It was a day filled with disappointment for the teams vying to avoid relegation in the Bradford Cricket League Premier Division, as the bottom five clubs all suffered defeats in their respective matches.
Bankfoot had an especially miserable outing, as they were completely bowled out for a paltry 35 runs by the formidable duo of Charlie Parker (5-11) and Josh Dracup (5-22). Their dismal performance led to an eight-wicket loss at their home ground against Pudsey St Lawrence.
The defeat pushed Bankfoot into the bottom two of the standings, with a total of 74 points. However, they do have a game in hand, which could prove to be valuable in their quest to avoid relegation.
Bankfoot currently sits five points ahead of the last-placed team, Hanging Heaton, who experienced a crushing 72-run defeat against Townville. Townville set an imposing target of 338-8 after being put in to bat. Openers Jonny Booth (69) and Abdul Wahid (67) set the tone with a solid partnership of 131 runs. Their efforts laid the foundation for Tom Brook to unleash a destructive innings, scoring 99 off just 63 balls, including eight sixes. Conor Harvey (40) also contributed with quick runs, while Muhammad Hafeez (3-84) emerged as the best bowler for the visiting side.
Due to rain, Hanging Heaton were set a revised target of 311 runs from 44 overs according to the DLS method. Although they never posed a serious threat to achieve the target, they did manage to accumulate maximum batting points, finishing on 238-9. Overseas player Gagan Vats made an impressive debut with 57 runs, and Hafeez chipped in with an unbeaten 39 runs while sharing an unbroken last-wicket partnership of 65 runs with Max Chappell. Spinners Harry Clewett (4-52) and Jack Hughes (4-74) led the way with their bowling for Townville.
This victory propelled Townville into second place in the standings, edging past New Farnley on the basis of most wins. Both teams currently have 150 points, but New Farnley now has a game in hand after their match against Methley was postponed. The postponement occurred due to a police investigation of an incident that required part of the Little Church Lane ground to be cordoned off, along with two other locations within the exclusion zone.
Pudsey Congs experienced frustration as they fell to a narrow two-wicket defeat against the close finish specialists, Jer Lane. Pudsey Congs had the visitors in trouble at 19-4, but a well-judged innings by Hishaam Khan (80 not out) was supported by Sam Johnson (36), enabling Jer Lane to chase down Pudsey Congs’ score of 164. Overseas player Yohan Mendis contributed 51 runs to Pudsey Congs’ total. Jamie Allen (3-40) and Sam Wisniewski (3-46) stood out as the top bowlers, while Cosmond Walters took 3-47 for Jer Lane, who now occupy the fourth position in the table.
Farsley’s losing streak continued as they suffered a 61-run defeat against Woodlands. Chasing a revised target of 260 runs in 41 overs, Farsley could only manage 198 before being bowled out. Off-spinner Kez Ahmed displayed his excellent form for the league leaders, taking 5-64, while Muhammad Bilal claimed 3-35. Ryan Cooper top-scored for Farsley with 39 runs.
The match’s standout performance came from Brad Schmulian, who notched up another splendid century. Schmulian’s unbeaten 117 included a six and 15 boundaries, as he formed a second-wicket partnership of 100 runs with Tim Jackson (46). The champions, Woodlands, concluded their innings with a score of 262-8, with Scott Richardson contributing 31 runs and spinner Harry Sullivan claiming 4-57.
In another notable display of batting prowess, Bradford & Bingley’s Yorkshire opener, Will Luxton, became the second centurion of the day. Luxton’s unbeaten knock of 117 runs, comprising 19 fours, propelled his team to a total of 219 runs. Despite the valiant efforts of spinner Archie Houghton (6-49), Ossett fell short by 78 runs in their pursuit of the target.
Facing a revised target of 232 runs in 40 overs due to rain interruptions, Ossett’s Mattie Race scored 51 runs, but the team eventually succumbed to a total of 153 all out. Young spinner Reece Cockshott shone with a remarkable figure of 6-34, and Bradley Reeve contributed with 3-37 to secure Bradford & Bingley’s victory.