Lightcliffe recorded their second league victory of the season against fellow strugglers Spen Victoria at home on Saturday.
This was a game the Wakefield Road men had to win to avoid being cast adrift at the bottom of the JCT 600 Bradford League Division 2.
The game could not have started better for Lightcliffe. Having elected to field first, Matthew Speck was caught by Richard Tesseyman off Aleem Ladak from the first ball of the game. Things did not get much better for the visitors as wickets fell quickly and they were reduced to 28 for four and then 48 for five, all the wickets falling to Ladak backed up by some excellent Lightcliffe fielding.
Spen then made something of a recovery with Chris Elstub to the fore, ably assisted by Richard Wear and Joel Pollard. The three of them were the only Spen batsmen to record double figures with 84, 26 and 20 respectively and it was down to them that they were able to post a reasonably competitive total of 161 all out.
Ladak was unable to add to his early wickets but finished with an excellent five for 20. Skipper Richard Nichols also enjoyed success taking four for 29.
The Spen innings was also notable for two superb catches by Nichols, one, off his own bowling, was truly top drawer.
In reply Lightcliffe started shakily, with Rodney Hinch falling leg before to Elstub in the first over. They then stuttered to 48 for four and 76 for five before the Paul Ramsden came to the crease to join Nichols. The pair proceeded to produce a superb unbroken stand of 86 to seal the game for the home side. Ramsden struck a sweet 46 not out and Nichols, playing something of a captain's innings, remained unbeaten on 34. Stuart Cope was the pick of the Spen bowlers with three for 36.
What made the victory even sweeter for the hosts was the absence of their overseas player Bilal Hussain who has had to return home to Pakistan for a few weeks.
This was an important victory for Lightcliffe who have now won two out of their last three league games. Unfortunately, other results went against them and they remain in bottom spot but are just three points behind Spen and five behind Hartshead Moor. Lightcliffe make the short trip to Hartshead on Saturday and will be hoping for another victory that will lift them off the bottom.
l Lightcliffe's second team extended their lead at the top of the table to 19 points with a thrilling victory over second placed Farsley.
Put in to bat on a hot day, Lightcliffe looked to be in trouble at 80 for five with only Rob Crookes (31) and Gareth Stevens (35) making any kind of impression from the top order. When bowlers Roger Stead and Alex Tait came together, however, batting looked a different proposition. Playing fluently on both the sides of the wicket, the pair stroked the Farsley bowling to all parts over a quick outfield. When Stead was dismissed for 42, Ramsey Al Chalaby came in to continue the good work. Tait was finally out for an excellent 64 and Al Chalaby unbeaten on 38 as Lightcliffe totalled 261 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs.
The Wakefield Roader's opening bowling lacked direction and Farsley raced to 50 for no wicket within 10 overs in reply. It was only when Dave Towell induced a leading edge from the dangerous Frankland that Lightcliffe started to get a grip.
Farsley, though, never looked out of it with the hard hitting Amir punishing anything on his legs and taking advantage of the short boundary. Only when he was run out for a splendid 120 did Lightcliffe really get on top. Bowlers Dominic Finn and Roger Stead held their nerve in the final stages and, with 8 to win from the last over, Stead successfully restricted the lower order batsmen to leave Farsley just four short on 257 for 8.
With seven league wins from the first nine games Lightcliffe will be looking to consolidate their top of the table position with a double header weekend at home to Hanging Heaton and away to Pudsey St Lawrence.
IN Sri Lankan Thilan Thushara Hanging Heaton appear to have unearthed a real gem as he dominated proceedings at Brighouse on Saturday.
He took six wickets for just 54 runs and then put on an unbeaten 49 with skipper Alan Mynett to cap an excellent personal performance and help his side to a four wicket win over Brighouse first team.
Heaton didn’t have things all their own way, however, and Brighouse got off to a flying start with wicketkeeper Mark Gill scoring an impressive 83 not out. Haroon Rashid also added to the tally as he battled to a more than respectable 48 until he was caught and bowled by Thushara.
Royston Light was the last man standing with 11 not out but no one else managed to break into double figures for the home side and with Thushara in such fine form it was back to the pavilion without a run being scored for Oliver Murphy and Richard Elphee. He allowed Craig Smith to notch up just one run and Rizwan Ahmed four and they finished with 189-9 from their 50 overs.
The Brighouse bowling attack through Chris Greenwood started strongly as he took two for 24 in 15 overs. Captain James Clarke was not too far behind him with two for 57 in his 15 overs.
After doing things the hard way against Lightcliffe the previous week and a heavy defeat to Idle still fresh in the memory Brighouse were looking to get back on track, but with Thushara in this sort of form they were up against it and they will certainly be aware of him the next time these two sides meet up. Brighouse will be looking for improvement in their next outing.
IN the JCT 600 Bradford League Division Two, Hartshead Moor continue to languish near the bottom of the table after a heavy defeat away at Keighley.
The hosts were all done for 258-8, Richard Robinson doing the damage with 129 runs before being caught by Adnan Raees.
