Bradford League: Morley proving to be top flight’s surprise package

Arsham Malik, of Gomersa,l goes on the attack before rain stopped play at Methley.
Arsham Malik, of Gomersa,l goes on the attack before rain stopped play at Methley.
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THE WEEKEND rain certainly proved no pain for Morley, who are proving a real top-flight surprise package.

The Scatcherd Lane outfit continued their fine start to the ECB Bradford Premier League campaign following promotion after securing a three-wicket win over New Farnley, whose poor start to the league season continued.

Matt Baxter’s side secured their third win in five matches after chasing down New Farnley’s 156-9 with four balls to spare, with overseas player Kashir Naveed having a day to savour.

The left-arm spinner took a miserly 4-23 in the contest, reduced to 25 overs a side, with Nick Walker top-scoring for lowly Farnley.

Naveed then struck 37 in the run chase for Morley.

Elsewhere, champions Pudsey St Lawrence also showed their class to beat the weather in a quick-fire seven-wicket win over Hanging Heaton, in a real statement of intent from James Smith’s side.

In the process, the Tewits slumped to their second straight league loss, which had ramifications for Morley, now up to second spot.

St Lawrence eased to their fifth successive victory and maintained their 100 per cent record in the bargain and the Tofts Road outfit are now 18 points clear at the summit.

Heaton were in a real hole at 83-9 and eventually were back in the pavilion for just 106 after being dismissed inside 21 overs in the 25-overs-a-side contest.

Leg spinner Tom Hudson (3-18) took three wickets in five balls during a deadly late burst and only the efforts of last man Dan Busfield (16) gave the Tewits’ score a semblance of respectability.

Despite losing Mark Robertshaw early, St Lawrence eased to victory with Barrie Frankland (51no) and Adam Waite (31) seeing them over the line with four overs to go.

Farsley and Cleckheaton were left frustrated by the weather, which forced the early abandonment with 14 overs left, with the Moorenders stranded at 71-5.

Yorkshire’s James Wainman took 3-29 for the Red Laners.

Earlier, Farsley made a decent 166-7 in the 34-over contest, with captain Dan Hodgson (44) and Ryan Cooper (37) sharing in a fourth-wicket stand worth 65.

A brisk 32 from just 13 balls from Chris Henry put meat on the Farsley knock, with Curtis Free taking 3-54 for Cleck.

The clash between last season’s Priestley Cup finalists Bradford and Bingley and Lightcliffe was abandoned early in the Lightcliffe innings as they replied to Bradford & Bingley’s 154-6.

After a delayed start, the 30-over contest was hit by further rain stoppages, with the first coming just nine overs into the game with B&B on 47-0.

When play resumed, Lightcliffe hit back with Rob Burton taking three wickets in five balls to reduce them to 52-3, with Burton’s victims including the big-hitting Noman Ali.

Opener Jack Edgar (68no) and Martin Walker (32) then led a revival as Bradford & Bingley posted a total of 154-6, Burton finishing with 3-23.

Lightcliffe were 11-1 off 5.2 overs when play was abandoned.

No play was possible in the matches between East Bierley and Woodlands, and Pudsey Congs and Scholes.