Sajjid star of overdue success

Cricket - Warley v Southowram. Greg Keywood bats for Warley.
Cricket - Warley v Southowram. Greg Keywood bats for Warley.

It may be too little too late but Bridgeholme will have enjoyed their first Spenser Wilson Halifax League win of the season, at the 19th attempt, yesterday.

They registered a 31-run home win over SBCI with the help of a more solid batting display and the all-rounder efforts of Sohail Sajjid.

The Eastwood side, who accepted a late invitation to play in the top flight this season, are already assured a swift return to Division One but at least they now have a first ever Premier Division win to their name.

They started badly with the loss of Jason Barker for a duck but Sajjid (64), Ikram Mahmood (38), Hassan Mahmood (50 no), Yasir Mahmood (75) and Mohammed Basharat (33 no) lifted Bridgeholme’s total to 301-4 on their pocket-sized ground.

Sajjid then took 5-82 as SBCI were bowled out for 270 with Thomas Wood (87) and Sam Hinchcliffe (82) the main stumbling blocks for Bridgeholme.

Ben Burkill had an excellent game as Thornton ticked off another fixture to move closer to their first Halifax League title.

The diminutive Burkill is a former Northowram Fields player and the all-rounder hit an unbeaten 129 and took 4-48 as Thornton beat Fields’ over-the-wall neighbours Shelf Northowram Hedge Top by 56 runs.

Burkill batted throughout the innings, hitting 24 boundaries, as Thornton totalled 281-5. Mick Shanks’ 45 was the next highest contribution.

A 116-run second wicket stand between Dan Cole (86) and Razwan Saghir (59) was broken by Burkill as Hedge Top were limited to 225-8.

One bowling point may have gone begging but Thornton still lead by 15 points from Booth, who responded to the previous week’s defeat at Thornton with 12 points from a 109-run derby win at home to Mytholmroyd.

A strong top-order batting effort led by Robert Worsnop (77), Patrick Thomas (49), Robert Laycock (60) and Richard Laycock (40) put Booth in charge.

Chasing an unlikely 323 for victory, James Cowens’ 87, which included 10 maximums, enlivened proceedings and Jacob Travis also made 42 but Royd have now gone through the whole of July and August without a win.

Their free fall in the table has left them looking for next-to-bottom Southowram’s results and news of the Rams’ 65-run defeat at Warley will have been a relief.

Greg Keywood had seven-wicket hauls against Thornton and Shelf Northowram earlier in the season but he went one better against Southowram.

Handed the new ball in the absence of Luke Duckitt, he took 8-60 to dismiss the visitors for 146 in reply to Warley’s 211.

Dean Crossley (67) again lacked support for Southowram, who at least snatched a second batting point when last man Muhammad Usman made 26 before being run out.

Warley’s total was built of scores of between 40 and 50 from skipper Matthew Whitworth, Keywood and Faheem Khatana.

Sowerby St Peter’s were without the Premier’s top wicket-taker this season, workhorse Martin Schofield, for the trip to Oxenhope.

They need not have worried as Schofield’s usual opening partner Matthew Hoyle came up trumps with 7-30 after Jack Leonard had seen off the home openers for ducks.

Oxenhope mustered only 82 and openers Ben Watkins (38 no) and Adam Clarke (37) took the visitors most of the way to victory before Clarke’s wicket was the only one to fall in the second half of the contest.

Triangle retained third place with a 71-run win at home to third-from-bottom Copley, who picked up five points in their battle to beat the drop.

Triangle, returning to the scene of their Parish Cup final defeat to Warley earlier in the month, made 311-7.

Chris Metcalf continued his fine first season at Grassy Bottom with 106 and Carl Fletcher made 80 not out.

William Rushton (59), Matthew Rowles (41) and Oliver Thorpe (46) led the home response, eight Triangle players turning their arm as Copley settled for 240-7.

Premier Division: *Booth 322-8 (Worsnop 77, Rob Laycock 60, Thomas 49, Ric Laycock 40, Ali 4-71), Mytholmroyd 213 (Cowens 87, Travis 42, Horsfall 5-51): pts 12-5. *Bridgeholme 301-4 (Y Mahmood 75, Sajjid 64, H Mahmood 50*), SBCI 270 (T Wood 87, Hinchcliffe 77, Sajiid 5-82): pts 12-4. Triangle 311-7 (Metcalf 106, Fletcher 80*), *Copley 240-7 (Rushton 59, Thorpe 46, M Rowles 41): pts 11-5. *Oxenhope 82 (Ousey 44, M Hoyle 7-30), Sowerby St Peter's 86-1: pts 0-

12. *Thornton 281-5 (Burkill 129*, Shanks 45), Shelf Northowram HT 225-8 (D Cole 86, Saghir 59, Burkill 4-48): pts 11-4.*Warley 211 (Whitworth 46, Keywood 45, Khatana 41, Belfield 4-43), Southowram 146 (Crossley 67, Keywood 8-60): pts 12-5.

Points (after 19 games): Thornton 200, Booth 185, Triangle 176, Warley 172, Sowerby St Peters 141, Shelf Northowram Hedge Top 134, SBCI 129, Oxenhope 127, Mytholmroyd 125, Copley 120, Southowram 109, Bridgeholme 67.