Top-up pair take Lane to top

One of those days ... for Sowerby Bridge's Jake Dixon during his side's one-run defeat by Thornton
One of those days ... for Sowerby Bridge's Jake Dixon during his side's one-run defeat by Thornton

Jer Lane are the new leaders of the Foster’s Halifax League after a 226-run second wicket partnership between Raqeeb Younis and Jordan Laban brought Blackley down to earth with a bump.

Ex-Windhill player Younis hit 121, including six sixes, and powerful teenager Laban crashed 115, including five maximums, as Lane sped to 327 for seven.

Bilal Sheraz (five for 129) took late wickets to salvage two bowling points for the visitors, who had beaten Booth and Sowerby Bridge in their first two games.

Skipper Tom Baxter made 77 not out and Reece Jennison 34 in reply but left arm spinner Junior Williams (four for 20) helped dismiss Blackley for 145.

The unpredictable nature of the early games was also evident at Booth where Copley, the other side with maximum points after two matches, also came unstuck in emphatic style.

Last year’s runners-up Booth had lost their first two games but an opening stand of 95 between Chris Shannon (35) and Patrick Thomas (46) put them on the trail of a big score.

It all threatened to go wrong when they slipped to 107 for five but skipper Rob Laycock (88 no) and ex-Brighouse man John Potkins (50) sent the total climbing to 257 for six.

Nigel Horsfall then took seven for 39 to dismiss Copley for 133 after they had been 70 for two.

Copley slipped to fourth with Bradshaw also moving above them following that team’s two-wicket win at Clayton.

Mohammed Hanif made 82 for the hosts but Simon Collins was again the key man with the ball for the visitors, taking six for 36 to leave Bradshaw needing 168 for victory.

It was far from plain sailing But Bradshaw got there with Wayne Cotton’s 41 the top contribution,

The most dramatic finish in the Premier Division came at Sowerby Bridge where Thornton emerged one-run winners.

Josh Hutchinson’s 60 and a late 40 from Joe Blencowe helped Thornton to 205 for nine.

Bridge kept up with the scoring rate but lost wickets at regular intervals and looked finished at 162 for eight.

Number 10 Steve Shannon then smashed 32 in no time, leaving Bridge to get two runs off the last two overs with two wickets left.

However, Sam Mellor hit Ben Harris’s low full toss to Nik Hutchinson at mid off and last man Jake Dixon left his first ball and was then bowled by the next.

Champions SBCI were made to toil in the first half of their contest at home to neighbours Warley, who scored 210 for one thanks to an unbroken stand of 186 between Nolan Bottomley (103 no) and Michael Midwood (671 no).

Having failed to pick up a bowling bonus point, SBCI picked up three with the bat and four for a win by reaching their target with three wickets and eight balls to spare, young opener George Hampshire showing the way with 86.

Chris White had an excellent game for Mytholmroyd with nine for 98 and 40 runs batting at number eight at home to triangle.

However, he still came out on the losing side as half-centuries from Tony Sykes and Gary Rodger and Jack Gledhill’s four for 27 helped the visitors win a tight contest by seven runs.

Points: Jer Lane 30, Blackley 28, Bradshaw 27, Copley 26, Thornton 26, Triangle 22, Booth 21, SBCI 18, Mytholmroyd 17, Sowerby Bridge 17, Clayton 13, Warley 12.

The leaders of Division One, Northowram HT, were also toppled when Queensbury beat them by six wickets at Old Guy Road.

On a good pitch, Northowram were on the back foot from the start and the introduction of Girdiv Singh to partner the miserly Amjad Ali ensured that the visitors never developed any momentum.

Raz Saghir (33) and Hasnain Wajid (35) were the only batsmen to show any positive intent, but both perished trying to up the scoring rate, and the innings closed on a 126.

Singh finished with five for 42 and Ali with four for 54.

The experienced Andy Gardner reduced the home men to 21 for three but opener Jamie Priestley weathered the early storm and began piercing the offside with cover drives, his 50 coming out of a total of 67 for four.

He eventually found a willing ally in skipper for the day Phil Sharples and the fifth wicket pair added an unbeaten 77 to clinch maximum points, Priestley ending with 87 not out.

Ben Wells hit a superb unbeaten 172 as Southowram put Old Crossleyans’ bowlers to the sword.

Wells hit 27 fours and four sixes and figured in stands of 156 with Simon Tandy (50) and 107 with Dean Crossley (45) as the hosts rattled up 322 for three.

Gavin Moody, another of the Rams’ close-season arrivals, then took five for 41 as Crocs made 157 after being 30 for five. Jon Pearson’s 39 was their top score.

Outlane were five-wicket winners over Bridgeholme in the battle of the promoted pair.

James Hudson made 52 but otherwise it was a tale of woe for the visiting batsmen, the last seven wickets going down for 36 runs with Neil Crosland (six for 22) doing much of the damage.

The match looked in the balance when Outlane slipped to 78 for five but Ben Dickens (23 no) and Calum Westwood (25 no) saw them home without further alarms.

Oxenhope lost in a close finish for the third successive week, visitors Sowerby St Peter’s winning a high-scoring contest by 23 runs.

Ben Watkins (41), Gavin Clarke (47) and Martin Schofield (58) left the visitors well placed at 170 for three with 13 overs left but Stuart Jackson took six wickets to limit Sowerby to 250.

Craig Bartlett (77), Darren Hopkinson (38) and Joe Ousey (42) put Oxenhope firmly on course but slow bowler Watkins tipped the scales his side’s way with five for 35, aided by two smart stumpings from Allen.

Points: Southowram 33, Sowerby SP 28, Northowram HT 26, Queensbury 26, Outlane 25, Bridgeholme 16, Oxenhope 15, Old Crossleyans 7.

Low Moor and Luddenden Foot each have three maximum point successes on the board in Division Two.

Foot romped to a 10-wicket win away to their Calder Valley rivals, Gareth Swaine’s four for 26 helping dismiss Town for 68 and Chris Roy (45 no) and Richard Pinder (6 no) wrapped up victory in 13.2 overs.

Moor bowled out a 10-man Greetland side for 149 and an 80-run second wicket stand between Charles Holdsworth (48) and Michael Mills (28) set up a five-wicket win.

Ex-Greetland player Chris Betts spurred new-look Stainland to a 25-run win at Augustinians with his side’s top score of 40 in a total of 217 and then four wickets for 55.

Shelf’s Steve Priestley was another to turn in a good all-round effort. He took three for 26 and then hit 53 not out but was unable to prevent his side being bowled out for 107 at Wibsey Park Chapel and losing by 37 runs.

Mark Smirthwaite (46) and Matthew Jordan (four for 26) were the top home performers.

Stones had an eight-wicket win at Denholme Clough, Tom Whiteley’s unbeaten 45 guiding them home after Joe Ackroyd (three for 34) and Gareth Walker (five for 22) had dismissed the home side for 107.

Points: Low Moor 36, Luddenden Foot 36, Stones 29, Shelf 24, Wibsey PC 24, Stainland 23, Old Town 11, Augustinians 6, Denholme Clough 6, Greetland 5.