Foster’s Halifax League leaders Jer Lane made it 10 wins out of 10 in the Premier Division on Saturday but had to work hard for a seven-point return at home to neighbours Clayton.
Next-to-bottom Clayton dominated the first half of the contest, piling up 260 for three with Chris Ramsden leading the way against his former club.
Opener Ramsden hit 133, including 15 fours and six sixes, against an attack lacking Nabil Khan. He and opening partner Hanif put on a chanceless 130 and Clayton doubled that score and left their hosts without a bowling point.
Such a lofty total holds no fears for Lane nowadays and run machine Raqeeb Younas added another 95 runs to his tally, he and Jonny Lister (66) adding 131 for the third wicket.
Skipper Mick Hustler kept up the good work with an unbeaten 34 and Lane clinched a four-wicket win with just four deliveries to spare.
Sam Wilson took a wicket with the first ball of the last over with the scores level but West Indian Junior Williams hit the next delivery for six to settle matters.
Second-placed Thornton narrowed the gap slightly to 11 points after a two-wicket win at Copley, who started the day in fourth.
Nikki Hutchinson (101) and Ross Soames (106 no) put on 184 for the second wicket to help Thornton to a seven wicket win with more than seven overs to spare.
Copley’s top order had earlier batted solidly to reach 229 for five, skipper James Clarke showing the way with 69.
There were plenty of runs in the other Premier games, showers earlier in the day seemingly doing little to freshen up wickets for the bowlers.
The highest score predictably came at Triangle, where the hosts recovered from 103 for five to registered a comprehensive victory over Blackley.
A 126-run stand between skipper Kurtis Whippey (70) and Colclough (45) got the home side back on track.
Jack Gledhill then hit 43 not out to lift the total to 208 for eight and he followed up with five for 46 as Blackley were dismissed for 194, ex-Triangle player Reece Jennison top scoring with 50.
Adie Gawthrope had a great game to help a Mytholmroyd side lacking five players beat visitors Warley by 77 runs in a game reduced to 41 overs per side.
Former Sowerby player Gawthrope made 41 in a third-wicket partnership of 102 with James Cowens (69) which helped ‘Royd to 271 for nine.
Gawthrope followed up with seven for 42 as Warley were dismissed for 194, taking the final wicket with two balls to spare.
Nolan Bottomley and Michael Midwood made 46 apiece to take Warley to 101 for one before Gawthrope set to work.
Booth made light of chasing down a target of 213, beating visitors Bradshaw by nine wickets.
Wayne Cotton top scored with 62 for the visitors but Patrick Thomas hit an unbeaten 123 in reply, putting on 145 for the first wicket with Chris Shannon (70).
Sowerby Bridge are the latest team to add to champions SBCI’s woes, winning their Walton Street meeting by 21 runs.
Top order men Tim Helliwell (53), Paul Gledhill (33) and Nick Whitehill (69) seized the initiative for the hosts, who finished on 241 for seven.
Tom Conway led the SBCI reply with 61 but the visitors slid from 137 for three to 220 all out with Sam Mellor and Jake Dixon taking three wicket each.
Sowerby St Peters won by 58 runs at Southowram in the battle of Division One’s top two.
However, the Rams still hold a six point lead over their rivals, both having come down from the Premier last season.
Second-wicket pair Ben Watkins (62) and Dan Crosland (75) gave Sowerby the upper hand, Scott Moody taking four for 50 as the visitors posted 225 for eight.
Moody’s 33 was the top score in reply, Craig Punda (five for 67) and Martin Schofield (four for 91) bowling through to limit Southowram to 167 for nine, their last pair denying Sowerby an extra three points.
Experienced left-armer Andrew Gardner took four for 42 off 20 overs to help Northowram HT win by 49 runs at Outlane.
The home side were bowled out for 122 in reply to Northowram’s 171. Hasnain Wajid (50 no) was the game’s top scorer and Neil Crosland certainly didn’t deserve to be on the losing side after plaguing the Rams with seven for 26.
Allah Ditta was Bridgeholme’s match-winner at Oxenhope after the home side had looked likely winners at 155 for five in response to the Eastwood side’s 197 for eight.
Ditta took four wickets in 10 balls to finish with figures of six for 59 as Oxenhope were all out for 175.
Queensbury maintained their challenge at the top with 12 points from a five-wicket win away to Old Crossleyans.
Crocs, who had been showing improved form, moved to 96 for two with Mark Jowett making 33 and Anjum Hussain 40. The dismissal of Hussain sparked a collapse to 142 in the final over with Girdev Singh bowling throughout and taking seven for 48.
Queensbury reached their target in 30 overs with Amjad Ali making 37 not out and Scott Osborne hinting at a return to his destructive best with 32.
The closest match of the day among the Halifax League’s first teams was probably at West Vale where Greetland scrambled a one-wicket win over Wibsey Park Chapel.
At 113 for four Wibsey looked set to post a decent total but their last six wickets fell for eight runs with skipper Mushtaq Mahboob (four for 28) and Dale Smith (three for 32) doing the damage.
It was then the turn of the Greetland batsmen to struggle and at 94 for nine their chance of reaching 122 looked slim. However, number three batsman Munir was still there and he guided his side home with a superb 62 not out.
Wibsey’s demise was good news for Low Moor, who stretched 12 points clear thanks to a comfortable five-wicket win over Augustinians at Laund Hill.
Mark Stokes (four for 46), Richard Speight (46), P.Helliwell (43) and Carl Harrison (42) were the main men for the visitors while S.Khan (73) led the home effort.
Tom Hosker (46 no) and experienced Richard Pinder (27) helped Luddenden Foot from 103 for six to victory at 185 for seven away to Stones.