Nail-biting top-of-the-table clash leaves Premier Division crown in sight for Triangle

The top-of-the-table Premier Division encounter between Thornton and Booth, with both teams equal on average points, turned out to be a real nail-biter.
Cricket - Triangle v Warley. Warley batsman Cameron Ransburg.Cricket - Triangle v Warley. Warley batsman Cameron Ransburg.
Cricket - Triangle v Warley. Warley batsman Cameron Ransburg.

The hosts were asked to bat first and it was soon in unusual trouble as the scoreboard showed 88-6, a rare event at Hill Top Road in recent years.

Nikki Hutchinson (51 not out) was required to boost the innings but he was left stranded with the score at 173 all out after reaching his half-century.

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Moazzam Ayub (5-66) was Booth’s top bowling contributor. The visitors reply was in similar mode as Rick Laycock (59) was also needed to bolster the innings as early wickets fell. Once the skipper fell to Josh Hutchinson only Patrick Thomas (31 not out) was left to search for the winning runs but the innings came to an ignominious end when the last wicket fell with a run out – Booth 165 all out.

Cricket - Triangle v Warley. Triangle bowler Zac Rushton.Cricket - Triangle v Warley. Triangle bowler Zac Rushton.
Cricket - Triangle v Warley. Triangle bowler Zac Rushton.

With an average points per match system operating Thornton now require just six points from next Saturday’s final match at home to Sowerby Bridge to be certain to clinch the truncated season’s league winner’s trophy.

The surprise result of the day came at Grassy Bottom where a very poor batting performance from third-placed hosts Triangle delivered maximum points to Warley.

The visitors batted first and it could be argued that its 197-8 was just below a par score at the very tight ground. Cameron van Rensberg (61) led the way as four other batsmen contributed scores in the twenties with Kurtis Whippey taking 4-65. Christian Silkstone (61) and Carl Fletcher (41 not out) can be excused the ‘very poor’ part of the home club’s reply but not the remaining nine as they managed just another 30 runs between them as the innings collapsed to 144 all out – the wickets shared between four Warley bowlers.

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At Moderna Way visitors Illingworth St Mary’s found Mytholmroyd’s batsmen in collective top form, including half-centuries from Rooney Razzak (76no), Jack Earle (58) and Shazad Hassan (52), as it posted a very challenging 270-5. Far too much for St Mary’s whose batting had that end-of-season look.

Cricket - Mytholmroyd v Illingworth St Mary's. Luke Brooksby bowls for Illingworth.Cricket - Mytholmroyd v Illingworth St Mary's. Luke Brooksby bowls for Illingworth.
Cricket - Mytholmroyd v Illingworth St Mary's. Luke Brooksby bowls for Illingworth.

No batsman passed 30 runs with all five Royd bowlers claiming at least one wicket in an innings that fizzled out at 149 runs – the Royd winning by the surprising margin of 121 runs.

There was a similar look and outcome at Hedge Top Lane where bottom of the table Shelf Northowram HT also enjoyed a much better afternoon as it scored 220-8, in its home encounter with local rivals Bradshaw.

Keir Litjens (59) and Razwan Saghir (47) led the way despite Si Collins taking 5-82. Had it not been for the batting effort of Collins (45) then the visitors would have struggled to reach three figures in reply.

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It was second change Oliver Hemingway who did most of the damage as his figures of 8.1-1-25-6 ensured his team would not go without a win in this truncated

Cricket - Mytholmroyd v Illingworth St Mary's. Jamie Moorhouse bowls for Illingworth.Cricket - Mytholmroyd v Illingworth St Mary's. Jamie Moorhouse bowls for Illingworth.
Cricket - Mytholmroyd v Illingworth St Mary's. Jamie Moorhouse bowls for Illingworth.

season – Bradshaw 135 all out.

Blackley was in all sorts of trouble at home to Sowerby Bridge as Tom Belfield (6-31) ripped through five of the top six to leave the score at a precarious 61-6.

Liam Senior (38) and Michael Midwood (25) staged a mini-recovery but Belfield was recalled and took the last wicket in the 38th over as the home team posted 148 all out.

However that mid-innings partnership proved to be the difference in the teams as the Bridge’s innings fell apart, bit by bit, as only Chris Metcalf (33) of its top order made any impression and with four Blackley bowlers taking wickets the innings only lasted 27 overs to close on 109 all out.

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SBCI did not enjoy the picturesque surroundings of The Memorial Ground as it struggled for 37 overs to reach 105 all out, as Copley turned the screw at its temporary Stainland home.

Even then it also needed a recovery partnership, from skipper Simon Wood (37) and Arun Kandy (26), to reach that score after it had stood at 24-5 as the duo of Ian Hartley (5-16) and Gavin Whipp (4-45) did the damage. Copley’s top three got it on to a good start and a welcome win was achieved, but only just, as it took 37.2 to reach a winning 106-5.

