THE BRADFORD LEAGUE have confirmed that Birstall and Methley will both join the competition from the rival Central Yorkshire League in time for the start of the 2016 season.
The duo will go straight into Division Two to take the number of clubs in the current league set-up to 27, with an announcement on the make-up and structure of the two top divisions to be made following consultation with all member clubs.
No current teams in the second division will leave to accommodate the addition of Birstall and Methley, with the league confirming that ‘at least two clubs’ will also be promoted at the end of this season.
On the addition of both clubs, described as progressive and ambitious in a league newsletter, president Keith Moss said: “It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of all members of the league, to formally welcome Methley and Birstall who will be joining us for the 2016 season.”
Rain again hit the league programme on Saturday and round one of the Priestley Cup over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Cup action on Monday saw Cleckheaton (131-1) ease past neighbours Gomersal (127) by nine wickets, with key contributions coming from the in-form Tim Jackson (62no) and Tanzeel Altaf (5-31).
Pieter Swanepoel (4-17) and Sam Frankland (55) helped Woodlands (90-2) also enjoy a breeze against Scholes (89).
New Farnley (172-9) had a comprehensive 75-run win over East Bierley (97), with Yorkshire wicketkeeper/batsman Andrew Hodd scoring 31 for the victors.
Awais Ejaz took 4-61 for Bierley, with the wickets shared around by the Farnley bowlers.
A difficult start to the season continued for Farsley (179), who lost out by 23 runs to Pudsey Congs (202-9).
Nick Lindley (54) impressed for Congs, with the efforts of Josh Holling (4-22) and Dan Hodgson (61) in vain for the Red Laners.
Winners in 2013, Hanging Heaton (198-4) were indebted to a stellar contribution from Baildon old-boy Ian Philliskirk, who followed up 6-27 with a fine unbeaten 87 to help dispatch his old club, who totalled 195.
Waqas Maqsood’s 90 was the major substantive for Baildon.
Spen Victoria (84) were undone by Richard Wear (5-29 and 42 not out) as Keighley (85-1) sailed home.
Damon Gormley (47) and Zach Wheatley (4-44) helped Yeadon (182) sink Windhill (164).
Bowling Old Lane (239-9) won their all-Division Two clash with Brighouse (189-6).
Sohail Hussain’s 72 was in vain for Brighouse.
Idle conceded their encounter against Undercliffe.
PUDSEY ST LAWRENCE are the early leaders in Division One after making light of the inclement Saturday weather, while others suffered.
Opener Adam Waite, six days after completing the London Marathon, helped Jimmy Smith’s side home with an unbeaten 69 – to follow up the fine work earlier of Tom Hudson.
The leg-spinner took a super 6-37 as New Farnley slumped from 156-4 to 190 all out, with Saints reaching 194-5 in reply.
Andrew Hodd hit 72 for Farnley.
The other completed top-flight game saw East Bierley (214-6) sink Hanging Heaton (191), with the architect of the Tewits’ demise being left-arm spinner Luke Jarvis (5-31).
Gary Fellows (63) was the pick of the Heaton batsman.
Champions Cleckheaton were well set at 145-2 before the rains came against Lightcliffe, with Tim Jackson unbeaten on 69.
Meanwhile, Woodlands were left to curse the elements after dismissing Saltaire for a mere 108, with Pieter Swanepoel (4-33) and Chris Brice (3-18) in the wickets – but the weather prevented their run chase getting underway.
In the second division, league newboys Scholes made it three wins from three as they signalled their intent for promotion with a five-wicket win over Idle.
Left-arm spinner Danny Cross took a cracking 6-41 as Idle were restricted to 126-9, with Scholes replying with 129-5.
Skipper James Stansfield (42no) see them home.
Second-placed Morley saw their game with Bankfoot abandoned after just two overs.