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Bradford League: Relegation is tough on Nelson captain Stiff

Ollie Halliday, of Morley, who his 67 in the victory over relegated Hunslet Nelson. PIC: Steve Riding
Ollie Halliday, of Morley, who his 67 in the victory over relegated Hunslet Nelson. PIC: Steve Riding
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UNLUCKY Hunslet Nelson’s relegation back to Championship Two was confirmed following a final-day loss to third-placed Morley.

Several sides went into the final round of Championship One action with a chance of going down, but it was Nelson who will drop into the third tier of the Bradford League.

Henry Rush, of Morley, is caught by wicketkeeper Andy McIntosh, of Hunslet Nelson, off the bowling of Michael Lambert. PIC: Steve Riding

Henry Rush, of Morley, is caught by wicketkeeper Andy McIntosh, of Hunslet Nelson, off the bowling of Michael Lambert. PIC: Steve Riding

Hunslet’s 39-run defeat saw them trail nearest rivals Ossett by four points, with Hartshead Moor and Gomersal also securing their safety.

Nelson’s defeat was tough on captain Will Stiff, who took 4-56 to help dismiss Morley for 201 before making an unbeaten 37 in his side’s response of 162.

Stiff’s opposite number, Oliver Halliday, had a profitable day, top-scoring with 67 for Morley before taking a stingy 3-9, well supported by Matthew Dowse (4-49).

Ossett bowler Joe Finnigan took a tremendous 7-43 in his side’s game with Batley, but it was still in a losing cause.

Finnigan’s feats helped restrict Batley, whose main men were Muhammad Tahir (42) and Mohammad Shahnawaz (37), to a modest 131.

But it was a total that Ossett could not chase as they fell short by three runs. Top scorers were James Van der Merwe (39) and Jon Sadler (31), with Musa Ahmed taking 3-13 for the winners.

Meanwhile, Hartshead signed off their first season back at this level with a six-wicket win over neighbours Gomersal.

Ex-Yorkshire paceman Iain Wardlaw took 5-47 as Gomersal were restricted to 164-9 and contributions from Joe Bowman (58), Craig Field (44) and Mohammad Khan(38no) helped Moor over the line.

Already relegated Yeadon ended a tough season on a positive note following a five-wicket triumph over Pudsey Congs.

Ryan Heptinstall saw them home with an unbeaten 64 after Congs opened with 151.

Jonathan Donnelly (3-39) was Congs’ best with the ball, and James Massheder took 3-28 for Yeadon.

Meanwhile at the summit, the remaining issue was the title destination with Undercliffe edging out fellow promoted side Wrenthorpe following a compelling late day of action.

Wrens took 19 points from their seven-wicket win over Baildon, which meant that Undercliffe required a full 20 points against Bankfoot – which they duly managed.