Central Yorkshire: Batley hope for change of fortune in Trophy

HITTING OUT: Mirfield's Yasir AliHITTING OUT: Mirfield's Yasir Ali
HITTING OUT: Mirfield's Yasir Ali
PREMIERSHIP strugglers Batley will hope to put their poor league form behind them when they host Championship leaders Azaad in the Jack Hampshire Trophy first round on Sunday.

Promoted Batley remain winless on their return to the top-flight after suffering a batting collapse in Saturday’s 25-run defeat against Carlton.

Chasing Carlton’s 135 that featured a half-century by Danny Wilbor, Batley were favourites when Sardar Khan (44) led them to 95-3 but Patrick Hinchcliffe (4-4) sent them reeling to 110 all out.

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Batley have a tricky tie against unbeaten Wakefield-based Azaad who have made another excellent start after lifting the Division One championship last year.

Altofts visit Townville and Buttershaw St Paul’s host Wakefield Thornes in the only all-Premiership clashes.

Holders Methley host Adwalton and last season’s beaten finalists Birstall travel to neighbours Crossbank Methodists.

The other ties are Carlton v Gildersome, Oulton v Mirfield, Mirfield PC v Rodley, Ossett v Caribbean, Wakefield St Michael’s v Liversedge, Great Preston v East Ardsley and East Leeds v Northowram Fields.

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Ossett stepped up their Premiership title bid when all-rounders John Sadler (43no and 4-25) and Gurman Randhawa (37 and 3-25) led them to a nine-wicket win against Mirfield Parish Cavaliers.

Second-placed Ossett are just two points adrift of champions Methley who slipped to their first league defeat at neighbours Townville.

Anurag Verma (4-31) and Joe Finnigan (2-38) restricted Methley to 154-8, replying to Townville’s 212-6 that featured an unbeaten 121 by opener Kristian Ward.

Townville visit Shelley on May 24 and Methley host Kirkburton on June 7 in re-arranged Heavy Woollen Cup second round ties.

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Wakefield Thornes reached the quarter-finals by beating Huddersfield League Scholes by eight wickets thanks to Matt Jordan (60no) and Matt Varley (4-30).

It completed a successful weekend for Thornes after Jordan (62no), Ravinda Paliyaguruge (4-39) and Faisal Irfan (3-25) led them to a five-wicket win at Altofts on Saturday.

Eric Austin struck five sixes in a rapid century as third-placed Birstall maintained their title challenge by beating Buttershaw St Paul’s by 36 runs.

Hunslet Nelson’s Will Stiff 
(6-34) limited Wrenthorpe to 122 in a 34-over game, but Hunslet fell 12 runs short.

Oulton climbed to third in the Championship when Ryan Healey (71no) and Scott Hopkinson (63) helped them overhaul Northowram’s 211-9 with five overs to spare.