Sowerby St Peter’s are heading back to the Foster’s Halifax League top flight after an absence of just one season.
They guaranteed themselves a top-two finish with nine points from an eight-wicket home win over Northowram Hedge Top on Saturday and need another eight in their last match at home to Old Crossleyans next weekend to be champions.
Southowram banked 12 points from a hard-earned two-wicket win over Oxenhope and they need only three points at Bridgeholme in six days’ time to clinch promotion. However, they will be going all out for 12 in pursuit of the silverware.
Sowerby looked set for a quick win when they reduced Northowram to 113 for seven but Sam Gardner (57 no) and Ian Mallard (37) left them with considerably more on their plates.
However, a target of 222 proved absolutely no problem after openers Ben Watkins (75) and Ryan Brook (81 no) had scored freely.
Oxenhope were all out for 230 at Southowram, who lost eight wickets in bettering that score.
Gavin Moody took four wickets and Tom Belfield five, Tom Tetley (67 no) and Joe Ousey (59) top scoring for the visitors.
Dean Crossley made a 20-boundary 100 in reply and Steve Hawksworth’s 25 not out saw the Rams home.
Third-placed Queensbury kept Southowram on their toes by collecting 12 points at Bridgeholme.
It was far from plain sailing, however, as ‘bury slipped from 123 for two to 161 all out following Priestley’s dismissal for 79.
Number four Damian Weston was left high and dry on 32 as Saj Mahmood (seven for 76) ripped through the tail.
Keith Hudson (29) and son James (34) put on 53 for Bridgeholme’s first wicket but slow bowlers Gurdev Singh (five for 47) and Amjad Ali (four for 56) bowled Queensbury to a 20-run success.
Outlane gained what could be a crucial 12 points at Old Crossleyans in a battle of bottom three sides.
Anwat Shokat’s five for 32 sent sent the Broomfield men packing for 92 and although the home bowlers hit back, Outlane won with four wickets in hand.
Points (after 19 of 20 games): Sowerby 170, Southowram 166, Queensbury 156, Oxenhope 140, Northowram HT 117, Outlane 117, Old Crossleyans 110, Bridgeholme 110.
In the Premier Division, Jer Lane have a 15-point lead with two rounds of fixtures left after Andrew Pinfield’s unbeaten 104 helped them to a six-wicket win at Sowerby Bridge.
Lane, with the Parish Cup already in the locker, had to settle for nine points rather than 12 after Bridge’s last pair defied them in the first half of the contest.
James Taylor (36) and Dan Wheelwright (34) helped relegation-threatened Bridge to 188 for nine with Junior Williams and Raqueeb Younis taking three wickets each.
Pinfield’s masterful knock included 13 fours and six sixes and skipper Mick Hustler (21 no) helped the visitors over the winning line with 17 balls to spare.
In the frantic scramble to beat the drop, Clayton perhaps looked like a team destined for relegation after being rolled over for 100 in reply to hosts Thornton’s 209.
Ben Harris’s four for 20 helped leave Clayton 13 points adrift at the bottom.
Warley and Bradshaw did their hopes of staying up a power of good with wins at Triangle and Mytholmroyd respectively but the anxiety levels are rising for reigning champions SBCI and Sowerby Bridge.
Warley started the day next to bottom but Luke Duckitt’s six for 50 put them on the trail of a big 12 points at Grassy Bottom.
Nathan Madden made a 67-ball half-century but once he became Duckitt’s fourth victim with the total on 117, Triangle folded to 136 all out.
Warley were not about to miss such a golden opportunity. Chris Marsh (52 no) added 55 for the first wicket with Nolan Bottomley (33) and saw it through to the end, Gary Rodger taking all four wickets to fall.
Simon Collins was again the hero for Bradshaw, adding another six to his mountain of wickets this summer in a three-wicket win away to a Bradshaw side in second place before the start of play.
Slow bowlers Collins took six for 63 as ‘Royd subsided from 81 for two to 164 all out.
Collins added 26 and Shaun Charnley 33 but the game was in the balance at 128 for seven. However, Richard Moore (31 no) and Adam Buckley (12 no) held their nerve to claim maximum points for the visitors.
SBCI are next-to-bottom again after a 111-run defeat away to a Booth side who now look clear of danger.
A 101-run fifth wicket stand between Wajid Ali (86) and Rob Laycock (45) helped Booth to 241 for seven.
Chris Shannon (four for 44) then reduced the visitors to two for two and there was no way back for SBCI after that in spite of 45 from Chris Dalby, Jamie Sykes’s side being all out for 130.
Blackley share second spot with Thornton after a five-wicket win in a high-scoring game at Copley.
Skipper James Clarke (78) and Oliver Thorpe (65) helped Copley to 282 for eight and that looked likely to be enough when Blackley were 166 for five, soon after the departure of Reece Jennison for 90.
However, an unbroken stand of 119 between Freddie Fox (113 no) and Jason Baxter (45 no) saw the visitors to victory.
Points (after 20 of 22 games): Jer Lane 168, Blackley 153, Thornton 153, Mytholmroyd 149, Copley 140, Triangle 136, Booth 135, Bradshaw 127, Warley 124, Sowerby Bridge 118, SBCI 116, Clayton 103.
Low Moor beat Wibsey Park Chapel in Saturday’s top of the table match in Division Two to give them a great chance to taking the title.
Moor went into the game 10 points clear but lost their top four batsman with just 19 runs on the board.
However, captain Nick Wood made an outstanding 89 not out to guide his side to 144 for seven with only Mark Mills (21) and Martin Jenkins (17no) also making double figures.
At 62 for two Wibsey looked on track for an emphatic victory but Wood and Mark Stokes had other ideas. Three wickets apiece set up a nail-biting conclusion and Craig Green returned to wrap up the Wibsey innings for 115.
Luddenden Foot, one point behind Wibsey at the start of play, surged into second with 12 points at home to 10-man Old Town.
Mohammed Jamil stole the show in the first half, scoring 102 for Town with only 21 scoring shots, including 12 sixes.
He eventually fell to five-wicket Gareth Swain but Foot were left needing 225 to win.
Chris Roy departed in the first over and Jacob Hyde for 25 but skipper Karl Whipp (95 no) and Gareth Hall (83 no) made short work of knocking off the runs with 19 overs to spare.
Stones beat visitors Shelf by four wickets thanks to two outstanding individual performances.
Michael Taylor made 131 not out in their 282 for four, hitting 13 fours and six sixes, and Joseph Akroyd bagged eight for 71 as the 10-man visitors replied with 201, Lee Crowther making 61.
Mahboob’s 87 was in vain for Greetland, who lost eight wickets at Augustinians, Imran Waheed (83 no) and Khan (60 no) saw the Laund Hill men to a target of 222.
Denholme Clough romped to a 10-wicket win over visitors Stainland, who were dismissed for 120.
Points (after 20 or 22 games): Low Moor 200, Luddenden Foot 189, Wibsey PC 181, Shelf 148, Stones 142, Stainland 129, Greetland 108, Old Town 95, Denholme Clough 85, Augustinians 76.