More title joy for Walsden

Nick Barker, in action for Walsden Cricket Club
Nick Barker, in action for Walsden Cricket Club

Walsden are set to go down in history as the sole winners of the Pennine League.

Nick Barker’s men went into the weekend with a six-point lead over title rivals Norden and neither side got on to the field on Saturday or Sunday due to heavy spells of rain.

With five points for a win, it means Walsden cannot be overtaken with one round of fixtures left.

Walsden were due to play at derby rivals Littleborough on Saturday and at home to Greenfield on Sunday.

When news came through that Norden’s Sunday game against Rochdale was off, Walsden were happy to draw stumps at Scott Street and start celebrating.

Spokesman Kenny Gale said the weekend had been an anti-climax but retaining the title was a fine achievement for the side, with their win at home to Norden in mid-season pivotal.

Walsden, who are on a long unbeaten run in the league, will receive the trophy at Sunday’s final game at home to Monton and Weaste.

The Pennine League is folding after just two seasons with ex-Central Lancashire League pair Walsden and Norden among a handful of clubs heading to the Lancashire League. Other sides are going to the Greater Manchester League.

In the Bradford League, Lightcliffe and Northowram Fields managed some play on Saturday but Brighouse’s game at home to Carlton didn’t start.

Lightcliffe have finished eighth in the Premier Division after their match at Cleckheaton was abandoned after 26 overs.

There was still time for Matt Baxter to make an impact, the batsman hitting made an unbeaten 112 at the end of his first season as skipper.

Baxter hit nine sixes in a 61-ball knock and added 137 for the fourth wicket with young Adam Wainwright (32) as Lightcliffe reached 168-4 before play was washed out.

Less than seven overs of play took place at Northowram, where the hosts sped to 46-1 against bottom side Spen Victoria in Championship 2. Chris Metcalf was the man out after making 32 off 18 balls.

Teams in the Bradford League’s bottom three divisions have another set of fixtures on Saturday.

Barkisland’s hugely disappointing season in the Huddersfield League finished with a washout at home to Broad Oak. Darren Robinson’s side have finished 25 points adrift of next-to-bottom Skelmanthorpe in the Premiership.

Rastrick’s miserable end to the season in the Championship was completed at home to Meltham. There was no play and the Round Hill men, top a few weeks ago and looking set for the top flight, have missed out behind Shelley and Mirfield Parish Cavaliers.

Elland, unable to take to the field against Slaithwaite, have finished fifth following their relegation in 2016.

Todmorden’s home game with Ramsbottom on Saturday failed to get under way and Andrew Sutcliffe’s side will hope to finish the season on a high against Nelson on Sunday, in an effort to overtake Burnley and finish third.