Bradford League: Familiar look about pacesetters

Duncan Snell. PIC: Steve Riding
Duncan Snell. PIC: Steve Riding
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THE TOP of Division One is starting to take on a somewhat familiar look.

The sides who finished in the first three places last season find themselves residing there again after eight games of the current campaign, although in a slightly different order.

Leading the way are Woodlands, with Pieter Swanepoel’s side three points clear of champions Cleckheaton after a 142-run win over Bradford and Bingley.

A brilliant 5-9 from Safraz Ahmed broke the back of B&B, dismissed for a derisory 47 in reply after Woodlands opened with 189-9.

Their other contribution of note arrived from Duncan Snell (56), pictured.

Cleck overseas man Tanzeel Altaf (61 and 4-43) further endeared himself to the Moorenders with a fine personal contribution in their 103-run win over Yeadon.

It was Michael Nicholson (74) who top-scored in Cleck’s 203, Elliott Herd taking 6-71 for Yeadon.

But Altaf took the honours with the ball alongside John Wood (3-14) with Yeadon all out for 100, despite sterling stuff from Oliver Halliday (47) and Jake Wray (46).

Runners-up last term, Pudsey St Lawrence (216-3) are well placed in third place, 14 points behind Woodlands, after a seven-wicket victory over New Farnley (215-9), who have dropped to third from bottom.

In-form Mark Robertshaw (77no) steered home Saints, for whom Richie Lamb and Steve Watts took three wickets apiece. Nick Walker’s half-century was in vain for Farnley.

Morley (98) succumbed to Kez Ahmed (5-20) and Luke Jarvis (3-20) in a 45-run loss to East Bierley, with defeat tough on Dave Nebard (5-34) and Matt Dowse (4-27).

Gary Fellows hit a fine 66 to enable Hanging Heaton (192-4) to see off Farsley, despite the efforts of Andrew Duckworth (69no) and Joe Sayers (69).

England captain Joe Root, left, seen with Ben Stokes who returns to Test action this week (Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire).

Joe Root is facing up to the task of curbing Ben Stokes’s enthusiasm ahead of Test return