Methley lose top spot as title race hots up

Chris Holliday, who hit an unbeaten 156 for Townville against Batley.
Chris Holliday, who hit an unbeaten 156 for Townville against Batley.

The race for the Central Yorkshire League’s Premiership crown was blown wide open by results on Saturday when Methley lost top spot.

After topping the table all season, Methley are now a point behind Wakefield Thornes after suffering a nine-wicket defeat to Wrenthorpe.

And just three points off the top are Townville after they got back to winning ways by beating Batley by 88 runs.

Wrenthorpe cannot be discounted after their impressive batting display against Methley, but they were denied full points as they did not bowl their opponents out and are seven behind the leaders.

Methley must have thought they were in a good position at the half-way point after posting a 225-7 total.

That represented a good recovery after four wickets went down cheaply at the start of the innings. Luke Patel (59) and Ed Walmsley (82) came to the rescue with both hitting eight boundaries and the latter smashing three sixes as well.

Wrenthorpe lost opener Jordan Sleightholme cheaply at the start of their reply when he was bowled by Sohail Raz, but that was to be the only wicket to go down as Darryl Hendricks and Greg Wood came together for a double hundred stand that saw the visitors reach their target in less than 30 overs.

Wood smashed 18 fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 130 while Hendricks hit 11 fours and two sixes in his 74 not out.

Townville closed the gap on the top two when they produced a fine all-round display to beat Batley.

Chris Holliday was their star with the bat as they were able to make 246 going in first.

While none of the other Townville batsmen were able to make much impact, Holliday battered the Batley bowling, cracking 17 fours and four sixes in a superb unbeaten knock of 156, made off 118 balls.

Best support came from Conor Harvey, with 22, while Kris Ward made 15 and last batsman Lee Mills hung around for 16 balls for one and helped Holliday put on a valuable 60 runs for the final wicket.

Batley looked well placed after making a good start to their reply, but it all went wrong from 105-1 following the dismissal of Sufyan Patel for 48, caught by Liam Booth off the bowling of Alex Page.

Opener Sajad Hussain fell soon after for 39 and the last nine wickets tumbled for 53 runs, leaving Batley all out for 158.

Jack Hughes (5-32) and Page (4-47) did the damage and ensured Townville picked up a vital six points in their title quest.

Great Preston remain top of Division One, but saw their lead cut to three points by East Leeds when they lost out to them in a decent contest.

After losing the toss and being inserted on a green deck Preston were happy to make 227-8 in their 50 overs.

Matt King was again in the runs, anchoring the innings throughout for a well made 106 not out, hitting 14 fours along the way. Support came from Lee Russell (44) and Richard Young (24) and importantly Preston were not bowled out to deny their opponents full points.

The East Leeds reply started well as all of the top six reached double figures. Lee Russell took 4-67 to keep Preston in it, though, including the vital wicket of Daniel Thewlis for 67.

But with the game in the balance at 216-8 Russell was denied a further wicket when called for a no-ball and East Leeds took advantage of the let-off with their ninth wicket pair seeing them over the line.

While it was a disappointing day for Great Preston they did manage to limit the damage points-wise and still remain three ahead with three games to play.

Despite a battling half century from Joshua Neal, Methley A went down by six wickets to Wrenthorpe A in the Second Team Premier.

Methley went in first and made 182-9 from their 50 overs with Neal hitting nine fours in his 52 and support coming from Richard Smart (28), Jake Smart (22) and Kieron Holliday (18).

Holliday took two wickets in Wrenthorpe’s reply, but the hosts reached their target for the loss of four wickets with three balls to spare.

Townville A ended their losing run in the Second Team Championship when they beat Hopton Mills A by 82 runs.

Ian Jones top scored with 49 while Steve Walton hit 46 and Kieran Samuels 38 as Townville made 198.

Hopton were then all out for 116 with Walton taking 3-16, Jones 2-21 and Luke Slater 2-16.

Second team Division One leaders Great Preston A easily won a farcical game against an eight-man Rodley A team.

Michael Wade took 3-9 as Rodley were all out for 38 and Preston took just 3.1 overs to complete a nine-wicket win, Mark Hargreaves (20) top scoring.

Premiership (all played 18): Wakefield Thornes 79 points, Methley 78, Townville 76, Wrenthorpe 72, Ossett 63, Mirfield PC 46, Batley 40, Carlton 36, Birstall 34, Hunslet Nelson 33, Altofts 16, Buttershaw SP 16.

Division One: Great Preston played 15 - points 66, East Leeds 15-63, Gildersome 16-48, Adwalton 15-43, Mirfield 16-36, Rodley 16-25, Crossbank Methodists 15-21.

Second Team Premier (all played 18): Ossett A 87 points, Wakefield Thornes A 85, Batley A 81, Methley A 61, Wrenthorpe A 53, Wakefield SM A 52, Carlton A 42, Altofts A 36, Mirfield PC A 33, Birstall A 33, East Ardsley A 31, Buttershaw SP A 26.

Second Team Championship: Azaad A played 15 - points 70, Hopton Mills A 15-61, Oulton A 15-50, Liversedge A 16-38, Hunslet Nelson A 16-35, Northowram Fields A 16-33, Townville A 15-29.

Second Team Division One: Great Preston A played 18 - points 79, East Leeds A 18-72, Gildersome A 17-57, Caribbean A 18-53, Adwalton A 18-52, Rodley A 17-42, Mirfield A 18-36, Crossbank Methodists A 18-16.