Jer Lane continue to show the way in the Foster’s Halifax League and Greg Soames, captain of their latest victims Thornton, believes they have a chance of staying there.
“They look the team to beat,” said Soames, after superb performances from Raqeeb Younas and Jonny Lister helped Lane beat Thornton by a comprehensive 98-run margin on a damp, cold Saturday.
Ex-Windhill player Younas has been one of the main driving forces behind Lane winning their opening four league games and he kept up the good work at Thornton.
He produced some textbook batting to top score with 71 in Lane’s 222 for nine and followed up with six for 46, bowling a mixture of medium pace and off-spin to send Thornton capitulating to 124 all out.
It was no one-man show, however, Lister making 68 and picking up the other four wickets as Thornton were guilty of playing some poor shots.
Blackley continue to be two points behind the pacesetters, getting back to winning ways after their defeat at Jer Lane the previous week with an impressive seven-wicket success over champions SBCI.
Bilal Sheraz and Paul Dowle ripped through the visitors’ top order and SBCI were grateful to Matty Hoyle’s 84, batting at number eight, to salvage two batting points at 171 all out.
That total wasn’t enough to win the game, however, as home openers Ian Hall (64) and Reece Jennison (50) set about the visitors’ bowling with relish before falling to spinner Ben Summerscales.
It was left to young skipper Tom Baxter to see Blackley home with an unbeaten 29.
Copley are third after an easy eight-wicket home win over Sowerby Bridge.
Richard Turner and Ian Hartley took four inexpensive wickets apiece for the home side and soon had Bridge on the rack at 32 for five.
Former skipper Paul Smith made 31 and Steve Shannon 27 but a total of 117 was never likely to stretch the home side, even when they lost Nick Gomersall and James Clarke while putting six runs on the board.
Toby Thorpe (56 no) and Mark Baldwin (51 no) completed the job with the minimum of fuss for Copley.
Kurtis Whippey showcased his match-winning talents for Triangle, who added to Booth’s early-season problems with a four-wicket home win.
Paceman Whippey took six for 46 and Roger Smith bagged three for 16 as Booth made 163 with only three men in double figures - Patrick Thomas (71), Andrew Truscott (47) and Rob Laycock (11).
It was game on when Triangle slipped to 21 for five with Ollie Collinge taking three wickets and Richard Laycock two, only for Whippey to come in and smash 95 not out with 14 fours and two sixes.
The experienced Smith again provided his back-up, making 23 not out in an unbroken stand of 91 which won the game.
Luke Duckitt and two of the Keywoods, dad Rob and son Greg, were to the fore as Warley beat visitors Bradshaw by 53 runs.
Duckitt made 78 in Warley’s modest 156 and took a couple of wickets to finish off Bradshaw for 96 after Rob (five for 29) and Greg (three for 18) had done much of the damage in the second half.
Opener Richard Moore (36) and Nick Jowett (21) were the only visiting batsmen to give the Warley attack anything to think about.
Several matches in the league suffered delayed starts or rain stoppages and only 28 overs was possible at Mytholmroyd before the game was abandoned at the tea interval.
Damian Selby took four for 36 for Clayton, Steve Senior (35), Adie Gawthorpe (33) and Chris Overend (31) helping ‘Royd to 177 for eight before play was ended.
Points: Jer Lane 42, Blackley 40, Copley 38, Triangle 34, Bradshaw 30, Thornton 29, Booth 24, Warley 24, Mytholmroyd 20, SBCI 20, Sowerby Bridge 18, Clayton 16.
Steve Hawksworth and Ashley Johnson were the heroes as Southowram survived a major scare at home to Queensbury before maintaining their excellent start in Division One.
The Rams finished 29 points adrift at the bottom of the Premier last season but have rebuilt since and are looking good for a quick return to the top flight at this early stage.
A 96-run opening stand between Bradley Osbourne (43) and Jamie Priestley (48) plus 36 from number three Tom Watson paved the way for Queensbury’s 184 for eight off 44 overs.
Southowram were left needing a revised target of 173 but that looked a long way off when Gurdiv Singh took three wicket and fellow spinner Amjad Ali the other to leave the hosts 18 for four.
Johnson (45 no) steadied the ship but at 79 for six it still looked a tall order.
However, ex-Greetland player Hawksworth slammed an unbeaten 70, including four sixes, to clinch a four-wicket win for the Rams.
Sowerby St Peters, the other relegated side, are only one point behind after bowling visitors Outlane out for 86 in reply to their 155.
Raz Saghir’s 80 and four for 57 were in vain for Northowram, who were beaten by three wickets at Bridgeholme.
Northowram totalled 198 and that looked likely to be enough when the Eastwood side slumped to 115 for six but Fowler’s 51 took Bridgeholme to the brink of victory.
Old Crossleyans prop up the table after visitors Oxenhope overhauled their 200 for six total with two wickets in hand.
Points: Southowram 41, Sowerby SP 40, Northowram HT 31, Queensbury 30, Bridgeholme 28, Outlane 28, Oxenhope 23, Old Crossleyans 12.
Stainland took full advantage when visitors Greetland turned up with eight men, piling up 358 for six in 43 overs in Division two.
Gary Nicholson, part of the club’s ex-Badger Hill contingent, hit 120 at the top of the order, putting on 126 for the first wicket with Dave Robinson (51).
That laid the foundations for Ryan Severn to come in at number six and slam an unbeaten 103.
Mohamnmed Mushtaq made 25 in an opening stand of 30 for Greetland, who folded to 65 all out.
Luddenden Foot finished third last season and they have made a bright start in their bid to go at least one place better.
Gareth Swaine’s four for 33 helped them bowl out Augustinians for 113, Waheed showing most defiance with 37.
A short rain break left Foot needing 108 and Chris Roy’s 49 left them cruising at 59 for none before wickets started to tumble.
They were grateful to Gareth Hall’s hard-hit 38 not out to see them to a four-wicket win.
Stones captain Rob Worthington (59) and Kevin O’Rourke (39) hit 80 off seven overs but their efforts were in vain as the Ripponden side were restricted to 183 for eight in reply to Wibsey Park Chapel’s 203 for six, which included half-centuries from Chris Brown and Adam Beesley.
Opener Andy Croasdell’s excellent 154 gave Low Moor the upper hand at home to Shelf. He helped his side to 273 for seven and Shelf had to settle for maximum batting points by replying with 213 for eight, Andy Dimbleby making 81.