Bradford League: Methley’s title hopes dashed by reigning champions

Marcus Walmsley who top scored for Methley.
Marcus Walmsley who top scored for Methley.

Methley’s late run at the Premier Division championship was all but ended when they suffered a 31-run defeat to reigning All Rounder Bradford League champions Hanging Heaton.

Four straight wins had Methley dreaming of a possible title in their very first season in the top flight, but they are now 37 points behind leaders Pudsey St Lawrence with just two matches left.

They may have sensed a chance to keep their winning run going when they met a Hanging Heaton side without a number of regulars, but despite looking to be on top at times they were eventually beaten by 31 runs.

Methley’s bowlers were not in a mood to give away any freebies as their bowlers made Hanging Heaton work hard for their total of 202.

Ishmail Dawood (56) and Nick Connolly (49) were forced to graft for their runs, and only Aqsad Ali ,with a breezy 32, batted with any freedom.

Skipper Grant Soames was the most successful bowler with 4-36 while Matthew Waite took 2-48.

Methley’s reply started well as openers Marcus Walmsley (53) and Adal Islam (42) laid a solid foundation for their side with a stand of 90.

But the other batsmen were unable to build on it with Waite (16) the next highest scorer. With wickets going down at regular intervals, they were all out for 171. Spinner Callum Geldart (6-39) and paceman David Stiff (3-51) did the damage.

Although their own hopes are over Methley will still have a big say in the destiny of the title as they visit second-placed New Farnley next week before hosting St Lawrence in their final game.

In-form Conor Harvey led the Townville attack with menace as he added another six wickets to his season’s tally in a convincing win over Lightcliffe in the Premier Division.

With Harvey taking 6-27 and fellow opening bowler Richie Bresnan claiming 4-37 Lightcliffe were never allowed to settle and were shot out for just 68.

Townville lost four wickets in reaching their easy target, but Jonny Booth (31) and Harry Clewett (19 not out) ensured they got home.

Great Preston’s slim hopes of promotion from the Conference are slimmer now after a two-wicket loss to East Leeds.

They fell 35 points behind second-placed Adwalton after they ran into a fine spell of bowling from Banaras Hussain, who took 7-63.

Great Preston were dismissed for 162 with only Jacob Wright (38) and David Illingworth (27) making much of an impression.

East Leeds also saw wickets go down in their reply, but Saqib Mohammed (46 not out) and Bradley Cunningham (41) helped them reach their target.

Pick of the Preston bowlers was Jack Morrison, with 5-51, while Illingworth took 3-35.

Methley seconds pulled further clear of relegation in the Second Teams Championship One as they beat second from bottom Wrenthorpe by 77 runs.

David Winter (75), Josh Neal (44) and Charlie Winter (31) helped Methley to post a challenging score of 230-6 despite Sam Wigglesworth taking 3-51.

Wrenthorpe were bowled out for 153 in reply as James Gahan impressed with 5-21 and Robert Clegg claimed 2-44.

Great Preston seconds went down by eight wickets to Northowram Fields in the Second Teams Championship Two.

Paul Bottomley (73 not out) and Ben Grech (69 not out) shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 129 as they steered second-placed Northowram past Preston’s 159.

Richard White (47) top scored for Great Preston with Oliver Smith and Ian McDermott both hitting 21 and Mark Hargreaves 20. Shakeel Mahmood (3-54) and Kaden Lancaster (3-21) did most of the damage.

Townville seconds were made to struggle as they lost by 124 runs to Birstall in the Second Teams Championship Two.

With Miraj Khan hitting 16 fours while making 110 for Birstall and Sean Twohig (32) giving support they were able to post a good score, finishing their allotted overs on 212-5.

Townville found runs hard to come by in their reply and were bowled out for just 88 with Hammad Khan taking 3-31 and Connor Teale 3-20. Luke Slater (33) top scored.