Birstall slip to defeat as promotion race takes twist

Birstall opener Eric Austin made 56 and shared a stand of 106 with Ian Carradice but his side were unable to capitalise and slipped to a 16-run defeat ahainst Northowram Fields on Sunday.
Birstall opener Eric Austin made 56 and shared a stand of 106 with Ian Carradice but his side were unable to capitalise and slipped to a 16-run defeat ahainst Northowram Fields on Sunday.

Birstall missed the chance to put real pressure on Allrounder Bradford League Championship Two leaders Keighley as they suffered a 16-run defeat to Northowram Fields last Sunday.

The round of matches was moved from the scheduled opening day of the season when many grounds were left Saturdated following several weeks wet weather.

In contrast matches were played in the blazing hot sun, which has left outfields scorched.

Despite defeat, Birstall actually moved up to second place and are 20 popints behind Keighley having played the same number of matches.

Northowram posted a useful total of 240-6 thanks to contributions from John Lister (67no), Paul Bottomley (63) and Dru Patel (38).

Birstall openersw Ian Carradice (71) and Eric Austin (56) shared a first wicket partnership of 106 but Northowram fought back as Josh Dodd (5-65) and Josh Bennett-Kear (3-41) took wickets at regular intervals and they were dismissed for 224.

Birstall moved above Wakefield St Michael’s, who were made to pay for a dismal batting performance against Buttershaw St Pauls as they were bowled out for 72.

Amer Ayoub finished with 5-8 for St Paul’s after taking the last three wickets in four balls, while Jordi Fettis took (3-23.

Opener Kevin McDermott made 44 as St Paul’s cruised to victory for the loss of just two wickets.

Brighouse moved up to third, a point behind Birstall with a game in hand after victory over Liversedge.

Ahmed Khan struck 55 not out and was supported by Will Atkin and Graham Winn, who both made 33 as Liversedge posted 216-7, with Abid Awain taking 3-66.

A second-wicket stand of 119 between Chris Wynd (85no) and Deron Greaves (83) helped Brighouse seal an eight wicket win.

Liversedge remain bottom, five points behind Spen Victoria, who suffered a crushing 172-run defeat to Altofts.

Altofts all-rounder Farrouk Alam led the way as he made an unbeaten 157.

His innings included eight sixes and 18 fours and was joined in a fourth wicket partnership of 212 by Matthew Bishop (45).

Craig Wood struck 69 at the top of the Altofts innings, which helped set them up for a huge total of 306-3.

Alam followed up his efforts with the bat by taking 6-30 as Spen were dismissed for 134 in reply with Danny Simpson (35) and Ollie Davison (30) leading the way.

East Ardsley are just three points above Spen as thir barren run continued with an eight-wicket defeat at Bowling Old Lane.

Ardsley were bowled out for 140 when battimng first and that total would have been lower but for a last-wicket stand of 55 between Adam Pearson (35no) and Richard Butcher (12).

Captain Farakh Hussain took 3-16 for Old Lane.

The home side raced to victory with openers Ahsan Butt (63) and Zeeshan Haider (46) leading the charge.