Ward puts Townville in charge against rivals Methley

Townville's Kris Ward hits out on his way to an unbeaten century for Townville against Methley.
Townville's Kris Ward hits out on his way to an unbeaten century for Townville against Methley.

Townville closed the gap on early season pacesetters Methley when they became the first team to beat the reigning champions in the Central Yorkshire League’s Premiership this year.

Former Methley player Kris Ward emerged as the star with a superb unbeaten century as Townville won the local derby by 68 runs.

The only consolation for Methley was that they were able to bat out their 50 overs to deny their rivals full points and they are still two clear at the top of the Premier.

Townville started well as openers Ward and Johnny Booth put on 68 before the latter was run out for 25 then Ward and Chris Holliday added 58 for the second wicket.

Holliday fell for 21 and was quickly followed by Jack Hughes, Nick Bresnan and Conor Harvey, but Anurag Verma (22) gave Ward support and Peter Hepworth hit 12 off eight balls. Townville went on to reach 222-6 from their 50 overs with Ward still there at the end on 121, having struck 15 fours and two sixes.

Methley wicket takers were Marcus Walmsley (2-51) and Mustafa Bashir (3-91).

Methley’s reply never really got going. Only Richard Foster made any headway with a watchful 52 off 100 balls with opening bowler Verma doing the damage early on, picking up Fahid Rehman (9) and Luke Patel (4) before Joe Finnegan got in on the act and accounted for Ed Walmsley (16) and Dan Broadbent (5).

Waqas Khan tried valiantly to stem the tide with a solid 27 before becoming another victim of Verma, who finished with 4-31. Methley dug deep and Luke Bullingham and Bashir saw out the last four overs to close their innings on 154-8.

Great Preston collected their first maximum point haul as they beat Rodley by 83 runs in Division One.

On a tricky track, they had to recover from 30-3, including losing the prolific Matty King for 15, but Stuart Ruddick (32) and Gary Newton (41) responded then some late aggression from Richard Young (45) and a solid finish from Ian Newton (28 not out) and debutant David Illingworth (13 not out) saw Preston reach 200-7.

Rodley collapsed from 40-0 to 117 all out in reply as Adrian Sharp took 5-23 from 15 overs and King 3-30.

Methley A suffered their first defeat in the Second Team Premier when they went down by eight runs against Altofts A.

After doing a great job in the field to dismiss their opponents for 122, with two wickets each for Ben Waite and Kieron Holliday and three run outs, Methley were then all out for 114, Jason Baddeley (29) Holliday (24) top scoring.

Great Preston A are seven points clear in the Second Team Division One after beating Adwalton A by two wickets.

Luke Kane and skipper Richard White claimed four wickets apiece to dismiss Adwalton for 98, but the chase proved difficult as they crashed from 33-0 to 61-7. But Clinton Griffiths (22 not out) and Callum Hepworth-Smith (17) produced the goods to see Preston over the line.