Congratulations go to Great Horton PC for winning the First Division title and it was its skipper, Adam Beesley, who was on top all-round form as his team beat visiting Luddendenfoot by six wickets.

The Foot, batting first, stood at 106-4 when he opted to bowl himself and five overs later the innings was over at 121 all out, Beesley’s return being 2.3-1-3-5.

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And he didn’t stop there as he then featured in a 89-run second-wicket partnership scoring, 45 runs with Chris Brown (38), to seal maximum points and the title.

Upper Hopton’s Thomas Wilson (5-34) was the sixth bowler to be called upon at Low Moor HT, which turned out to be somewhat late as by that time the hosts’ skipper Lee Broadbent (101) was nearing being the first batsman to register three digits on the ground’s new electronic scoreboard.

His contribution, out of a 169-9 total, proved to be more than Hopton could manage from its whole team as it was bowled out for 90 runs, only Wilson (35) and Charlie Gallagher (26) causing any problems for the Trinity bowlers as Matthew Haley took 5-20.

Paul Artist (54), Joseph Brown (44) & Umar Dawood (39) were needed by Clayton, in its home match against Mount, to assist in it recovering from a poor start of 6-3.

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Their combined effort helped to produce a score of 208-9, Riyaz Motala (4-38) having Mount’s best bowling return.

The Batley team’s innings in reply was a mixed bag of batsmen of getting in but not progressing, to six who failed to reach double figures.

Skipper Nazir Patel (39) top-scored but the innings faded to 137 all out as five Clayton bowlers shared the wickets.

To be certain of the winning the Second Division title Queensbury must take at least eight points from its home fixture versus Leymoor next Saturday.

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Nothing less will be sufficient as with Stones having completed its fixtures it will take the title should Queensbury not deliver.

Both teams collected maximums this weekend with Queensbury accounting for Cullingworth in a low and slow scoring home affair that produced just over 200 runs in 72 overs,

The hosts took first knock and were indebted to opener Joseph Clough (67) for maintaining his season’s form and ensuring an eventual 40 overs score of 132-7.

In reply Cullingworth’s innings never got off the ground with no batsman reaching 20 runs as Marcus Brown (6-17) struck regularly, taking the last wicket in a score of 74 all out.

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At Southowram second-placed Stones had an even easier win by 78 runs. It scored 146-9 as seven batsmen reached double figures without really totally capitalising but it proved more than enough.

Only two Southowram batsmen scored more than seven runs so it was no surprise that its innings only lasted just 22.5 overs, producing a score of 68 all out.

All credit to Augustinians as it bounced back from its mauling last week to win its first match of the season, at home against fellow strugglers Leymoor.

The hosts batted first and in total contrast to eight days ago seven batsmen made contributions, led by Abdul Rauf (43), in a challenging score of 182-8.

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That batting performance was more than equalled by Zafar Khan who was party to reducing Leymoor to 16-4 and he finished with figures of 10.3-6-16-6.

The visitors never really recovered from that start, despite a brave effort by No 8 batsman Pierce Walker (47), and the loss of his wicket signalled the closure of the innings at 149 all out.

Bradley & Colnebridge produced an excellent effort in its home match against Outlane, winning by 139 runs. The B&C innings was dominated by a fine knock from Iqrar Hussain (105 not out) whose century was reached just before 40 overs arrived.

Two other batsmen featured, Shahraiz Khan and Raja Khan, both coincidentally scoring 47 runs.

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Outlane’s innings was progressing well at 89-3 but a amazing collapse saw the remaining seven wickets fall for just five runs with Khalid Khan (5-30) and Zafar Iqbal (4-19) mopping up - 94 all out.

Premier Division: *Blackley 148, Sowerby Bridge 109: pts 12-4. SBCI 105, *Copley 106-5: pts 2-12. (at Stainland CC). *Mytholmroyd 270-5, Illingworth St Mary’s 149: pts 12-3. *Shelf Northowram HT 220-8, Bradshaw 135: pts 12-3. *Thornton 173, Booth 165: pts 12-5. Warley 197-8, Triangle 144: pts 12-4.

First Division: *Clayton 208-9, Mount 137: pts 12-3. Luddendenfoot 121, *Great Horton PC 122-4: pts 2-12. *Low Moor HT 169-9, Upper Hopton 90: pts 12-2.

Second Division: *Augustinians 182-8, Leymoor 140: pts 12-4. *Bradley & Colnebridge 233-9, Outlane 94: pts 12-2. *Queensbury 132-7, Cullingworth 74: pts 12-2. Stones 146-9, *Southowram 68: pts 12-2.

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