The Gale brothers continue to grab the headlines for Lancashire League leaders Walsden with Josh maintaining his golden run of form in yesterday’s 163-run win at Bacup.
Josh followed up scores of 98 and 106 not out over the previous couple of weekends with a superb 160 off 151 balls, including 20 fours and three sixes.
That helped him set a new amateur scoring record for the Scott Street club, eclipsing the 148 not out scored by brother and fellow all-rounder Joe against Formby in the LCB Cup only last month.
Walsden piled up 306-3 with Gale figuring in stands of 68 for the first wicket with Jake Hooson (18) and 199 for the second wicket with skipper Nick Barker (79).
Professional Umesh Karunaratne followed up his 25 not out with 5-40 and Jamie Shackleton took 5-38 to dismiss Bacup for 143, Matt Thompson emerging with credit for the hosts with a quick fire 64.
Walsden retain a seven point lead as chasing pair Darwen and Ramsbottom also banked maximum points.
Todmorden continued their improved form and climbed back into the top half of the table with a four-wicket win over Haslingden at Centre Vale.
Surprise packet Elliott Gilford and Hamza Ali each took 3-23 with the ball to undermine the visitors’ batting effort. Haslingden laboured to 135-9 with opener Graham Knowles’ 26 the top score.
Tod skipper Andrew Sutcliffe has promoted himself to opener in recent weeks and he showed he was up to the task with an excellent unbeaten 63 off 81 balls, with 11 boundaries, as teammates struggled to establish themselves at the other end.
The outcome was in doubt at 90-6 but Gilford (11 no), who has dropped down the order, supported his captain through to the end.
Lightcliffe’s five-match winning run in the Bradford League’s top section was ended by a five-wicket defeat at Townville.
They made steady progress to 79-1, having elected to bat, but slumped to 83-6 when Tim Bresnan’s younger brother Richie took four wickets in two overs.
The visitors did well to go on and post 176 with Suleman Khan (38) and Alex Stead (32) their top scorers.
However, the visitors’ spin attack had limited success in reply as Brayden Clark (70) and Kevin Ward (35) helped the Castleford side to victory.
Much-improved Brighouse continued their fine form by producing an excellent run chase to beat visitors Bowling Old Lane by two wickets in Championship Two.
A quick finish looked possible when Lane slipped to 67-5 but Ahsan Butt (104 no) and Zeeshan Haider (73no) added 188 to lift the total to 255-5.
Brighouse were far from overawed and after Chris Wynd had made 50 at the top of the order, Azad Mahmood (63) and Deron Greaves (47) batted aggressively to add 104 for the fifth wicket and put their side ahead of the clock. The late-order batsmen did the rest.
Northowram Fields got off the mark and lifted themselves three places to 10th after a six-wicket home win over East Ardsley.
The visitors elected to bat and James Marston made an unbeaten 88 for them but he looked on in dismay as his side slumped from 64-1 to 107-7 and eventually 171 all out.
Josh Bennett-Kear (4-53) ripped out the Ardsley middle order and Jason Smith (3-28) bowled a long and tight spell.
The league’s record wicket taker David Battye quickly added two more to his tally and at 20-3 the Rams were rocking but Dru Patel (71) and young wicketkeeper/batsman Kyle Welsh (56 no) added 123 for the fourth wicket to give their side the upper hand.
Barkisland and Rastrick bagged wins in the Huddersfield League but Elland, the third Calderdale team in the Championship, lost to leaders Almondbury Wesleyan.
Barkisland’s form and confidence is improving by the week and their skipper Darren Robinson led from the front in a 57-run win at home to Holmfirth.
Robinson hit 96 off 93 balls with Luke Bridges’ 36 the next best score in a total of 266-8.
Holmfield replied with 209 all out, middle-order pair Aizaz Khan (55) and Amar Rashid (46) providing the biggest obstacles to Barkisland’s success before both fell to spinner Matthew Steers, who finished with 6-59.
Rastrick got back on track after a weekend to forget but wobbled at times in a 33-run home win over bottom team Meltham.
They were 98-6 before skipper Jacob Waterson (33) and Wasim Javed (32 no) helped them to 165-7.
Pro Asif Afridi (5-43) was handed the new ball and he and Jack Pearson (4-61) took the first nine Meltham wickets before Javed claimed the last on 132.
Meltham were 70-8 before Kamran Muhammad (49) lashed out to give Rastrick a scare.
Elland let a promising position slip at Almondbury, who were 85-5 before Fred Walker’s 73 not out lifted the home total to 248-7.
Elland were soon 45-4 in reply and Alec Hodgson’s 75 was in vain as the Hullen Edge men were dismissed for 170.