LIGHTCLIFFE blew the Bradford League title race wide open on Saturday after securing a 50 run victory over previously unbeaten champions Woodlands.
Skipper Jonathan Wilson won the toss and decided to bat.
Yorkshire’s Alex Lees took on the Woodlands pace attack, a decision which cost him his wicket early on.
Chris Taylor led the pursuit of a defendable total and was ably supported by brother-in-law Alex Stead before the latter opted to take on the Woodlands spin attack, with one six landing close to the M621.
Stead (55) was eventually caught in the deep before Suleman Khan ran himself out for 14, having only faced eight deliveries and Taylor’s great knock of 63 was ended when he was adjudged lbw.
Andy Gorrod (23) and Charlie Roebuck (19) both scored quickly after which captain Wilson’s quickfire 28 not out ensured Lightcliffe posted a sizeable score of 220.
Left arm spinner Chris Greenwood had Woodlands on the backfoot from the start while at the other end Charlie Roebuck bowled 10 overs straight through and finished with figures of two for 32.
Chris Brice (34) and Sam Frankland (48) took the score past 100 and when Brice was removed by Greenwood the hosts sent in Sarfraz Ahmed, who hit two huge sixes before his brief cameo of 21 runs was ended when he caught by Gorrod from the bowling of Suleman Khan.
Lightcliffe were now in the ascendancy and quickly removed the tail, Woodlands falling from 150 for five to 169 all out with Khan the pick of the bowlers with four for 39.
Lightcliffe welcome bottom club Farsley to Wakefield Road on Saturday where they will be looking for a good points haul.
LIGHTCLIFFE seconds notched their fifth Bradford League Division One win on the spin with a comprehensive victory over Pudsey St Lawrence.
Rod Heyhoe had produced another excellent wicket and Lightcliffe skipper Matty Taylor was crestfallen to lose the toss. However, the opening pair of Richie Tesseyman and Tom Lightfoot were soon amongst the wickets.
Veteran Tesseyman, running in a bit gingerly, found a useful line and length and was rewarded with a brace of wickets. The in-form Lightfoot then removed the dangerous James Milligan and accounted for two other scalps.
A 120-run mid-innings partnership between former Yorkshire CCC fast bowler Paul Hutchinson and Lee Mortimer dug the visitors out of a hole but Dan Ahmed, with three wickets, and Matty Taylor helped peg them back late on and 197 looked a bit light.
Michael Brooke and Seraj came out with all guns blazing. Youngster Seraj played powerfully all around the ground while Brooke’s 50 in 46 balls must rank as one of the fastest in his career.
Lightcliffe were on track to coast to a 10 wicket win, but Brooke chipped one back to the bowler and it was left to Seraj – who remained unbeaten on a classy 96 – and Liam Collins to hit the winning runs.
This Saturday the seconds head to table topping Farsley and on Sunday they take on Baildon. Skipper Matty Taylor has branded both ‘must win’ games.