Bradford Cricket League Division Two witnessed a change in leadership as Hopton Mills claimed the top spot following a resounding 96-run victory over Crossflatts, who remain rooted at the bottom of the table.

Contributions from multiple batsmen propelled Hopton Mills to a formidable total of 297-8. Chris Swift led the charge with a well-crafted 61, while Gary Senior (37), Will Cutt (35), Connor Heywood (35), and Jabari Mills (31) provided valuable support. Despite the impressive bowling efforts of Azhar Mahmood (6-51) and Asif Yousaf (3-56), Crossflatts could not prevent Hopton Mills from amassing a daunting score.

Reuben Shuttleworth (3-34) and Jabari Mills (3-34) shone with the ball for Hopton Mills, dismantling the Crossflatts batting lineup. Crossflatts’ Joe Hicks managed to score 43 runs, with Josh Brooksbank adding 35, but their efforts were in vain as the team was dismissed for 201.

Meanwhile, Bowling Old Lane slipped to second place after a nail-biting encounter with fourth-placed Lightcliffe, losing by a mere seven runs. Alex Stead emerged as Lightcliffe’s star performer with remarkable figures of 4-29. Restricting Bowling Old Lane to 181 all out, Stead’s bowling prowess was instrumental in his team’s victory. Hisan Ahmed top-scored with 42 for Lightcliffe, while Ahsan Alishan claimed 4-54 for Bowling Old Lane.

In another upset, third-placed Hartshead Moor faltered, collapsing for a paltry 112 runs, resulting in a 69-run defeat at the hands of Heckmondwike & Carlinghow. Craig Field fought a lone battle, scoring 51 runs, as Kamran Khan (4-30) and Muhammad Shahnawaz (4-22) spearheaded Heckmondwike & Carlinghow’s successful defence of their score of 181. Wajid Hussain contributed 35 runs, but it wasn’t enough to save Hartshead Moor. Leo Monteit (4-48) and Lewis Lomax (4-58) claimed the bowling accolades.

An enthralling contest unfolded at Keighley, where the home team amassed an imposing 324-4. The foundation of their 58-run victory was laid by openers Mohammed Shahnawaz (75) and Scott Etherington (65), who forged a solid opening partnership of 142 runs. Johandre Barnard (79 not out) and skipper Simon Bailey (59 not out) then sealed the win with an unbeaten partnership of 132 runs for the fifth wicket. Liversedge put up a valiant fight through the efforts of Bryson Nicholls (78), Imran Dawood (58), and Wasim Nazir (50), but their final score of 266 fell short. Mohammed Shahnawaz (3-60) and Simon Bailey (3-28) were the key wicket-takers for Keighley.

Northowram Fields’ recent signing, Abubakar Dawood, continued to impress as he guided his team to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Buttershaw St Paul’s. Dawood’s composed knock of 66 runs, supported by Australian Harry Hauenstein (31), ensured that Northowram Fields successfully chased down Buttershaw St Paul’s total of 150. Hauenstein (4-45) and Sam Gardiner (3-29) played pivotal roles with the ball, restricting St Paul’s to a modest score.

Hunslet Nelson sealed a comprehensive six-wicket win against Wrenthorpe, thanks to an unbeaten 86-run knock by Andy McIntosh. Earlier, the spin duo of Sam Thewlis (4-42) and Matthew Varley (3-43) bowled out Wrenthorpe for a mere 133 runs. Shakrukh Ali top-scored for Wrenthorpe with 39, but it wasn’t enough to pose a significant challenge to Hunslet Nelson’s dominant performance.

The race for promotion in Bradford Cricket League Division Two continues to heat up, with Hopton Mills seizing the top spot and the competition for places intensifying as the season progresses.