Booth’s lead cut to three points

SBCI’s hope of completing a league and cup double were boosted on Saturday when they slashed Booth’s lead at the top of the Towergate Halifax League to three points.

Jamie Sykes’s side, who had beaten Low Moor in the Parish Cup final the previous Sunday, were the only team in the Premier Division to pick up 12 points this weekend.

They bowled out hosts Thornton for 146 with the help of spinner Ben Summerscales’ five for 35 and Tom Wood’s 46 enabled them to scramble a two-wicket win with Ross Parr and Joe Blencowe taking three wickets each in the hosts’ unsuccessful fightback.

Booth, meanwhile, had a frustrating day in the field at relegation-threatened Sowerby SP and picked up only seven points from a six-wicket success.

They failed to pick up a bowling bonus point as Sowerby made 179 for three, which included 68 not out from young starlet Luke Bridges.

Martin Schofield followed up his 42 for Sowerby with three early wickets but Rob Laycock (40), Ian Sharkey (27 no) and chiefly Jack Heptinstall (83 no) saw Booth to an ultimately comfortable success.

The other main focus of interest in the top flight is who will go down alongside Southowram, whose fate could be sealed at SBCI next Saturday.

The Rams managed only two points at home to Bradshaw in their latest fixture with Simon Collins taking six for 37 and hitting 74 not out for the visitors.

Southowram made 160 and then claimed three early wickets but Collins and opener Richard Moore (76 no) snuffed out their hopes.

Jer Lane won at Blackley in the battle of the sides which started the day second and third from bottom.

Blackley recovered from 69 for four to reach 207 for six, aided by late runs from Irshad (56 no) and Theo Greaves (35 no), but Lane knocked them off for the loss of five wickets with Jordan Laban (63) showing the way.

Triangle strengthened their hold on third place after powering to 309 all out along the road at Sowerby Bridge.

Dan Crosland, Carl Fletcher an Jack Gledhill all hit half-centuries and Kurtis Whippey finished unbeaten on 49 before taking four wickets in Bridge’s reply of 174.

James Clarke hit an unbeaten 107, including 13 fours and seven sixes, as Copley surged to a six-wicket win at Warley, Ian Hartley (four for 51) having helped restrict the home side to 190 for eight

POINTS (three rounds of fixtures left): Booth 162, SBCI 159, Triangle 136, Warley 124, Sowerby Bridge 122, Copley 118, Bradshaw 114, Thornton 104, Jer Lane 101, Sowerby SP 97, Blackley 94, Southowram 73.

MYTHOLMROYD will head to Oxenhope for a battle of Division One’s top two next Saturday with a 16 point lead and only two games left.

Dave Townsend’s side are now assured of promotion and they will look to clinch the silverware in style against opponents who have opened up a nine-point lead over Clayton in the battle for second place.

Mytholmroyd finished their home programme with a three-wicket win over Old Crossleyans, who collapsed from 51 for two to 112 all out in the face of fine bowling from Asem Khan (six for 42).

Tom Earle hit 64 but the rest of the ‘Royd batsmen struggled against Harry Reynolds (five for 28) and the hosts rather limped past the winning post.

Oxenhope were six-wicket winners at Low Moor with the help of Bartlett’s three wickets for two runs and 52 not out.

Greetland are certain to finish alongside Low Moor in the bottom two after their nine-man side lost by four wickets at Northowram HT in spite of the efforts of Tariq Mahmood (68) and Scott Moody (59).

Home skipper Nick Hall (77) and Gary Severn (44) exploited the gaps in the field when the Rams replied to Greetland’s 212 for seven.

There was a dramatic contest at Queensbury where third-placed Clayton suffered a potentially-damaging one-wicket defeat.

The heroes for the home side were opening bowlers Steve Elphee (eight for 64 after being delayed by traffic) and Matthew Johnson.

After an opening stand of 53, Chris Ramsden smashing six sixes in 49, wickets fell regularly to Elphee and Clayton were all out for 152

Queensbury looked dead and buried when Joel Metcalfe (four for 46) reduced them to 63 for seven in a fiery opening spell.

However, skipper Jon Bruce and ex-captain James Myers weren’t going to see a seven match unbeaten run ended easily.

With Bruce striking eight boundaries in a defiant 38 and Myers providing intelligent support, the score was lifted to 122 before both were dismissed.

Again Queensbury demonstrated the resilience that they have shown all season as Johnson (28 no) and Elphee (3 no) used the overs gained from dismissing Clayton inside their allocation to reach victory with a last wicket stand of 34.

POINTS (two rounds of fixtures left): Mytholmroyd 151, Oxenhope 135, Clayton 126, Northowram HT 117, Queensbury 116, Oldf Crossleyans 97, Greetland 69, Low Moor 63.

OUTLANE are promoted from Division Two, with the title set to follow next weekend, after a seven-wicket home win over Luddenden Foot.

Visiting skipper Karl Whipp hit 13 fours and three sixes in a knock of 94 but the other Foot batsmen struggled against Anwar Shokat (four for 18) and a total of 152 proved inadequate.

A second-wicket stand of 107 between Ben Dickens (70) and Dan Crosland (43) virtually settled matters.

Bridgeholme took advantage of Foot’s defeat to strengthen their claims for the runners-up berth.

Chris Kibble (70) and Saj Ramzan (42) helped Bridgeholme to 226 at the former Bradford Central League club and Allah Dittah (five for 35) sent Clough plunging from 42 for two to 80 all out with Ramzan’s three for one bringing matters to a hasty conclusion.

Gareth Walker (six for 23) and Ben Watkins (four for 29) dismissed Old Town for 83 and set up Stones for an eight-wicket win while David Rawnsley’s six for 24 helped account for Augustinians for 107, Shelf winning by six wickets.