RUNS – and lots of them – were the order of the day in the top-flight on Saturday, none moreso than at the Barry Jackson Ground.
It yielded a real run-fest with Hanging Heaton, the side viewed by many in the know to be title favourites, showcasing their strong battling armoury to chase down 315 to see off hosts New Farnley.
It helped turn an impressive start to the season into a wonderful one according to Tewits chairman John Carruthers, with Heaton’s accomplished attack dovetailing with some potent batting options in their line-up – with several coming to the fore on Saturday.
It was an afternoon when the runs flowed across the league, with Yorkshire’s Alex Lees taking pride of place with a remarkable unbeaten innings of 227, which set a league record as Lightcliffe beat basement club Bradford and Bingley by 53 runs.
In total, four sides scored over 300 in a day for the willow wielders, with home batsman Simon Lambert leading the batting parade with a marvellous 147 in Farnley’s card of 314-4.
But it was not enough as Tewits’ much-vaunted top-order men Gary Fellows (110) and Callum Geldart (68) also came to the party in particular as the visitors triumphed by six wickets with just three balls left to maintain their 100 per cent opening to the season – and post a warning in the process.
Chairman Carruthers said: “Saturday was one of those games where you just have to win as it was competitive and a close finish.
“It was a really good pitch with not the biggest of boundaries. 280 was probably about par, but we needed 315.
“But Gaz and Nick (Connolly), who has been in outstanding form, gave us a good start and we managed to get to a point where we needed no more than eight or nine an over off the last eight or nine (overs).
“I think that is on, nowadays and teams are knocking the runs off – if you look at the first-grade cricket stats.
“We do have that belief that we have the strength in the batting down the order.”
On Heaton’s four-from-four start, he added: “It has been a wonderful start. We couldn’t have asked for anything better, really.
“The introduction of Callum has been wonderful and it is nice to only have to make one change and I think that has paid a bit of a dividend as well.
“He is a class act and a super kid. He only lives ten minutes or so away in Denby Dale and he adds to our good players as well.
“Hopefully having two spinners in and Callum can pay dividends also, with the grounds being dry.”
Elsewhere, Tim Jackson-inspired Woodlands extended their peerless start to the campaign and ended the unbeaten record boasted by champions Pudsey St Lawrence in the process.
Jackson struck 112 not out – his second successive ton in a real captain’s effort as Woodlands chased down St Lawrence’s score of 227-5.
Jackson shared in a fourth-wicket partnership worth 107 with Alex Atkinson (45), with the efforts of Adam Waite (88) being in vain for St Lawrence.
Alongside Woodlands and Heaton, the third side who still boast a 100 per cent record are Farsley, who lead the way by two points after a 53-run win over East Bierley.
The Red Laners did not have it all their own way, with only James Pickles (56) making strides in their card of 179.
But James Logan (5-21) and Adam Ahmed (3-36) soon got to work as Bierley were dismissed for 126.
Cleckheaton captain John Wood (122) rolled back the years as the Moorenders (234-8) beat Batley (233) at the death by just one run.
Jonathan Booth (65) and Jack Hughes (66no) helped Townville claimed their third straight success after an eight-wicket triumph over Pudsey Congs, whose best was Ifran Amjad (51).
THERE is no stopping joint Championship leaders Scholes and Methley, who maintained their 100 per cent records with strong wins.
Opener Sam Gatenby (80) top-scored as Scholes compiled an imposing total of 264-9 against Bankfoot, who were then blown away for a derisory 63.
Yassir Ali (5-28) was in awesome form, well supprted by Andrew Robinson (3-21).
Marcus Walmsley (70no and 5-31) were the star turn for Methley (147-0) as they whitewashed Yeadon (146), with the all-rounder sharing in an unbroken opening stand with talented overseas star Muhammad Akhlaq (69no).
Opener Jake Wray hit a defiant 59 for Yeadon.
Wrenthorpe (287-7) are on the coat-tails of the leading duo after a thumping 162-run success over Bowling Old Lane (125)
Solid contributions arrived from captain Greg Wood (67), the in-form Luke Patel (60) who put on 113 for the third wicket after Andrew Bourke (55) had earlier provided a strong early foundation for the Wakefield side.
Leading light with the ball was Jonathan Rudge, who took a fine 5-23.
A captain’s performance from Oliver Halliday (82) enabled Morley (210) to prevail against Gomersal by 28 runs.
Jamie Bloom (49) top-scored for Gomersal (182-9) as Sangeeth Cooray (3-37) and Henry Rush (3-43) applied the brakes.
Overseas man Khalid Usman (54no and 4-38) inspired a first victory of the season for Ossett in a tense one-run win over Birstall.
A opening stand of 100 between Zubair Raje (87) and Harvey Anderson (46) also proved key for Ossett, with Rishy Limechaya (71) and Nick Kaye (43) in the runs for Birstall.
Ex-Yorkshire and Scotland paceman Iain Wardlaw (5-30) helped Hartshead Moor maintain the pace at the top of Championship B with a seven-wicket win over Hunslet Nelson.
Craig Field top-scored with 70 for Moor.
Buttershaw St Paul’s lost for the first time this season as they went down to a six-wicket defeat against Liversedge.