Bradford Cricket League Division Three: Altofts ensured that Great Preston’s time at the summit was short-lived, triumphing over them by a margin of 40 runs to bolster their own bid for promotion.

Opener Dominic Richardsson established the tempo for Altofts’ display with a formidable 93 runs, supported by Myles Robinson (36), as they accumulated 235 runs while batting first. The standout performers among the Great Preston bowlers were James Conlon (3-34) and Chris Aplin (3-75).

Chasing a revised target of 218, Great Preston’s innings was curtailed at 177-9, with South African Jacques Porter impressively claiming 5-65.

This outcome propels Altofts to the second position, displacing Great Preston to third, trailing Scholes by four and five points respectively. Scholes regained the lead following a close one-wicket victory over Wakefield St Michael’s, with the decisive contributions of the final batsman Reece Drake. Drake steered his team to the required 127 runs, crafting an undefeated 24 runs, hitting two sixes and two fours with five balls remaining. His heroics were instrumental as his side recovered from a precarious 90-9 situation. Top scorers for St Michael’s were Lawrence Morton (36) and Nazakat Hussain (32), contributing to a total of 113-7. Greg Keywood secured figures of 3-33.

A thrilling final ball conclusion took place at Busy Lane, where Windhill & Daisy Hill pursued the Spen Victoria’s total of 248 runs to clinch victory by two wickets. Hassan Malik (44), Khalid Mehmood (39), and Aarya Jadhav (38) all made vital contributions, while Jonathan Elstub captured 3-58.

Spen Victoria’s batting effort was anchored by Peter Jackson (62), Matthew Hammond (45), Oliver Davison (36), and Paolo Girardi (33). The standout bowlers were Sajjad Ijaz (3-50) and Shoaib Iqbal (3-92).

Gildersome & Farnley Hill had reached a score of 197-7 at Adwalton before play was abandoned. Leading the charge were Sayed Salman (56) and Josh Sturgess (48), although Matty Waller (3-23) and James Colbourn (3-68) offered resistance.

A limited amount of play occurred at Brighouse, where the home team had compiled 75-4, with Muhamad Nadeem contributing 37 runs before the match was halted. East Leeds’ Akmal Rabani claimed 3-31.