CHAMPIONSHIP sides Batley and Gomersal have made an unexpectedly bright start in the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League, with both among the early-season promotion hopefuls.
Gomersal’s Championship B win against Bankfoot has propelled them into third place ahead of tomorrow’s game at second-placed Methley, when Graham Hilton’s side will be looking to produce an upset.
Against Bankfoot James Russell helped bowl Gomersal into a good position, with 4-44, before Craig Lightowler’s unbeaten 46 saw them home by five wickets.
Among the other Championship B games there is a derby game at Spen Victoria against Hartshead Moor, while Hopton Mills are at Wrenthorpe.
Batley have won all four of their games to date, with a two-wicket win over Baildon in their last outing, and a visit from Yeadon to Mount Pleasant tomorrow (Sat) is their next test in the Championship A division.
Aqsad Ali, with 4-44 in 15 overs and 39 not out, was a key man in the win over Baildon but it is the consistent all-round contributions with both bat and ball that have been a feature of Batley’s success so far.
Liversedge are at home to historic Bradford League side Idle while Ossett, who fielded only 10 men in last week’s eight-run defeat at Undercliffe, will be at home to former CYL rivals Birstall.
In the Premier Division second-placed Hanging Heaton go to reigning champions, and current leaders, Pudsey St Lawrence still smarting from a defeat at the hands of Lightcliffe despite starting the game with a double-century partnership from Gary Fellows (113) and Nick Connelly (113). Chasing a total of 320-6 Lightcliffe’s Suleman Khan hit 121 not out to steer his side home by six wickets with just four balls remaining.
John Wood, skipper of third-placed Cleckheaton, hit a typically quickfire 48 for his side on the way to an eight-wicket win over New Farnley and he will be hoping for more of the same when they go to Farsley.
Conference leaders Buttershaw St Paul’s are without a game this week and that gives second-placed Heckmondwike and Carlinghow, nine-run winners over Gildersome, the chance to close the gap at the top when they take on Wakefield St Michaels at Cemetery Road.
Crossbank Methodists are at home to Oulton hoping to shake off thoughts of their 110-run defeat at Buttershaw last week.
• Hanging Heaton skipper Gary Fellows, a one-time Yorkshire CCC all rounder, will captain a Bradford League representative side against his former employers in a T20 Challenge match at Pudsey Congs next Thursday, May 26. The Yorkshire Vikings v Bradford League game will start at 6pm.