Halifax Cricket League Premier Division: Illingworth St Mary’s saw their championship aspirations nearly fade away at Moderna Way, as Mytholmroyd, situated at the bottom of the league table, pulled off the shock of the season by securing a 51-run victory. Illingworth chose to field first and found themselves in trouble at 64-6 after 25 overs. However, Luke Sutcliffe’s unbeaten 47 helped stage a recovery for the hosts, and they managed to post a total of 147 all out, which was a far more commendable outcome than what seemed achievable an hour before. Jack Hargreaves maintained an economy of exactly two runs per over and ended with figures of 4-28. In response, barring Garry Fellows’ contribution of 40, Illingworth struggled as wickets fell regularly, particularly after reaching 61-2. In the end, they only added 35 more runs to their total, being bowled out for 96. Taufeeq Ahmed, Jack Earle, and Adrian Gawthorpe each claimed three wickets, and Mytholmroyd’s maximum points from the match provided them with a lifeline in the relegation battle. Illingworth now faces a formidable task of closing a 25-point gap to Thornton.
Over at High Lee Green, Thornton quickly pushed Luddendenfoot onto the back foot after opting to field first. Luddendenfoot lost their first five wickets for just 19 runs in the initial 10 overs, with Ross Parr (6-22) and Bradley Weatherhead (4-27) causing significant trouble. The visiting bowlers maintained the pressure, and with only two batsmen reaching double figures, Luddendenfoot was bowled out for 53 in the 19th over. Following a hurried lunch break for the tea ladies, the visitors wrapped up the match at 55-2 in less than 10 overs. Josh Hutchinson’s unbeaten 19 took him past the 1,000-run mark for the season.
At Blackley, Booth’s Matthew Brown (76) and Ric Laycock (60 not out) proved to be a thorn in the side of Blackley’s hopes of avoiding relegation. Booth managed to set a target of 200-7. Blackley’s pursuit never really gained momentum, with only Joe Hardcastle (46) appearing likely to challenge Booth’s bowling attack, led by Ric Laycock (5-51). Blackley eventually succumbed at 151 all out in the 41st over.
Oxenhope, also fighting to stave off relegation, chose to bat first at their home ground against Copley and posted a total of 157 all out. Only Daniel Scott’s innings of 38 stood out as noteworthy, as four visiting bowlers shared the wickets. Oxenhope’s bowling effort, however, was a different story. They managed to restrict Copley to 139-9 in their allotted 45 overs, earning a valuable 11 points. Only Will Rushton (48) posed any threat to Oxenhope’s disciplined bowling attack, allowing them to move six points clear of Blackley, who were next to the bottom of the table.
At Walton Street, Bradshaw faced early struggles against Sowerby Bridge, losing their sixth wicket with the score at 68-6. Captain Si Collins’ innings of 69 helped lead a recovery, supported by Junaid Rashid’s 31, pushing Bradshaw to a more competitive total of 170-9 after 45 overs. Despite their efforts, Sowerby Bridge managed to surpass the target in the 40th over, finishing with 171-4. Liam Turner’s unbeaten 55 was pivotal, along with an undefeated fifth-wicket partnership of 66 runs with Tom Belfield (32 not out), elevating Sowerby Bridge to the relative safety of eighth place.
At The Astleys, the home team SBCI faced a challenging encounter in their match against Triangle. They owed much to a resilient knock from number 9 batsman Ramapuram Arjuna, who remained unbeaten on 65, guiding the team’s score from 89-9 to a total of 140 all out – with the final batsman, Adeel Taj, dismissed without scoring. Bowler Josh Graham proved to be the main troublemaker, recording career-best figures of 6 wickets for 49 runs in 13 overs. Triangle was up for the challenge, led by their openers Hayden Bruce (62) and Tom Fryer (39), and they successfully chased down the target, reaching 143-5 with 22 balls to spare.