WALSDEN’S Lancashire League title bid will go down to the final day of the season after their proud unbeaten record fell at home to Darwen yesterday.
The Scott Street side were hoping to make it 21 games unbeaten in the league this season and be crowned champions in a game brought forward by a day because of the Blackburn side’s involvement in the Lancashire Knockout Cup final today.
Home hopes that the visitors’ minds might have been on the clash with Greater Manchester League side Clifton at Ormskirk proved wide of the mark as Darwen won by 63 runs at Scott Street.
The visitors pulled a rabbit out of the hat in Dane Vilas as sub professional.
He had scored a match-winning century for Lancashire at Southport the previous day and followed up with 48 as the visitors powered to 256 all out.
A 93-run second wicket stand between Reece Davies (37) and Dave Bowden (38) laid solid foundations for the visitors.
Slow bowlers Umesh Karunaratne (4-61) and Jake Hooson (2-61) checked the scoring rate, bowling 28 overs between them, but an eighth-wicket stand of 58 between Scott Friend (32) and Sam Chatburn-Jones (41) put Darwen firmly on top.
Walsden lost Joe Gale, Nick Barker and Karunaratne to be 20-3 in reply and then Hooson and Josh Gale with the total in the 50s.
James Rawlinson made a defiant 59 from 89 balls but Walsden were all out for 193 and still need seven points at lowly Rawtenstall next Sunday, unless Lowerhouse unexpectedly falter at home to next-to-bottom Rishton today.
BARKISLAND can clinch the Huddersfield League’s Championship title in their penultimate fixture at Lascelles Hall next Saturday after a good day yesterday.
Darren Robinson’s side went seven points clear at the top after they romped to an eight-wicket win at home to 10-man Skelmanthorpe and chasing pair Almondbury Wesleyans and Rastrick both lost.
Sam Moyle (5-48) and Jamie Sykes (3-36) dismissed Skelmanthorpe for 93 inside 24 overs, Aussie Moyle also accounting for the other wicket with a run out.
Jake Finch (26) and Harry Finch (47) put on 66 for the first wicket as the Calderdale side wrapped up victory.
Wesleyans lost by 81 runs at home to Lascelles Hall, who piled up 338-9 with the help of 171 not out from Sheheryar Hassan, while a Rastrick side without star overseas player Asif Afridi were no match for Clayton West.
The visitors to Round Hill won by seven wickets and edged above them into third place.
Skipper Jacob Waterson promoted himself to opener and made an unbeaten 55 as his side were all out for 174 in the 48th over.
Rastrick were 1-2 after the losses of Ovais Hussain and Tom Barrett and then 61-5 before Waterson shared stands of 46 with Osama Ahmed (30) and 50 with Jack Pearson (38).
Their efforts were to no avail, however, with opener Philip Tunnicliffe making 111 not out as Clayton West knocked off the runs in 23.3 overs with usual wicketkeeper Waterson taking two of the wickets to fall.
Elland are seventh after a disappointing defeat, their 187-8 total proving insufficient at Lepton Highlanders.
The Hullen Edge men were 56-5, with Imran Khan taking all the early wickets, before Paul Winrow (59 no) and Jack Hendy (22 no) bolstered the score.
LIGHTCLIFFE struggled against the spin of James Logan (5-33) and Mark Harrison (4-3) and capitulated for 97 at Farsley in the Bradford League’s top flight.
Harrison was completing a good day’s work, having made 71 in a home total of 202-8. Skipper Ryan Cooper (45) and Dan Hodgson (32) were the main other contributors with slow bowler Suleiman Khan (4-36) the pick of the visiting attack.
Lightcliffe were without Alex Stead at the top of their order and lost both openers with the score on six.
Khan (35) and skipper Matt Baxter (14) staged a shortlived revival from 36-4 but Harrison dismissed them both in quick succession and the innings was ended in the 26th over.
Brighouse beat Birstall by nine wickets in Championship Two, overseas player Deron Greaves (77 no) and Asad Mahmood (54 no) taking the Russell Way men past their opponents’ 174.
The performance of juniors Todd Reeday and Jacob Slator were the bright points for Northowram Fields in their 121-run defeat at East Ardsley.
Reeday was called up in the absence of front line bowlers Josh Bennett, Zafar Khan and broken finger victim Jason Smith and took 3-32 at the home side made 228-9 with Dan Tiernan’s 49 the top score.
Slator, captain of the club’s cup-winning under-15s, then batted through Northowram’s innings with 46 but received precious little support as the visitors, 31-5 at one stage, were all out for 107.
David Battye, at the other end of the experience scale from the Northowram pair and the league’s record wicket-taker, took 3-12.