BATLEY and Birstall go into tomorrow’s games with promotion, from Championships One and Two respectively, firmly in their sights.
With only three games to go after tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) trip to East Bierley, Batley sit top of the Bradford League’s second tier with a 36-point lead over Morley and a further three-point advantage over third-placed Bankfoot.
The Mount Pleasant side would have to be pointless in two of their four games,
and Bankfoot and Morley collect maximum points from their remaining fixtures, for them to miss out on a return to the Premier Division.
In their last game, Batley completed a three-wicket win at Wakefield St Michaels, while Morley lost to lowly Ossett by nine runs and Bankfoot lost at home to Pudsey Congs by six wickets.
At the other end of the table, Gomersal entertain bottom club Scholes desperately hoping to avoid another derby disaster.
Scholes are already 50 points from safety and a win at Gomersal is an absolute must in order to have even the faintest hopes of survival, but Gomersal are in no less a predicament after being bowled out for just 22 by Hartshead Moor in their last game.
That defeat leaves Gomersal in fourth-bottom spot, only 24 points above second-bottom St Michaels, while the result puts Hartshead Moor back in with an outside chance of promotion.
Former Gomersal skipper Adam Greenwood must have feared the worst when his side were bowled out for just 108, but Scotland’s one-day international Iain Wardlaw (6-11) and Danny Squire (4-8) immediately put their visitors from across the valley to the sword.
At one point Gomersal had six wickets down for only nine runs and in 18.1 overs they were finally dismissed for just 22, with six extras proving to be the top score in an innings that had more ducks than Batley Park lake!
In the meantime Hartshead Moor have a superb chance of pressing for promotion themselves when they visit Scatcherd Lane tomorrow. An emphatic win could actually see Moor overtake Morley in the promotion race.
In Championship Two unbeaten Carlton, away at Northowram Fields tomorrow, will secure promotion with a win and Birstall, still 27 points behind, have only the slightest chance of catching the leaders.
But with a 35-point lead over third-placed Yeadon, promotion is still the most likely outcome for Birstall, even if their hopes of claiming silverware ended with defeat to Yeadon in the Jack Hampshire Cup final.
A trip to Buttershaw St Paul’s tomorrow gives Birstall the chance to bounce straight back and close in on that promotion spot.
Elsewhere in this division Liversedge and Adwalton are sliding ever closer to relegation to the Conference and, with 29 points already between them and third-bottom Northowram, a Liversedge win at Hopton Mills looks essential for their survival.
For Adwalton, at home to Yeadon, the 34-point gap between them and Northowram already looks unbridgeable.