Trio of wins inspires Spen

Trio of wins inspires Spen

SPEN VICTORIA, having just missed out on promotion last year, go into tomorrow’s Bradford League Second Division clash with second-placed Saltaire in buoyant mood after seeing three successive victories promise to revive their season.

A superb 30-hour spell last weekend saw them overcome neighbouring Hartshead Moor by 52 runs, on a day runs were hard to come by, and then blow Windhill away the following day to win by the same margin.

Runs were not easy to come by on either day but skipper Craig Woodhead (4-37) helped his side comfortably defend a modest 175-6 at his old club Hartshead Moor and then, after Spen posted just 133 in 48.3 overs, last year’s leading wicket-taker Rob Burton came to the rescue with a 8-35 display that shot out the visitors for 85.

Those results leave Spen still 30 points adrift of the third promotion place but a good win over Saltaire will certainly put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.

While second-placed Saltaire are at Spen, the leaders, Undercliffe, are in Second Division action up the hill at Gomersal.

Greg Pickles has not had an easy time in his first year as captain at Oxford Road but there was some welcome relief in their last game at Idle where they carried off a 76-run win.

Although disappointed in their Saturday game at home to Saltaire, losing by 37 runs despite a magnificent 109 from Combined Services player Jon Boynton, Gomersal bounced back at Idle with good knocks from Graham Hilton (56) and Josh Fell (68) in their 210-5 – before restricting the home side to 130-9 with 3-35 from Chris Rhodes.

Hartshead Moor, at home to Great Horton, complete the Spen Valley programme in Division Two.

While in the First Division the district’s sides are travelling as Hanging Heaton, now fifth, go to Bradford and Bingley and second-placed Cleckheaton whiz up the A58 to Lightcliife as they pursue their defence of the First Division title.

Leaders Woodlands should have the better of things at struggling East Bierley. Bierley skipper Gavin Hamilton hit a top scoring 58 in a welcome win over Morley and the left hander will no doubt relish the clash with Woodlands’ left-arm paceman Sarfraz Ahmed who finished with a remarkable 5-9 at Bingley.

Mally Nicholson (74) top scored for Cleckheaton in their win at Yeadon but overseas man Tanzeel Altaf was the star here with 61 and a top bowling stint of 4-43.

• HANGING HEATON CC exited the ECB National Cup as they were suffered a four-wicket loss at Chesterfield CC.

Joe Fraser (57) top scored as the visitors batted first before his side were restricted to 189-8 in the semi-final clash.

But the home side, inspired by opener Ben Slater (68), reached the desired total with six wickets down and overs still to spare to set up a group final against Doncaster Town CC.

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