This week in the Halifax Cricket League Second Division, Gary Hulme of Stones Cricket Club stole the spotlight with an extraordinary performance, as he scored an unbeaten double century of 204 runs. Hulme’s remarkable innings included a staggering 37 fours and five sixes, achieved in just 141 balls. His outstanding contribution, supported by solid performances from Ethan Mosey (48) and Kevin O’Rourke (45 not out), led Stones to a commanding total of 314-1. Outlane Cricket Club tried in vain to contain the run flow, employing six different bowlers.

Despite facing a daunting task, the determined Outlane visitors fought back valiantly, managing to score 213 runs before losing all their wickets. Chris Brook’s impressive knock of 89 runs accounted for nearly half of the team’s total score. Among the Stones bowlers, William Thickett stood out with figures of 4-43.

The Second Division is witnessing a closely contested promotion race, with only four points separating the top five teams. Oakworth and Sowerby St Peter’s, both joint leaders, faced off in a crucial clash. Oakworth’s openers, Bradley Powell (52) and Sam Nettleton (46), top-scored for their team, but Sowerby gained the upper hand in the latter part of the innings. Jack Leonard’s bowling performance of 5-49 restricted Oakworth to 206 all out. Sowerby reached 212-6, securing maximum points with contributions from Ryan Brook (52), Adam Clarke (48), Kevin Dalladay (45), and Gavin Hayes (37 not out).

In another joint leader’s match, Cullingworth posted a total of 181 all out after winning the toss in their home encounter against bottom-ranked Bradley & Colnebridge. At 77-6, victory seemed distant for Cullingworth, but a spirited fightback from their lower-order batsmen added 86 runs to their score. Shahid Khan took 4-53 for Bradley & Colnebridge. Chasing the target, Bradley & Colnebridge faltered after a promising start, losing their last eight wickets for just 38 runs and finishing at 128 all out. Elliot Robinson played a pivotal role for Cullingworth, claiming impressive figures of 5-11.

Upper Hopton suffered a disappointing collapse from 77-2 to 141 all out in their home match against Queensbury. Jack Stephenson’s contribution of 48 runs was the standout performance for Upper Hopton, while Gareth Walker’s bowling figures of 4-49 stood out for Queensbury. In their chase, Queensbury maintained their composure and reached 142-4, clinching victory by a narrow margin and remaining just one point behind the joint leaders. Jack Richardson (59) and Gareth Walker (40) were the key contributors for Queensbury.

At Leymoor, the surprise package team, Augustinians, chose to bat first and posted a modest total of 140 all out. The tight bowling from Leymoor restricted the opposition’s batters, with Dominic Moorhouse recording career-best figures of 6-41. Leymoor, led by captain Glenn Barnard’s unbeaten 61 runs, had no trouble in reaching the target, finishing at 143-5 in just 25 overs. This victory marked an exceptional eight-day period for Leymoor, accumulating 36 points.

In a top clash in the Calder Valley, Old Town set a challenging target of 226-9 against Bridgeholme at Boston Hill. Sagher Shaheen (72), Muhammad Nabeel (59), and skipper Istikhar Ahmed (48 not out) were the primary run-scorers for Old Town. Mohammed Asif took 4-52 for Bridgeholme. Bridgeholme’s innings began poorly, losing their first four batters for just nine runs. However, a spirited fightback led by Muhammad Maqsood’s explosive 81 runs in 51 balls threatened to turn the game. When the ninth wicket fell at 181, victory seemed unlikely for Bridgeholme, but Asad Asif’s defiant 33 runs caused some panic among the Old Town players. Eventually, Israr Hussain (4-42) dismissed Asif to secure victory for Old Town, with Bridgeholme bowled out for 217.

In the Premier Division, a thrilling encounter took place at Grassy Bottom, where Triangle emerged victorious by five wickets against SBCI in a high-scoring affair that saw a total of 660 runs. SBCI’s batters capitalized on the small ground, amassing 170-3 after 30 overs. Sam Hinchcliffe (75) and Thomas Wood (56) played pivotal roles in the strong start. The onslaught continued as Gnanasambandham Arjuna (72) and Arun Kandy (65) propelled SBCI to a commanding total of 328-7. Kurtis Whippey’s impressive bowling figures of 4-79 offered some resistance for Triangle. Unfazed by the challenging target, Triangle began their chase with determination, eventually reaching 332-5 with just five balls to spare. The notable contributions came from Kurtis Whippey (72), Daniel Crosland (64 not out), Joshua Graham (52), Hayden Bruce (45), Edward Denham (44 not out), and Daniel Wheelwright (36), with the unbeaten partnership of Denham and Crosland adding an important 108 runs for the sixth wicket.

