A highly successful final weekend in the Premier Division season saw Methley and Townville both achieve their goals in the All Rounder Bradford League.
While Methley enjoyed two more victories to complete a remarkable finish to the season, Townville were also winning twice to clinch runners-up place – their highest-ever finish in the Bradford League.
After being rooted to the bottom of the table for much of the year, Methley’s escape act has seen them not only survive the drop, but climb up the table to finish in eighth place.
Their two-wicket victory over New Farnley in the second of last weekend’s double header finale made it six wins on the trot and they have ended 25 points clear of the relegation places.
Sudara Udagedara (4-48) and Marcus Walmsley (3-49) were the pick of the Methley bowlers as New Farnley were dismissed for 208.
Walmsley continued his good recent form with 81 in Methley’s reply while Matthew Waite contributed a valuable 30 and Sohail Raz hit an unbeaten 48 as Methley completed their victory with three overs to spare.
Methley had gone into the match confident that their top flight status had been all but secured with a vital seven-wicket win over Lightcliffe on Saturday.
The result relegated Lightcliffe and saw all-rounder Walmsley taking the starring role again as he took 6-30 when Lightcliffe were dismissed for 152. Amir Hussain also chipped in with 3-36.
Walmsley followed up with 55 runs with the bat as he put on 77 for the second wicket with Jordan Laban (31). Yorkshire’s Matthew Waite (33no) and Adam Patel (20no) then guided Methley home.
Townville have also finished the season on fire with five straight victories, the last of which saw them relegate Undercliffe who suffered a dramatic batting collapse in Sunday’s nervy match.
Undercliffe were left feeling dejected after seeing a potential match-winning position slip from their grasp as they lost their last six wickets for 23 runs to lose by 20 runs after bowling out Townville for 137.
Their players had looked up for the challenge as spinners Khalid Usman and Simon Lambert both took 4-47 to help bowl out Townville for what looked a modest score. Only overseas player Imran Rafique (42) made much of an impression before some handy late runs came from Richie Bresnan (28) and Conor Harvey (25).
Undercliffe looked to be heading for the win that would guarantee safety as they reached 94-4, but then everything went wrong.
Skipper Jack Hughes (4-31) and Harry Clewett (3-45) sensed the growing anxiety of the Undercliffe side and helped Townville to a victory which confirmed them as runners-up for the first time.
It was Townville’s eighth win in their last 10 matches with another success coming a day earlier when they beat Bradford & Bingley by six wickets.
Hughes went to the head of the Premier Division bowling averages when he claimed 4-12 as Bradford & Bingley were bowled out for just 104.
Bresnan also took 2-26 and Benn Raynor 2-16 before Rafique (32no) steered Townville home in their reply, the winning runs coming in just the 22nd over.
Tyson Freeman took his tally of runs for the season to 811 with a superb 110 as second-placed Great Preston beat Rodley by 229 runs in the Conference.
Australian Freeman struck 19 fours and was supported by James Marston (37), Kieren Thurston (36), Stuart Ruddick (35) and Lee Russell (29no) as Great Preston posted the day’s highest score of 318-8.
Rodley were bowled out for 89 when they batted as Russell took 4-11, Freeman followed up his batting by taking 3-18 and Cullum Jordan claimed 2-20.
Great Preston still have one game left and will finish runners-up and will play in the Conference again next year as they have been unfortunate to miss out on the one promotion place available.
Methley seconds beat East Ardsley by 21 runs in the Second Teams Championship One.
Batting first, they made 169-8 with Ben Waite hitting 67 and Alex Cree 39. In reply, East Ardsley were all out for 148 as Robert Clegg claimed 4-30 and Waite 3-43.
Already promoted Great Preston seconds have their eyes on the Second Teams Championship Two title after beating leaders Jer Lane by eight wickets.
Only six wickets fell on the day as Preston overhauled their opponents’ 202-4 to win with surprising ease, Richard White hitting 94 and Andy Clark 57no.
Townville seconds lost by nine wickets to Wakefield St Michael’s seconds after being bowled out for 103. Charlie Sykes (39) top scored.