Bradford League: Last-ball thriller as Methley win first-ever Premier game

Methley's Marcus Walmsley in bowling action.
Methley's Marcus Walmsley in bowling action.

Newly promoted Methley made a winning start to life in the Premier Division of the All Rounder Bradford Cricket League as they came out on top in a thrilling run chase against Bradford & Bingley.

Set a challenging 227 target, they got home with two wickets to spare, getting over the line off the final ball of the match.

Marcus Walmsley began the chase well with a knock of 58 from 81 balls and got good support from Jordan Laban (41) as Methley reached 148-2.

A few wickets tumbled to keep the result in the balance, but Ashton Blakey (36) kept the home side up with the asking rate and they edged home for a great opening day win.

The Bradford & Bingley innings had been dominated by Jonathan Whitehead, who hit two sixes and 13 fours in a knock of 102 while the best of Methley’s bowlers was young slow left-armer Harry Sullivan (3-68) with Sohail Raz taking 2-59 and Marcus Walmsley 2-55.

Townville opened their Premier campaign with a comfortable 46-run win over last year’s Championship One winners Scholes in a match reduced to 25 overs-a-side.

When new skipper Jack Hughes was out for 31 at 77-6, Townville looked in danger of defeat, but Richie Bresnan revived his side with 35 not out to take Townville to a 145-8 total.

Scholes were dismissed for 99 in reply as Hughes took 3-14 and Harry Clewett 3-35.

Great Preston made a winning start with a five-run success in a gripping Conference game against newly merged Gildersome & Farnley Hill.

Following the recent bad weather it was amazing the game was played at all, but after a major mopping up exercise and the boundaries being brought in significantly the game started an hour late with both sides allotted 40 overs.

Preston went in first and managed to make 159-9, doing well to get there from 92-8 with Gary Newton (48) and new signing Oliver Baron (39) top scoring. Australian Jack Morrison, made nine on his first bat on English soil while another debutant, Joe Schofield, made a handy 16 not out.

Preston’s makeshift attack, lacking Luke Kane, Lee Russell and Freddy Wright, bowled magnificently as they combined to seal victory, although it was tight at the end with Gildersome & Farnley Hill finishing just five runs short on 154-9.

Schofield was the best of the Great Preston bowlers with 4-57 while Morrison took 2-38, Andy Clark 1-30 and David Illingworth 2-20. With only one other game played in the Conference (Oulton defeating Jer Lane) the win leaves Preston top of the table.

Methley progressed to the second round of the Heavy Woollen Cup with a seven-wicket success against Scholes on Sunday after they restricted their opponents to 118.

Adal Islam top scored for Methley with 66 not out and took 3-35 while Ben Waite took 3-23.