In a thrilling week of action in the Bradford Cricket League Division One, Cleckheaton Cricket Club emerged victorious to return to the top of the standings. They secured a convincing six-wicket win over Birstall, capitalising on Batley’s defeat at the hands of Yeadon.

Cleckheaton’s young all-rounder, Lachlan Doidge, played a pivotal role in his team’s triumph. Doidge shone with both bat and ball, claiming impressive figures of 4-28 and contributing a valuable 31 runs. James Stansfield provided excellent support, taking 3-31 as Birstall were dismissed for 157. Waleed Akhtar (51), Doidge, and skipper Richard Pyrah (35 not out) ensured Cleckheaton faced no difficulties in securing the win.

With this victory, Cleckheaton now sits four points ahead of Batley, who found their total of 170-7 insufficient against their fourth-place opponents. Despite the efforts of overseas player Nasir Totakhil, who scored 62, and Umar Farooq’s unbeaten 32, Batley struggled to contend with Istikhar Hussain’s superb bowling figures of 4-28. Yeadon comfortably chased down the target, losing only four wickets in the process. Pasindu Thirimadura (48), Gulsheraz Ahmed (39 not out), and Gareth Lee (32) led the charge for Yeadon.

Meanwhile, Undercliffe claimed the third spot in the league after a hard-fought 34-run victory over Gomersal. Australian Fergus McKenna’s exceptional performance, taking 4-59, could not prevent Undercliffe from posting a score of 250-8. Opener Ollie Hardaker impressed with 72 runs. In pursuit of 253, Gomersal managed only 216 before being bowled out in 41 overs. Fergus McKenna’s efforts continued with a score of 70, while Lewis Edmond contributed 37.

Morley dealt a blow to East Bierley’s promotion hopes while boosting their own chances with a successful run chase. East Bierley set a challenging target of 261-5, with opener Christian Silkstone leading the charge with a rapid 90, supported by Jack Rowett’s 72. Morley responded strongly, with James McNichol adding 38 and eventually winning the match with 19 balls to spare.

Sandal lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a hard-fought two-wicket victory over Carlton. Kasun Madushanka, the overseas player for Sandal, played a pivotal role, smashing an impressive 94 runs. Leighton Shuttleworth also contributed significantly with 47 runs as they successfully chased down Carlton’s total of 253 at Barnsley Road. For Carlton, Daniel Ford (76), Dan White (44), and Farrukh Alam (32) were the main contributors, while Sam Noden stood out with bowling figures of 3-48 for Sandal.

On the other hand, East Ardsley experienced a disappointing week, dropping to the bottom of the league after a 59-run defeat against fellow strugglers Baildon. Jonny Reynolds (88) and Will Kelly (39) played crucial innings for Baildon, guiding their team to a competitive total of 219-9. Junaid Delair’s bowling figures of 4-57 added to the misery for East Ardsley. In response, East Ardsley fell short of the target, getting bowled out for 157. Daniel McTiernan was the top scorer with 31, while Stefan Mather (4-24) and Jamin Barron-Toop (3-53) secured victory for Baildon.

As the Bradford Cricket League Division One continues to showcase intense competition, Cleckheaton will aim to maintain their position at the top, while other teams strive to climb up the rankings in the forthcoming fixtures.