CLECKHEATON produced another surprise for the second week running as Nick Walker shone with bat and ball in an 81-run success at title-chasing Pudsey St Lawrence.
Seven days after taking a match-winning 5-42 to fell leaders New Farnley, Walker smashed an unbeaten 98 with six sixes and nine fours as Cleckheaton set the Saints a target of 274-6 having been put in to bat.
Overseas player Tayyab Tahir also weighed in with a contribution of 63 while opener Nick Lindley produced a knock of 37 to help put on an opening stand of 41 with Toby Thorpe (29). The 3-40 taken by John Wood then proved crucial as Saints fell short at 193 all out in reply despite the efforts of James Smith (44), Charlie Best (33) and Mark Robertshaw (33) as eighth-placed Cleckheaton moved 50 points clear of the bottom two.
Saints have now dropped to third and seven points behind Farsley who are up to second after their six-wicket triumph at home to seventh-placed Townville. The visitors opted to bat first but spinner James Logan took a fine 6-12 as Townville were dismissed for just 126. Harry Clewett (3-19) then took the fight to Farsley but the hosts reached the winning post at 127-4 with Dan Hodgson unbeaten on 39.
Leaders New Farnley are now nine points clear after a nine-wicket thumping of sixth-placed visitors Woodlands who opted to bat first but were skittled for 123.
Paceman Andrew Brewster snared 4-25 as Woodlands crumbled to 68-9 before a last-wicket stand of 55 between Muhammad Bilal (32no) and Kez Ahmed (21) brought the visitors hope. But the division’s top dogs then eased to victory as openers Simon Lambert (37) and Steve Bullen (61no) led the way before an unbeaten 16 from David Cummings.
Champions Hanging Heaton sit fourth but only 20 points off top spot after pulling out all the stops to record a five-run win at home to bottom club East Bierley. Awaise Hussain (53), Danish Hussain (52) and Shabbir Rashid (50no) all posted half centuries as East Bierley amassed a total of 240-6 in the face of paceman Tom Chippendale (4-61).
Last year’s champions were then soon struggling at 36-3 in reply before the efforts of opener Nick Connolly (80) and James Keen (47) took their side to 151-4.East Bierley were then given fresh hope when further wickets tumbled but a 47 from James Keen and a no nonsense and unbeaten 62 from David Stiff took Heaton home at 245-6 with Stiff hitting five sixes and four fours from 44 balls.
Fifth-placed Methley are only five points behind fourth-placed Hanging Heaton after a 13-run triumph at home to fourth-bottom Lightcliffe. Opener Marcus Walmsley (50), Adam Patel (40) and Grant Soames (37) took Methley to 245-8 but Lightcliffe made a fine fist of overhauling with Alex Stead eventually run out for 73. Jonathan Wilson (46no) and Suleman Khan (33) also produced decent knocks but Lightcliffe ultimately fell just short at 232-6.
Scholes climbed out of the bottom two and four points clear of danger with a 37-run verdict at home to Bradford & Bingley who dropped below them into 11.
Scholes laid the foundations for victory by posting a target of 256-8 as opener Shoukat Ali (79) and Sam Gatenby (68) shared a second-wicket stand of 110 following the earlier efforts of Chris Dennison (42).
Aditya Waghmode also added another unbeaten 37, managing to survive Ed Brown who took 5-43 and then followed up with an impressive 103 not out in the Bees run chase.
But the 5-42 taken by Yasir Ali proved the difference as Bradford & Bingley were left short at 219-9.