Wilson and Taylor the Lightcliffe heroes

Lightcliffe look firmly in the running for the runners-up spot in the Bradford League after a fine five-wicket win at East Bierley, who currently occupy second place.

Woodlands are 44 points clear but only seven points separate the next four teams after skipper Jonathan Wilson and Chris Taylor spurred fifth-placed Lightcliffe to Saturday’s win.

Treble-chasing East Bierley made 231 for five with Mark Gill’s 52 the top contribution, Chris Greenwood (two for 45 off 15) bowling nine successive maidens for the visitors.

Alex Lees (52) and Taylor figured in a 74-run opening stand but a flurry of wickets left Lightcliffe up against it at 111 for five.

However, Wilson (84 no) and Taylor (69 no) had other ideas and added 121 to carry their side to victory.

Brighouse’s hopes of a much-needed victory at Great Horton in Division Two were dashed by an all-too-familiar collapse.

Kamran Khan (four for 44) and Umar Salim (three for 52) led a decent effort with the ball as Great Horton were limited to 166.

Will Smith played his part with an excellent unbeaten 91 and Brighouse were looking good at 114 for two. However, the last seven batsman managed only two runs between them as Brighouse finished 23 runs short of their hosts.

Elland got back to winning ways in style with a nine-wicket romp at Clayton West and remain nine points behind Hoylandswaine at the top of the Huddersfield League.

Three weeks each for Ibi Younas and spinners Lorenzo Ingram and Chris Goulden dismissed the hosts for 119 and openers Niall Lockley (54 no) and skipper Paul Winrow (48) ensured the outcome was never in doubt.

Darren Robinson’s bid to lead Barkisland to victory at Armitage Bridge in the Frank Platt Championship was thwarted by rain with a tense finish in the offing.

Barkisland, who have a one point lead at the top following defeat for Thongsbridge, looked set for a comfortable victory when spinner Matthew Steers took seven for 48 to dismiss the bottom club for 127.

However, the visitors were making heavy weather of it at 101 for eight, with skipper Robinson unbeaten on 37, when the heavens opened and the sides took two points each.

Illingworth had a day to forget at Woodhouse in Division Three of the Aire/Wharfe League, missing a great opportunity to push up the league with the top four all losing.

Despite Illingworth snatching a couple of early wickets, the home side powered to an impressive 309 on their small ground with a stand of 210 for the third wicket the outstanding feature.

Skipper Luke Brooksby took seven for 87.

Little went the visitors’ way and the early loss of wickets, including a flurry of leg before decisions, did little to improve things as the reply stuttered to 132 all out in just 28 overs with Stephen Cook (27) and Jamie Moorhouse (26) the major contributors.

Northowram Fields were again no match for ultra-powerful Wrenthorpe in the top section of the Central Yorkshire League.

Jacob Waterson top scored with 34 but the Rams slid from 66 for one to 82 for seven and needed 20 from Paul Bower to help get them up to 132 with Dave Paynter taking six for 31.

Slow bowler Chris Thompson picked up the wicket of Dan Wood for 34 with the total on 105 but that was the limit of the visitors’ success as ex-Yorkshire player Gary Fellows hit 73 not out off 50 balls.

Qaiser Abbas was at it again - this time with the bat - as Todmorden won by 88 runs at Rawtenstall.

The Pakistani hit his best Lancashire League score, 112, as the Centre Vale Park side motored to 252 for eight with Andrew Sutcliffe (28) and Elliott Gilford (27) also chipping in.

Former Halifax League left-hander Simon Newbitt reached a milestone - his 5,000th Lancashire League run - while making seven at the top of the order.

Rawtenstall were set a revised target of 237 off 46 overs but they managed only 148 for eight with overseas man Abbas starving them of runs at one end, taking three for 58 off 23 overs.