There was high drama at Warley’s Paradise Lane ground yesterday when James Whitworth hit the last ball of the match for sixth to earn the home side an unlikely tie against Sowerby St Peter’s in the Spencer Wilson Halifax League.
The No 8 batsman, who finished on 68 not out, charged down the track and crashed a delivery from Martin Schofield over long on to bring the scores level on 243 after a fluctuating contest.
It was a tough outcome for the long-serving Schofield, who had bowled through and whose six wickets had looked certain to yield a surprise win for the St Peter’s club.
The visitors had posted a par course for the pitch. Opener Adam Clarke made 66 but fell to South African spinner Cameron van Rensberg, whose four wickets reduced the visitors to 158-6.
However, Gareth Hall (68 no) and Ben Hoyle, who lashed six sixes in a knock of 54 not out, lifted the visitors’ total to 243-6.
Schofield and Matthew Hoyle (2-93) got through all but four of their side’s overs and had their hosts in a good deal of trouble.
However, James Whitworth and brother Matthew (25), the Warley skipper, mounted a late challenge.
James was left with last man van Rensberg (13 no) for company and 14 needed to win off Schofield’s final over, then eight off the last three balls. The next two deliveries yielded only one run but James had the final say with his maximum hit to the delight of the home team and their supporters.
Warley batsman Nolan Bottomley said his side had ‘got out of jail’ thanks to a tremendous effort from the Whitworths.
“It was a terrific finish. We looked dead and buried with 20 overs left.”
There were stunning individual performances from Southowram’s two Ians - Hall and Gledhill - as hosts Bridgeholme were massacred by a 286-run margin on their own Eastwood ground.
Ian Hall, back from Jer Lane, hit 25 boundaries in a knock of 162 and Scott Griffiths chipped in with 40 as the Rams surged to 340-9, Sajad Mahmood taking 4-80.
Gledhill then returned figures of 5.4-3-7-8 - remarkable for any ground let alone the pocket-sized Bridgeholme pitch - as the hosts were dismissed for 54 in reply.
It could have been even worse for the bottom side, who were 7-6 and 16-8 before Javid Iqbal clubbed 46 not out to save a little face for his side. Eight Bridgeholme batsmen failed to trouble the scorers.
Champions Booth ended Thornton’s unbeaten start to the season and went second, just four points behind their rivals, after a four-wicket win in the big clash at Broad Fold Park.
Home skipper Richard Laycock couldn’t quite match his 8-57 against SBCI seven days earlier but a 5-76 return was key to his side’s success.
When danger man Josh Hutchinson (47) fell to him at 99-7 the visitors were in deep trouble but Ross Parr (59 no) and Ross Soames (35) ensured the tea time kettle was kept on the boil for some time as Thornton rallied to 209-9.
Brad Weatherhead struck four times to leave Booth 97-4 and the game in the balance but Patrick Thomas hit a match-winning 55 not out for the hosts. Hasnain Wajid (24) helped him to steady the ship in a 75-run stand.
Copley gained a much-needed first 12-point haul of the season with Oliver Thorpe their match-winner at home to Shelf Northowram HT.
Thorpe hit 69 and followed up with 6-36 as Copley won by 77 runs against foes whose honeymoon period looks to be over after two clubs joined forces over the winter.
It was no one-man show for the home team as Alex Blagborough made 83 in their total of 262-7. The visitors were 83-7 before Harry Reynolds (41) and Aamir Rashid (33) helped salvage maximum batting points at 185 all out.
Triangle and Mytholmroyd occupy fourth and fifth spots after scoring enough runs batting first to register wins.
Triangle were made to work for a 37-run success at Oxenhope with only Christian Silkstone (86) and Chris Metcalf (53) making an impact with the bat against in-form pair Joel Fothergill (5-58) and Scott Mallinson (4-68).
Chasing Triangle’s 244, Lewis Hopkinson (51) and Joe Ousey (41) had Oxenhope in the hunt but the introduction of David Turner (5-60) proved the winning move for the visitors.
Tom Conway (69) and Jack Earle (62) led Royd to 281-8 at home to SBCI and then followed up with three wickets apiece. Only opener Rhys Newton (66) got going for SBCI, who folded from 145-5 to 167 all out.
Scores: Thornton 209-9 (Parr 59*, Hutchinson 47, Ric Laycock 5-76), Booth 210-6 (Thomas 55*, Senior 48, Weatherhead 4-41): pts 4-11. Southowram 340-9 (Hall 162, Griffiths 40, S Mahmood 4-80), *Bridgeholme 54 (Iqbal 46*, Gledhill 8-7): pts 12-2. *Copley 262-7 (Blagborough 83, Thorpe 69, A Rowles 44, Rashid 4-101), Shelf Northowram HT 185 (Reynolds 41, Thorpe 6-36): pts 12-5. *Mytholmroyd 281-8 (Conway 69, J Earle 62, Firth 4-94), SBCI 167 (Newman 66): pts 12-4, Triangle 244 (Silkstone 86, Metcalf 53, Fothergiil 5-58, Mallinson 4-68), *Oxenhope 207 (Hopkinson 51, Ousey 41, Turner 5-60): pts 12-6. Sowerby St Peter’s 243-6 (Hall 68*, Clarke 66, B Hoyle 54*, van Rensberg 4-77), *Warley 243-9 (J Whitworth 68, Schofield 6-106): pts 8-7.
Points (after 7 matches): Thornton 74, Booth 70, Warley 68, Triangle 66, Mytholmroyd 58, Sowerby St Peters 54, Oxenhope 51, Shelf Northowram Hedge Top 50, Southowram 48, Copley 32, SBCI 25, Bridgeholme 24.