Halifax Cricket League: The Premier Division champions, Thornton, have the opportunity to join an exclusive group of teams that have remained undefeated in a season when they make the short journey to Bradshaw on the final Saturday of the season. Their winning streak continued this week, as they comfortably defeated visitors, Sowerby Bridge, by seven wickets. Sowerby Bridge batted first and had no real response to the bowling of Bradley Weatherhead, who claimed the first seven wickets to fall, recording figures of 14-5-55-7. The Bridge’s tail managed to add a few runs, going from 78-7 to eventually close on 119 all out. Thornton secured the match in the 22nd over with Grant Soames (63 not out) guiding his team to a total of 122-3.

Oxenhope avoided relegation by defeating Luddendenfoot by 32 runs at The Flatt. Batting first, they posted a total of 158 all out, with James Scott taking 4-37. Luddendenfoot fell short, managing only 126 all out, with the duo of Joel Fothergill (5-65) and Daniel Scott (4-41) being the key bowlers securing top-flight cricket for their team next season.

Illingworth St Mary’s secured the runner-up position with a six-wicket victory at home over SBCI. The visitors struggled throughout their innings against four Saints’ bowlers who shared the wickets, managing only 85 all out in the 29th over. With the help of 41 runs from Gary Fellows, the Saints needed just 18.2 overs to reach 89-4. Fellows requires 102 more runs to reach 1,000 League runs for the season against Booth next Saturday.

Both relegated teams, Blackley and Mytholmroyd, fought valiantly.

If you’re going down, you might as well do it with style, and that’s precisely what Blackley did at Grassy Bottom. Triangle found it challenging in the scorching sunshine to contain the visiting batsmen, initially led by Conor Greenwood and Sam Mindham (38) in an opening partnership of 65 runs. Then Greenwood (81) and Joe Hardcastle (134) pushed the score to 230-2. It was Hardcastle’s first century, and he achieved it in just 69 balls, with 13x4s & 10x6s, with Blackley finishing on 361-7. Triangle fell a massive 209 runs short in reply, and if it hadn’t been for a fifth-wicket partnership of 119 between Chris Woodhead (63) and Daniel Crosland (60), the margin would have been even greater. They closed on 152 all out, with Sam Hesmondhalgh (5-26) and Jacob Linsel (4-28) taking the wickets.

Mytholmroyd also emerged victorious, but they too were disappointed to be relegated despite beating Copley by four runs at The Arches. Batting first, they were struggling at 78-7, but then number 6, Thomas Conway, hammered an unbeaten 101 in 77 balls as the Copley bowlers wilted under his assault and the hot sun. Royd’s bowlers, in response, put in tight shifts despite the match producing another centurion, opener Oliver Thorpe with 104 not out. However, six of his partners failed to make any impression, and Copley and Thorpe ran out of time at 189-7.

Booth batted first in their home match against Bradshaw and posted a total of 223 all out, with the top scorer coming from an unexpected source, Steven Senior, who scored 81 runs, his best effort since 2019. Bradshaw’s Michael Hustler recorded figures of 5-49, his best return of the season. Bradshaw only managed 125 all out as opener Christopher Brown was the only batsman to cause problems for the Booth bowling attack, carrying his bat for an unbeaten 59, while Moazzam Ayub took 4-42.