Batley suffer third defeat as promotion hopes falter
Batley go into the final game of the Allrounder Bradford League Championship One campaign with promotion hopes out of their own hands.
Having led the table for much of the season, Batley have lost their last three games to slip outside the top two.
Batley’s latest set back saw them go down by 65 runs against Keighley, which enabled Morley to take top spot after a seven-wicket win over Pudsey Congs.
Bankfoot also leap-frogged Batley after their crushing 150-run win over an East Bierley side still not safe from the threat of a second successive relegation.
Just nine points separate the top three ahead of Saturday’s final round of matches where Morley and Bankfoot have away games against Baildon and Wakefield St Michael’s respectively, while Batley are at home to fifth-placed Gomersal.
Keighley opener Richard Gould became the second highest run scorer in Bradford League history after scoring 84 to take his tally to 16,261. Only the former Keighley player Richard Robinson on 17,471 is ahead of him.
Gould helped Keighley to a total of 205-5 which Batley never threatened to challenge as Paul Quinlan (6-38) and Alex Antoine (3-53) dismissed them for 140, with Mohammad Tahir (40no) the only batsman to offer resistance.
Pudsey Congs were dismissed for 96 away to Morley with Oliver Halliday (3-12) the most-successful bowler before captain Matt Baxter (35) top scored in the successful run chase.
Bankfoot captain James Lee inspired his side to victory over East Bierley as he made an unbeaten 109 which helped them to 252-4 and was well supported by Hamzah Iqbal (72).
East Bierley had no answer to the bowling Andrew Stothart (5-15) and Lee (3-34) as they were bowled out for 102.
East Bierley go into the final day eight points clear of second-bottom side Wakefield St Michaels but they face a tricky game at home to Keighley.
Ossett maintained their upturn in form as they moved up to fourth place with a comprehensive victory over relegated Scholes.
A second-wicket stand of 131 between Jack McGahan (79) and Harvey Anderson (58) set Ossett on course for a total of 239-7.
Spinner Jude Roberts (3-87) and Haris Khan (3-70) were the best bowlers for Scholes who were then bowled out for 114.
Josh Fell (34) was the only Scholes batsman to shine as Matt Varley (4-19) impressed.
Gomersal are also on the up as they defeated Baildon by six wickets and climbed to fifth.
Callum Flynn hit two sixes and 18 fours on his way to a brilliant 102, while sharing a second-wicket stand of 149 with Phil Carter (46) which enabled his side to pass Baildon’s score of 159, which owed much to the bowling efforts of Joe Duffy (4-46) and Chris Rhodes (3-48).
Wakefield St Michael’s remain in trouble after a 94-run defeat by Hartshead Moor.
Hartshead struggled early in their innings against Imran Mahboob (6-26), but Martin Ellis (37) and James Hardcastle (36) helped them to 172-9.
Iain Wardlaw went to the top of the Championship One bowling averages after taking 6-22 as St Michael’s were dismissed for just 78.