Batley on verge of a return to Bradford League top flight following latest success

Cleckheaton batsman Nick Lindley hits out during last saturday's Bradford Premier League clash against Methley. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
Cleckheaton batsman Nick Lindley hits out during last saturday's Bradford Premier League clash against Methley. Picture: Paul Butterfield.

Batley are closing in on a return to the Allrounder Bradford League Premier Division following their latest success last Saturday.

Batley were made to work hard for a three-wicket win against lowly Wakefield St Michaels but it has seen them open up a 36 point lead at the top, with just four matches remaining.

The St Michael’s innings was given a sound foundation by captain Mark Atkinson (52) and fellow opener Mitch Forsyth (39) but once that partnership was broken eight wickets fell for 81 runs as they restricted to 150-8, with Mohammed Bhoola taking 5-46.

Batley overseas batsman Sami Ullah then struck an unbeaten 88 and guided his side to 151-7 despite the efforts of Junaid Delair (3-34).

Batley’s hopes were boosted as their two closest rivals both lost, with Bankfoot suffering a six-wicket defeat to Pudsey Congs and Morley going down by nine runs to Morley.

New Zealander Izaiah Lange struck a fine century in Ossett’s nail-biting win.

Lange hit four sixes and 13 fours while making 109 as they posted 234-9.

Morley looked to be heading for victory as captain Matt Baxter (98) and James McNichol (65) shared an opening stand of 171, before Ossett hit back.

Joe Finnigan (3-52) and Max Chappell (3-56) struck blows as Morley finished on 225-8.

Despite defeat, Morley climbed into second place but just 14 points now separate them from Hartshead Moor in sixth place.

Iain Wardlaw and Danny Squire were in devastating form as Hartshead Moor bowled out Gomersal for just 22 to secure an 86-run win.

The new-ball pair quickly reduced Gomersal to 9-6 and didn’t ease up as Wardlaw took 6-11 and Squire (4-8).

Hartshead had struggled for runs but a battling 45 from opener Chris Wynd helped them to 109 which proved enough for victory. Spinner Chris Rhodes (3-29) and seamer Robert Warriner (4-30) were the pick of the Gomersal bowlers.

Having been among the early promotion challengers, East Bierley have now slipped to third-bottom in the table following defeat to Baildon.

Veteran spinner Mushtaq Ahmed (4-23) helped restrict East Bierley to 142-8, as Shabir Rashid top scored with 48.

Baildon were guided to victory by Australian all-rounder Blair Oakley (58) and they are fourth, three points behind Bankfoot and four off Morley.

Bottom team Scholes were unable to cope with the bowling of Alex Antoine (5-10) and James Rogers (4-25) as they were bowled out for 68 against a Keighley side who secured a much-needed seven-wicket win.

Birstall took another step towards clinching promotion from Championship Two as they secured a six-wicket win over Bowling Old Lane in a match reduced to 28 overs per side.

Old Lane captain Farakh Hussain blasted 61 from just 28 balls as his side posted 190-6 but Birstall’s experienced batsman Eric Austin made an unbeaten 101 in reply to steer them to victory.

Austin struck 10 fours and five sixes as he shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 97 with captain Nick Kaye (40no).

Carlton need just 19 points from their last four matches to secure promotion following a 124-run win over Hopton Mills.

Daniel White made 103 in Carlton’s total of 214-9 before Mills were bowled out for 90 with Jonathan Rudge taking 5-33.

Spen Victoria earned a 38-run win over Adwalton, thanks to the all-round efforts of captain Bilal Ejaz.

He made a top score of 92 in his side’s 202-9 and was supported by George Deegan (32).

Ejaz (4-43) and Michael Flathers (3-41) then helped bowl out Adwalton for 166, despite contributions from Vinit Patel (37), Josh Bennett (34) and Will Cutt (30no).

Liversedge remain second- bottom after suffering a 21-run defeat to East Ardsley.

Louie Hurley impressed with 6-29 and was backed up by David Battye (3-32) as Liversedge were bowled out for 151 in reply to East Ardsley’s 172-9.

Captain Will Atkin, who had earlier taken 4-46, battled hard to make 46, but could not save his side from defeat.