Leaders Batley suffer shock defeat by East Bierley as Championship One promotion rivals narrow gap
The allrounder Bradford League Championship promotion race took a dramatic twist after Batley suffered a surprise 186-run defeat to East Bierley last Saturday.
Bierley overseas player Ompal Boken blazed a magnificent 125 not out from just 85 balls which included nine sixes and 11 fours.
Gulsheraz Ahmed (41) played a supporting role as Bierley racked up 248-8, with Mohammed Bhoola taking 3-38 for Batley but they were dismissed for just 62 in reply as Umar Farooq (5-35) and Rizwan Ali (5-20) ripped through their batting line up.
Defeat saw Batley’s lead over second placed Morley cut to 23 points with three games to play, with Bankfoot a further two points back.
Reggie Thomas was Morley’s match winner in a low-scoring encounter with in-form Hartshead Moor. He made 32 not out and rescued his side from 28-6 as they struggled to overhaul their visitors’ score of 92.
Iain Wardlaw threatened an unlikely win for Hartshead as he claimed 3-20 after earlier top scoring with 28 not out in his side’s innings.
Bankfoot dealt a big blow to Baildon’s hopes of forcing their way into the promotion positions as they recorded a 118 run win to maintain their own hopes of reaching the top flight.
There was a dramatic finish at Ossett where the home side lost their last five wickets for just two runs to tie with second-bottom Wakefield St Michael’s who only made 74 batting first.
Imran Mahboob (38no) top scored for St Michael’s as they struggled against the bowling of Dan Busfield (5-23) and Mushy Rafique (3-25).
Ossett looked to be cruising to victory until opener Oliver Newton (34) was the sixth man out. His dismissal triggered the collapse as Mahboob completed a fine individual display by taking 4-14.
Scholes saw their relegation to Championship Two confirmed as they suffered a 30-run defeat to Gomersal.
Jonathan Boynton made an undefeated 88 while Liam Thomas chipped in with 33 as Gomersal posted 178-6, with young spinner Jade Roberts taking 3-50 for Scholes.
Spinner Chris Rhodes claimed 5-26 as Scholes were dismissed for 138 despite opener Muhammad Rafiq giving them hope with 35.