Woodlands branch out towards crown

hanging heaton v wrenthorpe hanging heaton david stiff hits wrenthorpes luke patel for six
hanging heaton v wrenthorpe hanging heaton david stiff hits wrenthorpes luke patel for six

WOODLANDS are closing in on a sixth Bradford League Division One title in eight seasons after extending their lead at the top to 38 points.

Woodlands picked up a maximum 20 points from their trip to Hanging Heaton last Saturday and were given a helping hand by local rivals Cleckheaton, who defeated second placed Pudsey St Lawrence.

East Bierley took full advantage of the Saints defeat as they overcame Bradford and Bingley and move into second spot, with the top two meeting in Sunday’s mouthwatering Priestley Cup semi-final.

Woodlands openers Scott Richardson (50) and Sam Frankland (35) shared an 86-run stand before David Stiff (5-55) hit back for Hanging Heaton.

Sarfraz Ahmed boosted the Woodlands innings as he smashed seven sixes in a sensational 23-ball innings of 51 not out.

Supporters among the large crowd at Bennett Lane were left in awe as one of Ahmed’s mammoth sixes went over the neighbouring Fox & Hounds pub.

Ahmed’s late innings enabled Woodlands to make 229.

Mark Lawson top scored with 57 in reply with support from Imran Dawood (30) but Heaton were bowled out for 183 as Woodlands captain Pieter Swanepoel claimed 3-44.

Pudsey St Lawrence surrendered second place to East Bierley after suffering a 90-run defeat against Cleckheaton.

Richard Whitehurst (45), Ammar Mahmood (32) and James Lee (30) chipped in with useful runs as Cleckheaton posted 177 before Lee claimed 3-29 as St Lawrence were dismissed for 87.

East Bierley moved two points ahead of St Lawrence after beating Bradford and Bingley by five wickets.

Left-arm spinner Luke Jarvis impressed with 5-34 as Bingley were bowled out for 129 and Bierley eased to their target with Gavin Hamilton (53) and his new opening partner Kez Ahmed (38) sharing a 94-run partnership.

Gomersal are up to fourth place in Division Two following two wins last weekend.

They raced to a six-wicket win over lowly Bowling Old Lane last Saturday and then overcame Idle 24 hours later.

Opening bowlers Josh Fell took (5-19) and James Russell (4-29) as Old Lane were skittled out for 69 and Gomersal took just 13,4 overs to knock off the runs with Greg Pickles finishing 35 not out. All four wickets to fall went to Zubair Najeeb (4-15).

Gomersal backed it up with a 63-run win over Idle. Greg Pickles made an unbeaten 92 and captain Adam Greenwood continued his good form with 73 as Gomersal made 223-4 before restricting Idle to 160-9.

Fell followed up his impressive bowling display from Saturday by taking 4-40, while Greenwood picked up 3-20,

Hartshead Moor lost ground in the promotion race, suffering two defeats over the double weekend.

Teenage opening bowler George Saville claimed 4-40 against promotion rivals Baildon but was unable to prevent the visitors making 229-8 as Gharib Razak (86) and Jonny Reynolds (35no) guided them to 229-8.

Only Craig Field (31) of the Hartshead batsmen looked at ease as Mushtaq Ahmed (4-17), Alex Hewitt (3-15) and Sohail Raz (3-34) helped bowl them out for 105.

Moor then slipped to a 52-run defeat against Great Horton on Sunday.

Saville was again in fine form as he claimed 4-28 and with Danny Squire (4-32) supporting, they dismissed Great Horton for 148, with Zahid Khaliq (46) top scoring.

Overseas paceman Muhammed Akbar took 5-37 and Sadaqat Zaman (3-35) in reply as Moor were bowled out for 96, despite a top score of 30 from Saville.

Spen Victoria overcame bottom side Brighouse by 68 runs on Saturday.

Tosh Baker (69), Dan Shuffe (56), Matt Garside (37) and Ben Platt (32) steered Spen to 220-6 before Brighouse were dismissed for 152 as Platt (3-24) and Joel Pollard (3-39) shone.

Woodlands Seconds progressed to the semi-finals of the Priestley Shield last Sunday thanks to a 189-run victory over Lightcliffe on Sunday.

Phil Walker (80no) and Adam Wood (70) top scored as Woodlands made 264-5 before Lightcliffe were dismissed for 75 with Rahat Shah claiming 3-10 from seven overs.