In the Halifax Cricket League’s Second Division, the results at Cullingworth and Leymoor have presented a championship presentation challenge for League Secretary Tim Helliwell next Saturday. The promoted teams, Augustinians and Upper Heaton, head into their final matches with only a two-point difference. Augustinians will be playing at home against Sowerby St Peter’s, while Old Town will be visiting Jackroyd Lane. Adding complexity to the situation, even though Augustinians have a two-point lead, they have secured 13 maximum point wins compared to Upper Hopton’s 15. There will undoubtedly be plenty of nerves in play.
Upper Hopton secured their promotion with a comprehensive victory over Leymoor at Golcar. They batted first and posted a formidable 273-6, with Callum Fern (56 not out) and Joseph Woodhouse (40) leading the scoring. It was truly a team effort as five other batters contributed with scores in the twenties and thirties. Leymoor struggled in their fielding, and it reflected in their batting performance, being dismissed for a mere 78 all out. Only Richard Walkden (34) posed any threat, and he was bowled out by Jack Stephenson, one of his 5-37 victims.
In contrast, Augustinians had a tough time at Cullingworth, losing by a significant 111 runs. The home team batted first and set an impressive score of 279-8, with Bilal Khalid’s outstanding knock and career-best 115 not out as the highlight. Three other batters contributed with scores in the thirties. The Rastrick team failed to respond in a manner befitting league leaders and were dismissed for 168 all out. The score would have been even lower if not for the 70 runs from number 8 Yasir Arfat, which took the score from 65-6. The Robinsons, Elliot (4-36) and Dave (4-43), were the main contributors to the damage.
Bridgeholme journeyed to Sowerby St Peter’s and, despite batting first, could only manage 86 all out. Jack Leonard took an impressive 4-20. The home team required less than 19 overs to secure a maximum points win at 87-3.
Stones also clinched a comfortable victory, this time by a margin of 98 runs against the bottom team, Bradley & Colnebridge. Their main contributor was William Thickett (75) in a total of 169 all out, while Wajid Rafiq took 4-19. In response, B&C struggled, with four batters returning to the pavilion without making an impact. They eventually managed only 71 all out, with Stones’ skipper Greg Baldwin (5-27) and Elicia Pollard (4-32) being the chief wicket-takers.
Two Oakworth players achieved career-best performances in their 61-run win over visiting Outlane. Firstly, Jake Keslinke hammered an impressive 126 not out in 128 balls, including 18x4s & 4x6s, contributing to a score of 207-8. This was followed by Tom Fothergill, who surpassed his previous six-wicket returns with an outstanding 7-53, as Outlane replied with 146 all out, with only Farrukh Sultan’s 59 being noteworthy.
Old Town concluded their home fixtures with a 111-run victory, marking the second such win of the day with the same Nelson margin. Yasir Saleem (47), Tariq Mahmood (45 not out), and Muhammad Nabeel (43) were the key contributors to a score of 227 all out against their visitors, Queensbury. Oliver Challis took 4-53 for Queensbury. This essentially ended the visitors’ hopes of a win as they were bowled out for 116, with Juma Khan cleaning up the lower order, finishing with figures of 4-1-5-4.