On the other end of the scoring spectrum, Mytholmroyd suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Illingworth St Mary’s in a low-scoring encounter at The Ainleys. Opting to bat first, Mytholmroyd endured a disastrous collapse, managing only 41 all out. Luke Brooksby (4-16) and the Illingworth bowlers wreaked havoc, dismissing Mytholmroyd in just 21 overs. Gary Fellows remained unbeaten on 36 as Illingworth chased down the target in a comfortable 43-0 victory.

In the quest for their first-ever top-flight title, Thornton Cricket Club maintained their eight-point lead at the top with a convincing win over Luddendenfoot at Hill Top Road. Opting to bat first, Thornton set a par score of 217 all out, with Grant Soames and Josh Hutchinson contributing 46 runs each and Ross Parr adding 38. In reply, Luddendenfoot struggled to cope with Bradley Weatherhead’s bowling, resulting in their dismissal for just 103 runs in 28.5 overs.

Second-placed Bradshaw dominated their home match against Sowerby Bridge. Sowerby Bridge, batting first, encountered early difficulties and suffered a collapse from 84-4 to 96 all out. Si Collins was instrumental in Bradshaw’s bowling attack, taking 4-6. Despite three ducks in their innings, Bradshaw successfully chased down the target, securing a comfortable six-wicket victory with Michael Hustler’s unbeaten knock of 58 runs.

At the bottom of the Premier Division table, Blackley’s struggles continued as they suffered their fifth defeat, this time against Booth. Playing at home, Booth’s batsmen capitalized on the sunny conditions, led by Rob Laycock’s outstanding unbeaten century of 114 runs. Steven Senior (61), Jarred Moore (49), and Patrick Thomas (41) also contributed as Booth posted a daunting total of 332-7. In response, Blackley fell short by 119 runs, bowled out for 213, with Liam Senior (66) and Joe Hardcastle (56) providing some resistance. Patrick Thomas took 4-69 to lead Booth’s bowling attack.

Copley secured a relatively comfortable home win against Oxenhope, who, like Blackley, are struggling in their first season after promotion. Oxenhope could only manage 137 all out, with Finlay Townsend taking 4-42. Mark Baldwin’s unbeaten 49 guided Copley to a straightforward victory, reaching the target of 141-2. The win propelled Copley into the top half of the Premier Division table.

In the First Division, Shelf Northowram HT emerged victorious against Low Moor HT in a match between the top two teams. Trinity, opting to bat first, suffered a dramatic collapse, going from 36-1 to 43-7. Harry Talbot, the Hedge Top skipper, was in fine form, claiming five wickets for just 22 runs. Trinity could only muster 85 runs, with Matthew Jordon’s quickfire 30 preventing a more embarrassing total. Hedge Top comfortably chased down the target, reaching 87-1 in under 16 overs.

Great Horton PC capitalized on Trinity’s defeat to move into second place with a comfortable win against Southowram. Southowram struggled with their batting, losing wickets at regular intervals and eventually being dismissed for 99 runs. Marshall Grieve stood out for Great Horton PC, recording impressive figures of 6-43. Horton required over 33 overs to secure a four-wicket victory, reaching 103-4.

Promoted Mount continued to struggle in the division above, remaining winless after losing to Warley by seven wickets. After inserting Mount, Warley’s bowlers restricted them to 129 all out. Mount’s top-order collapsed, with only one batter reaching the thirties. Milton Greenwood was the pick of the bowlers, taking 5-58. Warley’s opening partnership of 100 runs paved the way for victory, and despite losing a couple of wickets, they comfortably reached 132-3 to secure 12 points.

The match between Clayton and Greetland turned out to be a low-scoring affair. Clayton, choosing to bat first, could only manage 138 all out, with Shakeel Mahmood (5-21) starring with the ball for Greetland. In their chase, Greetland suffered a batting collapse of their own, being bowled out for just 65 runs in the 26th over. Mitesh Mistry wreaked havoc, claiming impressive figures of 6-26. Both Greetland and Mount find themselves in danger of being stranded in the bottom two of the First Division.

Overall, it was a week filled with impressive individual performances, high-scoring encounters, shocking collapses, and intense battles for promotion spots across the divisions of the Halifax Cricket League.