Raees also managed to bag the most runs for Hartshead with 28, whilst team mates skipper Matthew Evans, Marshall and Otto failed to get off the mark.
They were all out for 88, Hilton managing to make 15 and some pride for Nick Ward who was 16 not out.
Hartshead’s hopes flickered briefly while Raees was at the wicket and not only was he the top scorer but took four for 56.
After his departure, thanks to Keighley’s overseas player Greg Kennedy, Hartshead lost eight wickets for 20 runs leaving them on the verge of being defeated 63 for nine.
Ward and Craig Tramer put on 25 in a defiant last wicket stand but it only delayed the inevitable.
l Hartshead’s second X1 had a different tale to tell as they thrashed Brighouse seconds by 157 runs.
They had Martin Baldwin (71) and Andrew Halford with 78 to thank.
The bowlers were also on form as Brighouse could only reply with 77.
Rastrick collected their second win of the season with a 60 run success at Clayton West on Saturday, in a match sponsored by V. and P. Engineering.
Batting first on the small fast-scoring arena they amassed a season’s best 258 for eight in their 50 overs. Robin Lambert (whose 40 included six fours and one six) set the ball rolling before Elliott Lawrie struck 89, including 10 fours and two sixes. Mohammed Shakir (20) put on 67 with Lawrie for the fifth wicket before Ijaz Shah (46) joined Lawrie to add 72.
The hosts’ reply suffered early blows when Lawrie and Shah shared a victim each before a stand of 94 between Rank and Firth put the game into an interesting position.
Shakir then broke through and Lee Walker sent down a superb spell of 18 overs of slower pace to claim three for 45 as the innings subsided to only 198 for nine at the end.
This result will give the team some confidence as they travel to runaway Cedar Court conference leaders Holmfirth on Saturday.
l RASTRICK Seconds maintained their promotion push with a comfortable victory of 128 runs over Clayton West at Round Hill.
The locals struggled early on as the visitors reduced them to 89 for seven after 27 overs, with only Alan Bottomley making an impression.
However, Thomas Knight led the fight back with 58 not out, including 11 fours, along with Jonathan Bamforth. Bamforth was 36 not out, which included a six and four four’s.
The visitors progressed steadily to 49 for two, but the introduction of spinners Bottomley and Bamforth resulted in a spectacular collapse.
The last eight Clayton wickets fell for just 19 runs, with club President Mike Jagger finishing off the innings.
All the bowlers took wickets, with Bottomley returning 42 off seven overs.
l IN the Sunday Section Rastrick mirrored the efforts of the seconds when they took the spoils against Sowerby Bridge by just one wicket.
They accumulated 165-9 in their allotted overs thanks to some impressive batting from Andrew Rowles not out for 37, Ian Marsh with 38, James Middleton 32 and Gary Nicholson with 24.
Although he did not perform well with the bat, not managing to score a run, Dennison certainly made up for it when he took the last two wickets for six runs. Mike Jagger also claimed two scalps for 24 runs. He also ended the batting for Rastrick with one not out so it was a good afternoon for the clubs President.
Michael Orchard and John Sunderland for the visitors tried to pull it back with 38 and 32 respectively, but the sharp bowling of Middleton who took the most wickets with three for 19 put paid to their fight back.
l The Junior Schools’ Tournament will take place at Rastrick Cricket Club on Wednesday, June 20, from 4pm to 6pm. Eight teams will compete, including two from Longroyde, one from Field Lane, three from Woodhouse and two from Carr Green primary schools. They will play eight-a-side rules, with four matches being played simultaneously.
A MAGNIFICENT 75 from Richard Thaw and a quick fire 50 from skipper Antony Firth, helped Badger Hill to a convincing 119 run win over a lack-lustre Cumberworth.
Batting first the Badgers opener put on 84 before all-rounder Alex Wood was adjudged lbw for 35.
This set the tempo for the innings, John Norman chipping in with 23, which saw the Badgers Innings close on 214 for seven.
The hosts bowlers were soon among the wickets, with Wood having Meacham caught at the first slip by Mark Shaw for a duck, He went on to take a further three wickets.
This started a steady procession of visiting batsmen making their way to the pavilion. Although it did take the Badgers 37 overs to dismiss them.
Nick Boyle was the pick of the bowlers with three for 23 off his eight overs.
IT was a different story for Badger Hill’s 2nd X1, who must have let the heat get the better of them.
After losing the toss they were up to the crease first and the wickets started to fall like domino’s.
However, Peter Hepworth’s 20 in 17 overs and Nick Dane with 22 in 30 overs, it looked like Badger Hill were on their way to getting a point. It was not to be as they were all out in 44 overs for 95.
Crigglestone made light work of their dainty task ahead with Michael West not out for 57. Only young Dan Addy with one for 17 could hold his head up.
IN the Bradford Central League Laisterdyke made it three wins on the trot when they defeated Norwood Green by 49 runs. Mohammed Bilal hit 66 runs in their total of 225 for seven before Norwood fell short on 176 all out.