ALL-ROUNDER Zain Abbas was once again a star performer for Scholes as they overcame champions Townville by six wickets at Poplar Avenue to go clear at the top of the Premier Division.
Abbas made 96 from 93 balls before being stumped off Jack Hughes (3-40) going for glory – a boundary would have won the game and brought up his century.
But, with 18 overs remaining and seven wickets in hand, it was a luxury Scholes could well afford.
Abbas (3-47) and Mo Sharafat (3-44) had earlier restricted Townville to 166-8 and the home side never looked likely to defend that total successfully as Abbas completed his scoring in just 93 balls.
A 5-31 display from Methley’s Ed Walmsley proved Birstall’s undoing at Little Church Lane as the Batley side slumped to just 136 all out on their way to an eight-wicket defeat.
But there was better luck for Ossett who came away from their visit to Hunslet Nelson with a six-wicket win.
John Sadler had a particularly good day for Ossett with a 4-51 return, to help bowl out the home side for 164, and then made an unbeaten 66 to see his side through to victory while Mirfield Parish, five wicket winners at Carlton, and Hopton Mills, who won by three wickets at home to Wakefield Thornes, both made progress.
In the Championship’s top game second-placed Liversedge struggled to reach 177-8 at leaders Batley, Alan Sumner (46) top-scoring, and Batley eased home by five wickets with the help of a century fourth wicket stand by Fawad Maqsood (73) and Imran Mayat (65).
Premier Division leaders Scholes face another tough game this week when they entertain Methley at New Popplewell Lane.
The visitors have lost some key players in recent years but former Cleckheaton duo Marcus and Ed Walmsley remain prominent with bat and ball and could give the Scholes skipper James Stansfield, another ex-Cleckheaton man, a hard time.
Other games in the same division see Ossett at home to Hopton Mills, Birstall to Carlton and Mirfield Parish at home to Hunslet Nelson.
In the Championship Liversedge are at home to Northowram, who have now moved up to second after the Liversedge defeat at Batley last week, while leaders Batley are at Oulton, in a top-versus-bottom clash.