DESPITE the inconsistent weather, the first round of the Bradford Premier League’s cup competitions got underway in style with some tense encounters in both the Priestley Cup and Jack Hampshire Cup.
Batley and Hanging Heaton both only scraped through to the Priestley Cup second round, where they will join those of our district’s clubs who had first-round byes.
Batley overcame Hartshead Moor in the tightest of derby encounters to win a trip to Baildon on June 2, while Hanging Heaton will head in the same direction to face Keighley, after a ‘too-close-for-comfort’ win at Bankfoot.
A remarkable game at Hartshead Moor saw Batley reduce the home side to 85 for eight chasing 144. Huzaifah Patel took 4-31, but opener Chris Wynd (72) and Danny Squire put on 58 for the ninth wicket to leave them just two short of victory.
However, there was still time for another twist in the tale, as their last wicket fell with the scores level.
Batley were declared the winners on the basis of them having a score of 35 for two, compared with 33 for four, after the first 10 overs.
It was not quite so tight at Bankfoot, but it was still a close-run thing. After scoring 306 for eight – with skipper Gary Fellows hitting a magnificent 132 – Hanging Heaton did not have it all their own way.
It took a 5-32 return from Tom Chippendale to restrict the home side to 288 all-out – just 18 runs behind.
There was no joy for Cleckheaton who went down by 84 runs in their derby game at home to Oakenshaw neighbours Woodlands, the holders, and that win secured a second-round tie at Gomersal, who had a bye in the first round.
In the Jack Hampshire Cup Birstall were the big winners with a 131-run win at home to Northowram Fields to clinch a home tie with Gildersome and Farnley Hill that leaves them clear favourites for a place in round three.
Josh Haynes hit a top score of 70 in that game as Birstall totalled 249 for eight, and then took 3-23 alongside Ryan Gray’s 4-15 to bowl out the visitors for 118.
There was no joy for Liversedge, beaten by seven wickets at Jer Lane, or Crossbank Methodists, who lost by 39 runs at home to Great Preston.
But there was a very welcome change in fortunes for bottom Conference club Heckmondwike and Carlinghow who had a fine five-wicket win at Rodley.
Umar Quereshi, with 50 not out, and Paul Cooper, 4-24, were the pick of the Heckmondwike performances, and they now go to holders Bowling Old Lane in the next round on June 16.
Priestley Cup second round draw: Baildon v Batley, Pudsey Congs v East Bierley, Wrenthorpe v New Farnley, Keighley v Hanging Heaton, Pudsey St Lawrence v Scholes, Ossett v Methley, Gomersal v Woodlands, Bradford, Bingley v Morley.
Jack Hampshire Cup second round draw: Spen Victoria v Yeadon, Bowling Old Lane v Heckmondwike and Carlinghow, Hopton Mills v Buttershaw St Pauls, Adwalton v Carlton, Hunslet Nelson v Brighouse, Sandal v Windhill and Daisy Hill, Great Preston v Jer Lane, Birstall v Gildersome and Farnley Hill.