Leaders Batley suffer shock defeat by East Bierley as Championship One promotion rivals narrow gap

Spen Victoria's Sam Gatenby in action during last Saturday's Bradford League Championship Two clash against Altofts. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Spen Victoria's Sam Gatenby in action during last Saturday's Bradford League Championship Two clash against Altofts. Picture: Paul Butterfield

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.