Batley face major challenge in league shake-up

Batley face major challenge in league shake-up

A MEETING of the All Rounder Bradford Premier League was held last night (Thursday), when plans for the reorganisation of the competition were expected to be ratified.

Batley, struggling in the CYL Premier Division not so long ago, face what is arguably their biggest-ever challenge when they face the likes of Hanging Heaton, Cleckheaton, Woodlands, East Bierley, Pudsey giants St Lawrence and Congs, Farsley, Bradford and Bingley, New Farnley, Lightcliffe and fellow promoted side Townville in a 12-team Premier Division.

Scholes and Morley drop into the newly-styled Championship 1 along with Baildon, Bankfoot, Birstall, Bowling Old Lane, Gomersal, Methley, Ossett, Undercliffe, Wrenthorpe and Yeadon, while Championship 2 will comprise Altofts, Brighouse, Carlton, Hartshead Moor, Hopton Mills, Hunslet Nelson, Idle, Keighley, Liversedge, Spen Victoria and the two promoted Conferance sides Buttershaw St Pauls and Northowram Fields.

There will be 14 sides in the Conference next year with Windhill returning after a season’s absence, and newcomers Brook Walton and Sandal joining the league.

No club has been relegated from the Championships so the Conference will be completed by Crossbank Methodists, Heckmondwike and Carlinghow, Adwalton, East Ardsley, Great Preston, Azaad, Rodley, Oulton, Wakefield St Michaels, East Leeds and Gildersome.

After leading the Championship A table nearly all season Batley finally secured the title with a comfortable win over third-placed Undercliffe last weekend.

The day began with Yeadon still in with a chance of leap frogging Batley but while Yeadon struggled with the bat against Baildon, the accumulation of bowling points against Undercliffe slowly eased Batley further and further ahead.

By 1.45pm Undercliffe were 102-5, and Batley were 13 points ahead of Yeadon, then Muhammad Tahir took 4-6 in 3.1 overs and Undercliffe were all out at 2.10pm for 109 while Yeadon, struggling on 78-9, were needing at least 47 to have the remotest chance of the title.

As it happened Yeadon were finally dismissed for 90 at 2.20pm and, with only 15 more points available to them, Batley, already 16 points ahead, were confirmed as Champions and set for promotion to the top flight.

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