Birstall close on promotion from Championship Two following emphatic win

Spen Victoria's Peter Jackson clips the ball away on his way to scoring 87 during last Saturday's Bradford League Championship Two clash at Altofts. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Spen Victoria's Peter Jackson clips the ball away on his way to scoring 87 during last Saturday's Bradford League Championship Two clash at Altofts. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Birstall consolidated second place in Allrounder Bradford League Championship Two with an emphatic nine-wicket win over Buttershaw St Pauls.

Opening bowlers James Russell (5-30) and Josh Haynes (5-35) skittled St Paul’s out for 79 before Eric Austin (37no) and Brad Lay (35no) steered Birstall to victory.

Birstall are 24 points behind leaders Carlton with three games remaining but crucially hold a 35 point advantage over third placed Yeadon.

Carlton moved to the brink of promotion with a four-wicket win over Northowram Fields who are fighting to avoid relegation.

They only need one point from their last three games to secure a place in Championship One because even if third-placed Yeadon gained maximum points from their remaining fixtures, they would still have less wins than Carlton.

Gareth Lee made an undefeated 121 for Yeadon in their 66-run win over bottom team Adwalton and followed up by taking 4-24 with his left-arm spin.

Spen Victoria slipped to a six-wicket defeat in a high scoring game with Altofts.

Peter Jackson (87) and Sam Gatenby (50) provided the main impetus in the Spen Victoria innings which also saw captain Bilal Ejaz chip in with 31 as they posted 254-8.

Altofts openers Azhar Sharif (71) and Sam Huitema (65) shared a stand of 143 which provided the foundation for the successful run chase which was completed by Ismail Patel (42) and Dominic Richardson (39).

Second-bottom Liversedge kept their hopes of avoiding relegation alive with a four-wicket win over Hopton Mills in a low-scoring encounter.

Sohail Hussain (3-7) was the best of the bowlers as Mills were skittled out for 66 but Liversedge lost six wickets securing victory as Umar Abbas (5-33) impressed.

Hunslet Nelson all-rounder Will Stiff made an unbeaten century but ended up on the losing side as Jer Lane overhauled his team’s score of 211-8 with just three wickets down, while Bowling Old Lane are just 11 points above the relegation positions after suffering a 21-run defeat against East Ardsley.