Saints close on league after help from rivals

Priestley Cup winners Bradford and Bingley
Priestley Cup winners Bradford and Bingley
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PUDSEY ST Lawrence are firmly in the box seat for their first Bradford League Division One title since 1991 – thanks to a little bit of help from the ‘Bottom Enders.’

Lawrence need just seven points from Saturday’s game at champions Cleckheaton – still in with a sniff of claiming a hat-trick of championships themselves, to reign supreme – with their task made easier by neighbours Pudsey Congs‘(192-9) dramatic one-wicket win over the third side in the silverware mix in Woodlands (187).

Congs, despite being in a bit of bother in reply, just edged out Woodlands, with key game contributions coming from spinner Kez Ahmed, who took a magic 7-53 and Joe Greaves, who struck a key 63.

The win had major ramifications for the Top Enders at St Lawrence, who claimed an easy win against lowly Undercliffe.

The upshot is that Lawrence are 13 points clear of second placed Woodlands and 18 clear of Cleck’ ahead of the final day.

Grateful for some help from the neighbours, St Lawrence cricket chairman Paul Hutchison said: “It means nothing if we blow up at the weekend. But if we do get the seven points we need, it will have been a good game for Congs to win..

“It’s worked out how we wouldn’t have dared to dream it could have, with us collecting twenty points and Woodlands not doing.”

Lawrence’s clash with Undercliffe went according to the script with Mark Robertshaw (116) talking his seasonal tally to a bumper 997 to help his side to an imposing 269-4.

Robertshaw put on 202 for the opening wicket with Adam Waite (96), with Undercliffe then dismissed for 166.

Hutchison said: “We set our stall out to get twenty points and not worry about Woodlands’ score and maybe need 17 in the game.

“But in our game, everything panned out pretty well and we batted first and were 200-0 before Waitesy (Adam Waite) run himself out stupidly!

“We then lost a couple of wickets, but put on a decent total and then our bowlers got early wickets and we put more balls in the right area than we have been doing, which was pleasing.

“The fielding side of things also came together as well.

“We kept aware of the other games. I was on the decking on the sidelines and Adam (Waite) got injured and I was on the pitch for twenty overs and we lost track a bit, but other people were letting us know.

“We heard Congs were 80-5, but thought we’d worry about our game and take a three-point lead into next week.”

Farsley need victory in their last game against New Farnley to have any chance of safety.

Bradford and Bingley lifted the Priestley Cup on Sunday, beating Lightcliffe in the final.