Spen Victoria skip past Scholes

Former Central Yorkshire League side Scholes could not have wished for a better start in the Bradford League, after chalking up three straight wins, but the early season Second Division leaders take on Baildon at New Popplewell Lane tomorrow fresh from their first setback.

While the weather continued to threaten the fixture programme Scholes skipper James Stansfield must have been desperate to see his side’s game at third-placed Spen Victoria go ahead and maintain the momentum – but in the end, probably wished it hadn’t.

When play did eventually start it was with a shortened boundary and as a 24 overs-a-side game.

Spen batted first and though Mohammed Sharafat picked up 4-25 in five overs for Scholes, Zarak Khan’s 46 off 43 balls, with three fours and four sixes, took the total to 104 from 23.1 overs.

In reply Scholes had no-one who could provided the extraordinary innings needed and Rob Warriner’s 5-18 helped restrict them to 96-9 at the close to seal an eight-run win for Spen.

While Scholes now face a visit from Baildon that win puts Spen Victoria 17 points behind their Spen Valley neighbours and looking forward to the trip to bottom club Yeadon tomorrow (Sat).

Gomersal, with a game in hand on the leading clubs after a free week, go to Idle while Hartshead Moor are scheduled to take on Brighouse at Highmoor Lane having yet to complete a game this season.

First Division champions Cleckheaton collected their first league win of the new season when they finished 99-run winners at Farsley, and skipper John Wood will be hoping for more of the same when bottom club Undercliffe visit Moorend tomorrow.

At Farsley, Ian Nicholson (63) and James Lee (42 not out), aided by 26 off 16 balls from Richard Whitehurst, helped lift the Cleckheaton total to 216-7 in a 40-over game. In reply the home side never really got to grips with the Cleckheaton attack and, with leg spinner Tanzeel Altaf taking 4-33, they were all out for 117.

Hanging Heaton all-rounder Ian Philliskirk is proving a great success with the ball since moving to Bennett Lane this season, and his 5-41 at Woodlands restricted the home side to 194.

But Woodlands’ paceman Sarfraz Ahmed took 3-18 in 12 overs to leave the visitors up against it early on, and spinner Chris Brice finished the job for Woodlands with a 4-41 return as only Joe Fraser (71) made any impact with the bat.

This week promises to be another tough one for skipper Gary Fellows as his side go to leaders Pudsey St Lawrence, while on Monday evening he takes charge of a Bradford League representative side to face Yorkshire in a T20 challenge match at Pudsey Congs.

The Bradford side also includes Fellows’ clubmate David Stiff and Cleckheaton duo Mally Nicholson and Curtis Free.

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