-42.
East Bierley suffered a surprise 19 run defeat at Manningham Mills who started the match second bottom.
Mills appeared to be in trouble at 87-8 but an innings of 103 by Imran Khalid, including a six and 16 fours, along with a last wicket stand of 60 with Tuseif Arshad (13) helped Mills to set a challenging target of 194. Bierley’s best bowler was Paul Hutchison with 3-10 from 8.2 overs.
The batsmen could not match Mills score even though captain Lee Goddard made 52 and Thomas Owens 45 as Bierley were reduced to 175-9.
Gomersal slumped back into the bottom two after losing to bottom club Baildon by 94 runs.
Ahsan Butt (77) and Simon Webb (57) led Baildon to 190-9.
Gomersal’s reply was punctuated by a 6-15 wicket haul by Craig Hitchenor and they were dismissed for 96. Shazaib Khan top scored for Gomersal with 30.
It says much that only 32 points separate top and bottom clubs in the division.
It’s a bit more open in Division Two as Spen Victoria and Hartshead Moor are 10th and 11th respectively just above the bottom two.
Spen were without a fixture but Hartshead sank to a sixth defeat at eighth placed Bankfoot.
The great shame of Saturday’s defeat is that youngster Reece Jenninson hit an impressive 131. He shared a 114 run first wicket stand with Graham Hilton (40).
Andrew Marshall claimed 3-59 but Moor’s target of 292-7 seemed to be a testing one.
In fact Bankfoot breezed to 296-4 as Greg Wainwright made 121, Michael Hutchins 48 and James Holdsworth 76, with Simon North claiming 3-64 as Moor were doomed to a six wicket defeat.