Rams are Sunday champs

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Southowram’s early birds captured the juiciest of worms at the weekend when they clinched the Spenser Wilson Halifax Sunday League title.

They did it on the field, as well, after fears their final match against Sowerby Bridge might be cancelled as neither team’s ground was available.

Queensbury came to the rescue by offering to host a game which was also important to a Bridge side trying to avoid the same fate as their firsts - relegation.

However, with the Old Guy Road ground is use in the afternoon and a 40 overs per side game to fit in, a Sunday lie-in was out of the question with an 8.30am start planned.

Dew meant the start had to be put back by 20 minutes and the Rams elected to bat, with 150 required to give them sufficient bonus points to clinch the silverware.

They reached that mark in the 27th over, with Darren Chapman taking three of the four wickets to fall. Slow bowlers John Sunderland and Hasnaat Mahmood then took three wickets each to wrap up the innings for 180.

That gave Bridge a chance of getting the 20 points they needed to have a chance of staying up.

However, Bridge slumped to five for three off 10 deliveries. At 40 for four, Andy Mellor was joined by Chapman and the pair added 110 before Chapman fell for 30.

Mellor went on to make 81 not out but Bridge ran out of overs, an agonising 10 runs short of victory.

Noman Hussain top scored with 41 and Abdul Rauf took three wickets for the jubilant Rams.

As it happened, a Bridge win would have been in vain anyway as Norden, Copley and Lightcliffe all picked up 20 points. That meant Illingworth, beaten by Copley, also went down.

Conditions were glorious for several crucial matches across the divisions and Barkisland and Denholme Clough were crowned champions of the other two sections.

Division One: Champions Southowram (207 pts), runners-up Old Crossleyans (176). Relegated: Sowerby Bridge (127), Illingworth St Mary’s (134).

Divisioon Two: Champions Barkisland (199), runners-up Almondbury Wesleyans (192). Relegated: SBCI (111), Thornton (124).

Division Three: Champions Denholme Clough (210), runners-up: Mytholmroyd (194).