Ossett CC might not yet be running out of time, but they are certainly running out of luck.
They go into their game at home to Yeadon tomorrow in third-bottom spot, just five points clear of Bankfoot in the second relegation spot, after a four-wicket defeat at Gomersal in their last game.
The problems began for Ossett around midday when former Gomersal skipper Richard Whitehurst pulled out of the side after his wife went into labour.
After batting first, they were accelerating well in the closing overs when Imran Patel, already on 42, slipped as he set off for a single, and was laid out flat in pain.
Unable to stand, he was quickly passed by non-striker Samiur Rehmann, who had come too far to turn round. As both batsmen found themselves at the same end, with Patel unable to move, Gomersal skipper Graham ran in to the stumps at the bowlers end and whipped off the bails. Patel took a while to stand and had to be helped off the ground.
What difference that incident made to the outcome of the match cannot be determined. But it would have been interesting to see just how many more than their eventual total of 230 Ossett would have added if Patel had been in at the end.
As it was, they had a top-scoring knock of 66 from skipper Harvey Anderson to thank for getting them away to a steady start, and Patel was set up for an explosive finish.
Gomersal responded with half-centuries from Adam Greenwood (51) and Nick Whitehill (71 not out) but it was a typically beligerent 42, in a 24-ball innings, from number seven Jack Seddon that finally swung the game Gomersal’s way.
With only 14 balls remaining, after the winning hit from Liam Thomas off Khalid Usman (3-57), it would have been interesting to see how much closer the game could have been but for Patel’s injury.
That win lifted Gomersal to sixth place and will doubtless put them in good heart for a very difficult game at Methley tomorrow, but it is one they really have to win if they are to make a late bid to get amongst the leaders.
Still top of the division are Scholes, who finished six-wicket winners at Yeadon after all-rounder Gareth Lee took 6-32 and contributed a fine 41 in the middle of the Scholes innings.
There were no wickets for skipper James Stansfield but he was unbeaten on 35 as his side completed their win with 9.5 overs to spare.
It is difficult to see Stansfield’s men slipping up tomorrow when they take on bottom club Birstall – the only team in the entire League without a win to their name.
In their last game Birstall crashed to an eight-wicket defeat at home to Undercliffe, who eased home with 25.5 overs to spare. Only Ian Carradice (56) came out with any great credit.
Both Birstall and Ossett could be forgiven for having one eye on next week when the two sides meet at Ossett for a game of immense importance to both teams.