A second successive Foster’s Halifax League title is beginning to look a formality for Jer Lane after they banked another 12 points on a trip to Bradshaw.
Mick Hustler’s side have a lead of more than 20 points with four games left but they were given a real scare by their relegation-threatened hosts yesterday.
There were some damp wickets around again and Lane were in deep trouble at 71 for six as home skipper Adam Buckley and Ricky Beaumont made inroads.
Buckley went on to finish with five for 52 but Lane managed to total 151, with Johnny Lister making 41, and the home batsmen were unable to grab their opportunity.
Lister (three for 30), Sam Wilson (four for 36) and Aiden Winnard (two for 24) ran through Bradshaw, who were dismissed for 97.
Wins for Triangle and Blackley, who beat rock bottom Sowerby St Peters, made it look more likely that Bradshaw will go down.
Triangle continued their much-improved form by overhauling visitors Thornton’s 284 for eight, which included an unbeaten 117 from Ross Soames.
Opener Nathan Madden made 137 off 121 balls to help Triangle to a three-wicket win, putting on 175 for the first wicket with Neil Uttley (66) before Greg Soames (four for 64) helped claim a couple of bowling points in a losing cause for Thornton.
Sowerby’s trip to Blackley looked a do-or-die bid and they batted better than they have recently, Nazim Irshad’s five for 65 failing to stop them posting 245 for eight.
Reece Jennison’s wicket looked the key one for the visitors and they were unable to get it until he had hit 119, Dan Houlding (56 no) helping to add 134 for the fourth wicket as Blackley won by six wickets.
Second-placed Booth won by two wickets at Warley in a game of fluctuating fortunes.
Warley made 237 for eight with 52 from John Rawson and 54 from Shazad Hassan.
Second-wicket pair Jon Midgley (95) and Rob Laycock (54) put Booth in a strong position before seven wickets tumbled, with Greg Keywood (four for 85) to the fore for Warley.
However, Nigel Horsfall (41 no) and skipper Robert Cockroft (28 no) stopped the home comeback in its tracks.
Craig Chew’s unbeaten 54 was in vain for much-weakened Copley, who fell eight runs short of Southowram’s 215 for six.
Opener Scott Moody (67) shared stands of 109 with Ian Hall (63) and 72 with Dean Crossley (48) to lay the foundations for what proved to be a winning home total.
Ben Summerscales bowled SBCI to victory in the clash of the first and third-placed teams in Division One.
Leaders SBCI looked vulnerable when they only totalled 184 for eight, George Hampshire top scoring with 40.
However, only Chris Conroy (39) and Jordan Byrnes (30) made an impression with the bat for the Rams as Summerscales took seven for 46 to dismiss them for 139.
Queensbury kept up the pressure on SBCI with a 129 run victory at Low Moor.
A club record 157-run opening partnership between Scott Osborne (99) and stand in skipper Jamie Priestley (57), backed up by 40 from Tom Watson, took Queensbury to an impressive 259 for eight on the spacious Low Moor ground.
The loss of Gareth Harrison to Joel Metcalfe off the first ball of the innings heralded a regular procession of batsmen as spinners Girdev Singh (six for 61) and Amjad Ali (three for 44) wrapped up the home innings
Opener Andy Croasdale was a lone beacon for Moor with an impressive 56 before falling to Singh.
It was a bad day for Outlane who lost the basement battle at Clayton and then learned third-from-bottom Luddenden Foot had won at home to Oxenhope.
Outlane were dismissed for 129 in reply to Claytyon’s 223 for four, which included 76 from Joe Brown.
Isaac Baldwin continues to be a key figure in Foot’s revival.
The latest in the 17-year-old’s string of good scores was 73 in a three-wicket success, Joel Cleary (64) helping to add 120 as Oxenhope’s 239 for nine was topped.
The departure of Cleary and Ollie Hemingway (35) in successive deliveries set up a tight finish but George Ashton (25 no) and skipper Gareth Swain (23 no) took 10 off the first two balls of the last over to finish it.
Division Two title favourites Bridgeholme romped to a 10-wicket home win over Denholme Clough.
Mohammed Jamil (56) and Adil Hanif (36) were the only visiting batsmen to offer resistance as Clough made 121, Bobby Fielden (69 no) and James Hudson (47 no) knocking off the runs in 17 overs.
Second-placed Cullingworth lost again, making 116 for eight in reply to home side Wibsey PC’s 153.
James Yates’s 88 and Sajid Mahmood’s five for 39 were to no avail for bottom side Old Town, who made 207 for nine in response to Shelf’s 240 for nine, which included half-centuries for Craig Green and Jon Marshall.