Jer Lane have reached the half-way point of the Foster’s Halifax League season with an 11-point lead in their pursuit of a third successive crown.
Lane won by 17 runs at Sowerby Bridge yesterday, on the back of a powerful batting display, and potential rivals are hardly queueing up to challenge with the second and third-placed sides, Booth and Mytholmroyd, beaten again.
The leaders’ first three batsmen, Chris Shannon (54), Wayne Cotton (50) and Raqeeb Younas (67), laid solid foundations at Walton Street.
Lane totalled 271 for seven and that was enough with Shannon (six for 76) completing a fine afternoon’s work, his victims including fourth-placed Bridge’s reliable opener Tim Helliwell for 87.
Booth look likely to be without league side all-rounder Richard Laycock for a few weeks due to a broken wrist and they missed him in a six-wicket defeat at Warley.
Booth were 86 for five until Nigel Horsfall produced a typical lower-order assault, his 82 in company with skipper Robert Cockroft’s 40 not out helping the visitors to 239 for nine.
The game was in the balance with Warley 104 for four but Shazad Hassan changed that with 110 not out while Graham Kinsey contributed 38 not out the other end.
Mytholmroyd were beaten by the same margin at home to Copley.
Last year’s Parish Cup final man of the match Oliver Thorpe took five for 57 and Mark Baldwin four for 44 to dismiss ‘Royd for 198, Luke Sutcliffe top scoring with 57.
A second wicket stand of 99 between Mohammed Seraj (78) and Rishikesh Bhuskute (59) put Copley well on the way to victory and although both were run out, Nick Gomersal (43 no) helped complete the task.
SBCI are only three points behind the Calder Valley pair in fourth place after a three-wicket win in a high-scoring game at Blackley.
Reece Jennison (66) and Macauley Shiel (51 no) left SBCI chasing 269 for victory but they were up to the task with 85 from young opener George Hampshire and strong backing from Chris Dalby (52) and Tom Wood (49).
Chris White took five for 99 for the hosts while Jamie Sykes also bowled through for the visitors and was hit for less than three figures.
The most exciting game of the day in the Premier was at Triangle where the home side’s experienced last pair Dave Turner (17 no) and Richard Turner (4 no) saw their side to a victory target of 226 against Queensbury.
Jamie Priestley gave the visitors’ innings some backbone with 92 and he was ninth out with the score on 211. Scott Osbourne fell one short of a half-century.
Triangle looked to be cruising it at 177 for three with Christian Silkstone (91) in full flow again but both he and Dan Crosland (54) fell to Umaid Sajjad.
Spinner Amjad Ali then bowled eight consecutive maidens and took three wickets as things suddenly got very nervy for the home side, whose players were left breathing sighs of relief.
Southowram’s hopes of a much-needed victory soared when Tom Belfield and Gavin Moody took three wickets each to reduce hosts Thornton to 39 for six chasing the Rams’ modest 158.
However, their hopes were dashed by the two Rosses - Soames (84 no) and Parr (35 no).
Points: Jer Lane 102, Booth 91, Mytholmroyd 91, SBCI 88, Copley 86, Sowerby Bridge 84, Warley 80, Triangle 79, Thornton 78, Queensbury 65, Blackley 63, Southowram 46.
Sowerby St Peters beat Northowram Hedge Top by three wickets in the top of the table game to stretch 10 points clear in Division One.
Adam Stocks (91) and Keir Litjens (45) were the only visiting batsmen to make much of an impact against Chris Punda, Martin Schofield and Josh Graham, who all took three wickets.
Needing 189 to win, Sowerby stumbled to 99 for six before the experience Schofield (44 no) and Gavin Hayes (43) came to the rescue.
Ollie Challis was the main man for Bridgholme in their six-wicket win at back-pedalling Bradshaw.
He took four for 42 to limit Bradshaw to 158 for nine.
The home side were 66 for seven before Chris Pell (32) and Aaron Buckley (48) showed some defiance.
Third-placed Bridgeholme looked solid in reply and Challis’s 63 not out wrapped up success for the Eastwood side.
Oxenhope complete a breakaway quartet after Scott Mawer’s 50 not out gave them a four-wicket win at Low Moor.
Up to his arrival bowlers had been on top with Jazdev Jheeta’s five for 64 for Oxenhope being replied to by Nick Wood’s four for 45 for the hosts.
Bottom club Stones are only four points behind Luddenden Foot after Joe Ackroyd (88 and four for 57) helped the Ripponden side to a 66-run win over their rivals.
It wasn’t just a one-man show, Jacob Bower (61 no) helping Stones recover from 50 for five to reach 239 for six.
Points: Sowerby SP 105, Northowram HT 95, Bridgeholme 88, Oxenhope 85, Bradshaw 68, Low Moor 65, Luddenden Foot 60, Stones 56.
Old Town are off the bottom of Division Two after a 10-run win at home to Denholme Clough.
Twelve-point successes are as rare as blue moons for the Boston Hill club but half-centuries from Abid Hussain, Saj Mahmood and Mohammed Jamil gave them hope.
Their last five batsmen failed to trouble the scorer but a total of 219 gave them something to defend.
Ali Asghar took four wickets in reply and Town looked on top before being given a late scare by Mohammed Asif, who hit 66 before being run out.
Greetland slipped to the foot of the table after falling victim to leaders Outlane’s Simon Ainley (six for 46). Opener Richard Cox made 43 out of their 103.
Lane openers Lee Mellor (52 no) Alex Blagbrough (49 no) completed a 10-wicket win for the leaders in 18 overs.
There was a similarly one-sided match at Upper Hopton where Parish Cup finalists Great Horton Park Chapel skittled their hosts for 118, thanks to Paul Fenton’s six for 28.
Chris Andrews and Richard Wood scored 33 apiece for Hopton.
In-form Adam Beesley hit 67 not out and Richard Hassall 33 not out in Chapel’s nine-wicket success.
Steve Welch was Cullingworth’s match-winner, batting through for 134 not out as his side just got the better of hosts Old Crossleyans, for whom Jack Hembleys took five wickets and Sehf Mahmood hit 63.
Paul Gelder (six for 54) and Tim Shackleton (58) combined to give Clayton an easy seven-wicket win at Shelf.
Division Two: Outlane 97, Great Horton PC 96, Cullingworth 96, Clayton 95, Old Crossleyans 93, Upper Hopton 68, Denholme Clough 62, Shelf 61, Old Town 51, Greetland 49.