Woodlands’ triumph seals league title

WOODLANDS secured their fifth Bradford League Division One title in seven years with an eight-wicket win at Gomersal, who are already relegated.

Gomersal were invited to bat and credit to them they offered stubborn resistance. After a flurry of wickets, Adam Greenwood redressed the balance a bit with 53 while Greg Pickles contributed 57 and Shazaib Khan 22 on their way to a total of 202 with three deliveries remaining.

Grant Soames was the pick of the Woodlands bowlers with 4-31 to show the strength and depth of the Woodlands attack which was opened by Sarfraz Ahmed (3-35).

Woodlands’ Scott Richardson (Snr) and Sam Frankland all but sewed up the match with an opening stand of 162 before Richardson was bowled by James Russell for 74.

Frankland quickly followed having made 86 but with the score on 171, there was no panic and Simon Mason (10no) and Ahmed (24no) eased Woodlands to victory at 204-2.

Woodlands had a dodgy start to the season, losing their first three matches, but have strung together 17 successive victories and are deserving of the title on that basis alone.

East Bierley moved into second place after a win over Cleckheaton at Moorend. The hosts had held the runners-up spot for long periods until surrendering it two weeks ago.

Ian Nicholson was the stand-out batsman for Cleckheaton as he top scored with 45 in a total of 130 in 36.4 overs.

Paul Hutchison was in tigerish mood as he claimed an impressive 5-43 while Luke Jarvis swept through the lower order with 3-15.

Opener Gavin Hamilton eased Bierley towards victory with a fine 75, supported by Gharib Razak with 33 and Andrew Rennision 23. Bierley reached 133-2 in 21.5 overs.

Hanging Heaton were breathing a sigh of relief having secured their place in Division One for a second season.

Heaton, who are third bottom saw second bottom Baildon slip into Division Two having lost at Pudsey Congs. So Heaton’s 57- run defeat at Undercliffe did not have consequences for them.

Undercliffe batted first and saw openers Matthew Bottomley (65) and Ammer Mirza (55) impress as they helped their side to 232-7. Rob McFarlane was the best bowler with 3-69.

McFarlane (50) and Mark Lawson (39) put on 62 for the opening stand but Yasir Abbas engineered a middle order collapse on his way to 4-40 to have Heaton teetering at 105-6.

Alan Mynett revived Heaton’s hopes with 44 but with little lower order support they were restricted to 175 in 34 overs.

In Division Two Spen Victoria turned on the style at Great Horton. Matthew Garside gave Spen some early momentum with 26 but it was captain Tosh Baker who hit out and was rewarded with a fine innings of 102 for 80 deliveries faced. It proved to be the foundation of the innings of 219.

Suleman Khan was the pick of the bowlers with 5-43 while Khalid Mehmood took 3-39.

Horton’s reply was anchored by 53 from Khan and 45 by Mehmood but Spen’s bowlers were in fine form, led by Craig Woodhead (5-41). Rob Burton took 3-70 while Robert Warriner took 2-4 in 3.1 overs to help reduce Horton to 143.

Hartshead Moor fell to a 58-run defeat at home to Keighley. Richard Robinson gave the visitors a great start opening up with 73. Simon Bailey chipped in with 48 not out as Moor reached 195-6.

The pick of the bowlers were Simon North (2-66) and Jonathan Gould (2-53).

Moor’s main batsmen had an off-day as they slumped to 77-7. Daniel Squire (32) and Johnny Cox (31) gave them some hope but it was in vain as Moor were reduced to 137.