THE RELIEF for everyone connected with Morley Cricket Club will have been palpable on Saturday evening.
The Scatcherd Lane outfit ended a torrid six-match winless streak in the ECB Bradford Premier League with a much-needed 26-run success at East Bierley – although it was far from straightforward en route to their first league win since May 21.
Morley recovered from a wretched 28-6 to muster 121, thanks to key lower-order contributions from Richard Jubb (32), Luke Heinemann (28) and Nathan Bromby (26) – and their efforts reaped a bigger dividend later on.
Bierley toiled against the top-class spin of Kashif Naveed (4-15) and Dave Nebard (4-27) and were dismissed for 96 with Morley having cut the gap between themselves and Pudsey Congs and Bierley to just two points.
And, as it stands, just 11 points separate Cleckheaton, in sixth, from Morley.
Elsewhere, upwardly-mobile Farsley opened up proceedings at the top of the table, ensuring second-placed Hanging Heaton were unable to capitalise on leaders Pudsey St Lawrence’s defeat to New Farnley, as the Tewits went down by eight runs in a cracker.
The Red Laners were indebted to accomplished strokeplay from captain Arthur Price (75) and on-song Ryan Cooper, who hit a swashbuckling unbeaten 85 in their card of 233-8.
Replying, Heaton, who lost Gary Fellows at the start of the innings, were behind the eight-ball and despite a fine 73 from Ismail Dawood, they fell short at 225, with Adam Ahmed taking a super 4-14 in a pivotal spell of bowling.
The win means Farsley now trail Hanging Heaton by 14 points.
Cleckheaton (186-6) cast aside their toils to claim a relieving four-wicket win at Lightcliffe (183-3), with wicket-keeper Mally Nicholson (68no) seeing them home.
Inconsistent Congs (171) remain in trouble after a 12-run loss to Bradford and Bingley (183-8), while Elliott Richardson (4-34), Chris Brice (4-39) and Sam Frankland (44) helped Woodlands (100-4) sink Scholes (99-9).
Defeat was tough on James Stansfield (38 and 3-25), with Scholes now 35 points behind Morley.
MORE powerhouse stuff enabled runaway Championship B frontrunners Townville to make it 11 wins from 11 at the expense of Gomersal.
Opening, Townville made an imposing 261-8 declared, with Jack Hughes (81) leading the way, well supported by Conor Harvey (61) and Tim Walton (53).
Gomersal mustered 213-9 in reply, with Adam Greenwood (67) and Richard Wear (50) in the runs.
Wrenthorpe (225-6) are 52 points back in second place on the league ladder after their 67-run win over Brighouse (158-9), with Darryl Hendricks (86) impressing.
Ashton Blakey (65) and Eddie Walmsley (4-27) helped third-placed Methley (244-6) easily account for basement boys Hartshead Moor (109).
Championship leaders Batley took the derby bragging rights in Championship A as they continue to lead the way at the top of the table.
Kashif Tubb (64) top-scored in their opening card of 177 against Birstall, who were then back in the showers for 81 – Tariq Hussain bagging 4-32.
Yeadon (111) are second following a 20-run triumph in a low-scoring affair with Hunslet Nelson, with Damon Gormley taking 5-19.
In the wickets for Hunslet were Chris Anderson (5-24) and Max Chappel (4-29).
High-flying Harrogate and York both triumphed in the ECB Yorkshire Premier North, with Yorkshire Academy also triumphing.