Four face danger of relegation heading into last round

Four face danger of relegation heading into last round

With the Premier Division already decided, tomorrow sees the focus very firmly fixed on the relegation battle.

There cannot have been many occasions in the top flight when the last week of the season threw up the possibility of any two from four being relegated, but that is the prospect facing Cleckheaton, Batley, East Bierley and Pudsey Congs.

They are all at home, to Lightcliffe Woodlands, Bradford and Bingley and New Farnley, respectively.

A crucial seven-wicket win at Bingley for Cleckheaton could not have been more timely. 

Having bowled the home side out for 129, skipper John Wood taking 4-41, Cleckheaton recovered from a faltering 35-3 to ease home by seven wickets thanks to an unbroken 95-run stand between Andy Gorrod (57) and Mally Nicholson (48) for the fourth wicket.

Wood’s men now need just five points from their last game to be absolutely certain of survival.

Only three points separate the other three teams, so four points more than their rivals equals safety.

In Championship One, where there are two games to play, the uncertainty persists at both ends of the table.

However, for leaders Scholes it is a ‘death or glory’ situation as they go to second-placed Methley tomorrow and then third-placed Wrenthorpe.

A defeat for Methley in their game at fourth-placed Undercliffe paved the way for Scholes’ return to the top thanks to a 246-run win over Ossett.

Sam Gatenby’s 111 helped Scholes to 319-3 in that game, before Chris Jackson’s 6-21 helped reduced Ossett to 27-8 on their way to 73 all out.

That defeat thrust Ossett back into the relegation mix ahead of their crucial game tomorrow at Morley, but it is all over for Birstall who could yet help determine Bowling Old Lane’s fate when the Bradford side visit Leeds Road tomorrow.

Birstall are 52 points behind Old Lane, but the Bradford side are just four adrift of Yeadon and 10 behind Ossett.

The Championship Two title has long been decided in favour of Hartshead Moor, but confusion reigns at the other end of the table as the promotion and relegation plans between Championship Two and the Conference have yet to be be decided.

Spen Victoria’s fate was decided when, despite beating Liversedge at Spen Lane, Brighouse and Hopton Mills were both victorious and now battle it out between themselves for survival. 

Tomorrow Hopton Mills go to Hunslet Nelson while Brighouse are at home to Carlton.

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