IT’S DOWN to the wire for Batley and Birstall who both go into the final weekend of the Central Yorkshire League season knowing that defeat will consign them to relegation from the Premier Division.
The local rivals currently occupy the two relegation spots, four points adrift of Altofts and Northowram Fields, and are hoping that results will go their way in the final action of the season on Saturday.
The pick of the weekend’s games sees Birstall entertaining Altofts in a crucial clash where defeat is a damning one for either side. Batley’s survival in the top flight depends upon them earning a victory in the home game against Carlton.
Birstall go into their decider on the back of a five-wicket loss at Townville last weekend when a lowly innings of 71 all out did little to trouble the hosts. Stewart Clifton’s 20 was the top scorer for Birstall, who reduced Townville to 0-2 with the help of Saif Ur-Rehman (3-24) before the hosts recovered to 75-5.
It was a similar story for Batley who went down by three wickets at home to Wakefield Thornes. Naweed Ghany’s 38 accounted for most of the Batley’s 58 all out but the game was far from over as Tariq Hussain (3-25) and Huzaifa Patel (2-19) reduced Thornes to 39-6.
But the visitors limped to their target and finally reached 63-7 after 29.2 overs.
Mirfield Parish Cavaliers dropped to seventh in the division with a nine-wicket loss at Methley last weekend but could climb back up the table should they win at home to Townville in their final game of the season. David Winn (59) and Bradley Drake (35) propelled Cavaliers to 165-6 only for Methley to cruise to 167-1.
Moorlands confirmed their promotion from Division 1 with a 71-run win at East Ardsley last weekend and they will secure the championship should they win at home to Scholes on Saturday.
Andrew Fortis (65) and Alan Sumner (42) put on 96 for the first wicket and laid the foundations for Moorlands’ 194-9 at East Ardsley. The hosts couldn’t match their opponents as Nadeem Hussain (3-34), Muhammed Hafeez (3-39) and Andrew Walker (2-36) ended Ardsley’s reply on 123.
Hopton Mills dispatched Wakefield St Michael’s by 42 runs on Saturday and could finish the season in third should they beat Buttershaw St Paul’s in their final outing.
Mark Ashton’s 33 was the only highlight in a disappointing 97 all out but Mills took the honours as Michael Carroll (6-30) and Richard Myers (3-17) swept through the Wakefield response, which stumbled to 55 all out.
Matthew Barnes and Mohammed Sharafat claimed five wickets apiece as Scholes celebrated a six-wicket home win over Liversedge. Barnes (5-38) and Sharafat (5-17) sent the visitors packing on 96 all out before Andrew Spencer (33) led Scholes to 100-4.
Scholes visit leaders Moorlands on Saturday while Liversedge are at home to East Leeds.
There is a desperate fight for survival at the bottom of Division 2 where no fewer than five teams could yet suffer the drop.
Rain put paid to last Sunday’s crucial meeting between Batley A and Altofts A who both remain in the scrap to stay in the division despite sharing the points from the abandoned game.
Only four points now separate Batley, at the foot of the table, from Townville A in eighth and the Mount Pleasant side go into Saturday’s trip to Buttershaw St Paul’s A in good form.
Altaf Hussain hit 73 to help Batley to a 41-run win at Gildersome last Saturday.
The visitors’ 168-9 proved too much for Gildersome, who were dispatched for 127 by Waseem Rabani (4-37), Saqib Talib (3-36) and Razeb Raja (3-28).
Mirfield Parish Cavaliers A are also in the fight to avoid Division 3 cricket next season after a heavy 10-wicket reverse against East Ardsley last week.
Christian McBride’s 21 was the highlight in Cavaliers’ 69 all out and title-chasing East Ardsley took only 34 minutes to reach 72-0.
Cavaliers face a trip to fellow strugglers Townville A on Saturday in a potentially decisive clash.
At the other end of the table, Mirfield’s hopes of achieving promotion were ended by last Saturday’s six-wicket loss to Buttershaw St Paul’s A.
Top scorer Nohman Hussain (20) was one of only two players to reach double figures in Mirfield’s lowly 81 all out and Saints eased to 82-4 in 22.4 overs.
Fifth-placed Birstall A went down by 49 runs in their home game against Townville A.
Excellent bowling from Adil Taj (4-39) limited the visitors to 172-9 and he tried in vain to rescue Birstall’s reply that struggled to 77-7.
Taj hit 26 not out in the tail to complement Sean Twohig’s 26 but the hosts fell short on 123 all out.