In a rain-affected clash at Ossett, Woodlands Cricket Club continued their impressive run in the Bradford Cricket League Premier Division with a resounding 156-run victory. Muhammad Bilal led the charge for the league leaders, producing a fiery spell of bowling to claim exceptional figures of 7-20. The inclement weather posed a challenge, but Woodlands emerged triumphant, while their title rivals, Townville, encountered disappointment on a frustrating day.

The match between Townville and Jer Lane was swiftly abandoned at Park Avenue after a mere 10 balls were bowled, leaving both sides disheartened. To compound their woes, New Farnley managed to secure a comprehensive 71-run win over Pudsey St Lawrence, propelling them into second place, just ahead of Townville. The current standings now see Woodlands leading the pack with an impressive tally of 250 points, closely followed by New Farnley at 220, and Townville trailing with 211.

Ossett had the unenviable task of chasing a revised target of 212 in 32 overs, courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. However, they were unable to withstand the blistering assault by Woodlands’ bowlers. Bilal, alongside Tom Clee, showed no mercy, dismantling the Ossett batting lineup and restricting them to a meagre 55 all out. Seven batsmen fell victim to being clean bowled, while the remaining three were dismissed leg-before-wicket (lbw).

Earlier in the contest, Woodlands had set a rain-interrupted innings total of 186-4. Brad Schmulian led the charge with a commanding knock of 87, ably supported by Tom Jackson, who contributed a solid 54. The duo’s partnership of 134 for the second wicket laid the foundation for Woodlands’ formidable total.

The defeat proved even more bitter for Ossett when they discovered that Pudsey Congs, currently second from the bottom, had narrowed the gap to just one point in the relegation battle. Pudsey Congs secured their second consecutive victory by convincingly chasing down a target of 128 in 27 overs against Methley. Opener Callum Oliver’s unbeaten 55, accompanied by Yohan Mendis’ 33, guided Pudsey Congs to a comfortable seven-wicket triumph. Prior to their successful chase, the spin duo of Ryan Heptinstall (4-55) and Sam Wisniewski (3-46) had played a crucial role in restricting Methley to 157-8. Kris Ward (50) and James Wainman (30no) top-scored for Methley.

Meanwhile, New Farnley overcame their historical struggles against Pudsey St Lawrence with a commanding performance. Opting to bat first, New Farnley compiled a competitive score of 217-5 in 38 overs. Captain Lee Goddard showcased his leadership skills with a magnificent knock of 84, well supported by Steve Bullen’s 43. The duo’s impressive partnership of 141 for the second wicket laid the platform for New Farnley’s success. Charlie Parker (3-46) was the standout performer for Pudsey St Lawrence with the ball.

Rain interruptions in the second innings meant that Pudsey St Lawrence faced a challenging target of 228 in 35 overs. Despite the efforts of Charlie Best (45) and Harry Cullingford (43), Pudsey St Lawrence lost wickets in their pursuit of quick runs, eventually getting bowled out for 156. Spinner Adam Ahmed emerged as the most successful bowler for New Farnley, claiming impressive figures of 4-45.

Unfortunately, only 34 overs were possible in the clash between Farsley and Bankfoot at Red Lane before play was abandoned. Farsley had reached 147-6 when proceedings were halted, with Jonathan Read unbeaten on 36. Osama Ahmad stood out for Bankfoot with figures of 4-56, overcoming a challenging start where he conceded 16 runs in his first over.

At Wagon Lane, the encounter between Bradford & Bingley and bottom-placed Hanging Heaton was completely washed out without a single ball being bowled, leaving both teams frustrated by the unfavourable weather conditions.

Despite the rain interruptions and abandoned matches, Woodlands’ dominant win ensures their continued hold on the top spot in the Bradford Cricket League Premier Division. As the competition heats up, all eyes will be on the upcoming matches as the race for the title and the battle against relegation intensify.