Batley’s promotion hopes suffer set back after second defeat

Birstall's Jimmy Russell sends down a delivery during last week's Bradford League Championship Two clash against Altofts.
Birstall's Jimmy Russell sends down a delivery during last week's Bradford League Championship Two clash against Altofts.

Batley have seen their lead at the top of Allrounder Bradford League Championship One cut to just seven points after they suffered a second straight defeat at the hands of Bankfoot last Saturday.

Bankfoot secured a three-wicket win and are now just 12 points behind the leaders, while Morley are second, seven points off Batley after picking up a maximum 20 points from a 91-run win over Scholes.

Batley were restricted to 144-9 as only Kasir Maroof (47no) made an impression with Bankfoot captain James Lee claiming 3-43.

Bankfoot were guided to victory by Arsaam Malik (47), Hamzah Iqbal (33) and Hisan Ahmad (33).

Morley posted an impressive total of 241-5 against Scholes with opener James McNichol leading the way with a fine 102, supported by Henry Rush (51) and captain Matt Baxter (32).

Opener Mohammed Rafique made 71 in reply but Scholes were bowled out for 150 with Oliver Halliday (3-8) and Rush (3-11) impressing as their second-successive relegation was confirmed.

Wakefield St Michael’s gave their hopes of avoiding relegation a huge lift as they defeated East Bierley by seven wickets to close the gap between themselves and their rivals to 10 points.

Zaeem Zulfqar (4-22) and Ollie Lightfoot (3-54) helped dismiss Bierley for 137 before Zulfar (43) and Ayaz Seedat (59) put on 99 for the first wicket to set up the Saints victory.

Ossett inflicted an eight-wicket defeat on Hartshead Moor, who were dismissed for just 64 as opening bowlers Mushy Rafique (6-22) and Dan Busfield (3-12) ripped through their batting.

Gomersal moved into sixth place after defeating Pudsey Congs by 19 runs.

Liam Thomas made an unbeaten 54 and was supported by Richard Wear (36) in Gomersal’s total of 176-5 before spinners Chris Greenwood (4-31) and Chris Rhodes (3-37) restricted Congs to 157-9.

Baildon secured a 44-run victory over Keighley and are fourth in the table going into the last two matches of the season.

They face Morley on the final day of the season in what could be a key clash.