Woodlands topple Bradford League title rivals New Farnley at mid-point in season
The Bradford Premier League season is halfway through and Woodlands lead the way by 13 points after another important triumph.
Title rivals New Farnley could make only 173-9, despite 48 from Lee Goddard and 41 from Steve Bullen, and in-form opener Sam Frankland helped Woodlands to a five-wicket victory with 82, Scott Richardson chipping in with 34 not out.
Winless Batley are relegation favourites but they can take pride in their display against Townville, only losing by five runs.
Harry Warwick (65), Conor Harvey (57no) and Jonny Booth (48) contributed to Townville’s 241-5 but the home side were sweating after Abdul Wahid (49) and captain Roheil Hussain (71) put on 111 for Batley’s first wicket, and they ended up just short on 236-6 as Kasir Maroof (32) and Adal Islam (44) carried on the openers’ good work.
Meanwhile, brows were being mopped and prayers whispered as some fancied horses were in big trouble in the second round of the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League’s Priestley Cup.
For example, New Farnley were 22-5 at Farsley, trying to chase down the hosts’ 75 all out, while Woodlands had slumped to 28-3 having been set 110 to defeat visitors Methley.
One asset that most of the best teams have, however, is that they bat a long way down – and that came to their rescue.
After Mathew Lumb (4-41) had sets New Farnley hearts a fluttering, Grant Soames (35no) and Dan Hodgson (18no) added 54 unbroken to give the favourites a five-wicket victory.
Earlier all five New Farnley bowlers had struck, with spinner Gurman Randhawa the stand-out with 3-0, as the Rams were dismissed in 27.5 overs.
Methley had been put in by Brad Schmulian (Cieran Garner was self-isolating), and the stand-in Woodlands captain must have been wondering if he had done the right thing when the visitors were 70-1, with Gharib Nawaz on 43 and former Woodlands player Jordan Laban (23).
He needn’t have worried, however, as spinners Kez Ahmed (5-19) and Chris Brice (4-16) triggered a remarkable collapse as the last nine wickets went for 39 runs, including three with the score on 70.
Woodlands had their own problems when batting, however, with loose shots reducing them to 28-3 before Liam Collins (42no) and Scott Richardson (21) added 72 to take them to the brink of a six-wicket victory.
Pudsey St Lawrence also caused a few raised eyebrows when they fell from 45-1 to 47-4 against Undercliffe before being revived in positive fashion by Archie Scott (52), Barrie Frankland (74) and, particularly, James Smith, whose 31 not out came off just 11 balls. A total of 220-6 was too much for Undercliffe, who were dismissed for 136, despite 75 from Oliver Hardaker.
Finish of the day was at Morley, where Lachlan Doidge hit the penultimate ball for six to give Bradford & Bingley a one-wicket victory.
Airedale & Wharfedale League leaders Saltaire had to show a different side of their character, recovering from 16-5 to graft out a three-wicket win in a low-scoring match against Olicanian, bowled out for 102 in trying to chase down the hosts’ modest 104-7.
Elsewhere, Addingham (345-7) enjoyed a 176-run win over Horsforth (169), Beckwithshaw (257-6) won by four wickets at home to Collingham & Linton (254-4), Bilton were bowled out for 80 by Burley-in-Wharfedale (143), North Leeds were bowled out for 212 as hosts Otley (214-8) won by two wickets, and Rawdon (204-4) celebrated a six-wicket success over visiting Ilkley (201-7).