Lightcliffe title bid boosted by double

Alex Lees in action for Lightcliffe v Pudsey Congs, cricket at Lightcliffe
Alex Lees in action for Lightcliffe v Pudsey Congs, cricket at Lightcliffe

LIGHTCLIFFE moved above East Bierley into third place as they kept their title hopes alive after chasing down Hanging Heaton’s total of 211 for eight in a vital Bradford League Division One clash on Saturday.

Charlie Roebuck proved the matchwinner as he hit a six and 19 fours in an unbeaten 129 from just 105 balls.

That rescued Lightcliffe from a precarious 46 for five after paceman David Stiff had claimed three for 50. Roebuck was joined in an unbeaten seventh-wicket stand of 100 by Josh Wheatley (27 not out).

Earlier, Alex Stead (three for 52) and Chris Greenwood (three for 58) had been the pick of the bowlers as Hanging Heaton built their total of 211 for eight around the contributions of Rob McFarlane (44), Ahsan Butt (38), Joe Fraser (36) and former Brighouse captain and professional footballer James Stansfield (34).

Having comsuccessfully completed the first half of the weekend double, Lightcliffe knew nothing but a victory would do as Pudsey Congs visited Wakefield Road on Sunday.

Lightcliffe openers Alex Lees (103) and Chris Taylor (75) shared a partnership of 163 as their side defeated the Leeds district side in a thrilling game which saw them pick up 19 valuable points in their quest.

Suleman Khan blasted 31 from 14 balls and Matt Taylor and Mark Horne knocked 20 from the last over which proved crucial.

Lees hit four sixes and six fours and helped his side to post a challenging score of 254 for seven which Congs made a brave bid to chase down.

Babar Butt (72) and Basil Akram (60) shared a second-wicket stand of 115 and Edward Walmsey made 37, but the Lightcliffe spin bowlers Chris Greenwood ( three for 55) and Suleman Khan (three for 70) ensured the home side prevailed in a nail biter.

LIGHTCLIFFE’S second team’s season ended on a curate’s egg as there were some amazing highs and depressing lows over the 48 hours.

On Saturday, the fine total of 224 against a useful Hanging Heaton side looked like it would be enough. The foundations were built around Greg Godfrey and Michael Brooke who both made half centuries.

Useful contributions from Rhys Jowett and Richard Thompson kept up the momentum and ensured the side went into the tea-room happy.

The fired up bowlers ripped into the Heaton top order. Veteran Roger Stead and young Dan Ahmed bowled in tandem to get seven wickets between them and leave the visitors reeling on 56 for seven.

An amazing eight wicket partnership of 150 then put Heaton back in the game and helped secure them an unlikely victory.

After the game Liam Collins said: “That was one of my lowest moments in cricket. The game was there to be won, and we blew it. We will learn from the experience and come back stronger and better next year.”

Sunday was another day, and on a bowling green outfield and lightning fast wicket, skipper Michael Brooke had no hesitation in having a bat.

The batsmen hit the ball to all parts of the Gomersal ground as Chrissy Dyer took full advantage of conditions to hit a superb 80, which included eight boundaries. He was backed up by some classical cricket from Bruce Lunn, who hit a neat 70. There was more to come with Richard Thompson, Seraj Hussain, Marcus Kelly, Patrick Wild and Liam Collins all joining in the fun for an excellent total of 266.

Lightcliffe also had a brand new ball to go out with and pace ace Richard Tessyman made full use of it. An excellent spell of bowling from Mark Whiley and Dan Ahmed brought them four wickets each and helped secure a superb victory and bring down the curtain on a fine season.