Saturday league cricket - Woodlands suffer first defeat off last ball

AFTER 26 years as a Pudsey St Lawrence first-teamer, James Smith has played in many memorable matches.

Unlucky 13: Batley opener Abdul Wahid is bowled by Sam Lodge for 13. New Farnley won the Bradford League game by nine wickets. Picture: Steve Riding

However, now the 41-year-old, who retires at the end of the season, seems to be racking one up every seven days.

The previous weekend it was their victory over New Farnley, and this time it was Saints’ last-ball triumph over Bradford League Premier leaders Woodlands.

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Saints, set 248 to win, needed eight off the last over bowled by experienced spinner Kez Ahmed, and it was second-teamers Sam Johnson and Jordan Moore who got the visitors over the line by scrambling a single off the final delivery to inflict the first defeat of the season on Woodlands.

Woodlands opener Sam Frankland made 63, adding 56 for the fourth wicket with captain Cieran Garner (29), but their real impetus came from Muhammad Bilal (65 not out off 37 balls, including six sixes and three fours) and Elliot Richardson (29 not out off 17 balls, including three sixes), who put on 96 unbroken for the eighth wicket.

Mark Robertshaw (22) and captain Charlie Best (55) set Saints on their way with an 81 stand but they slipped to 133-5 before Archie Scott (28) and Smith (56) put on 61, Charlie Parker also making an important 26 to set up the finale.

Townville, who edged out St Lawrence on Bank Holiday Monday, are joint leaders with Woodlands on 128 points after a 65-run win over Morley.

Jack Hughes (34 and 4-41) and Harry Clewett (47 and 3-33) played important roles for Townville.

New Farnley are third after Lee Goddard continued his early-season run spree with 88 not out against Batley, taking him over 500 runs for the campaign at an average of 133.5.

Birstall openers Josh Haynes (121) and Eric Austin (153no) put on 250 in their 336-4 at home to Keighley, who were then dismissed for 256.

Acomb, with Darius D’Silva and Darcy O’Connor again key figures, are back on top of Yorkshire Premier League North after overcoming bottom-of-the-table Harrogate.

Matthew Dale (90) and D’Silva (57) top-scored in Acomb’s 222-7, with in-form Sri Lankan Ishan Abeysekara taking 5-47.

However, it looked as if Harrogate might break their duck when they were 127-1 as Jordan Sleightholme scored 55 and captain William Bates 39.

But once O’Connor (5-54) had dismissed them both, D’Silva took 3-41 and Harrogate’s innings fell away to 186.

Castleford relinquished top spot after a patchy performance at North Marine Road.

Scarborough made 257-6, with Ben Elvidge (50) scoring a third successive half-century, adding 70 with Breidyn Schaper (81), who had already put on 102 with Cian Dickinson (55).

Former Yorkshire player James Wainman (34 in 14 balls and three early wickets) then ensured, along with Elvidge (3-16), that the last unbeaten record in the division would fall.

The leading trio in the Yorkshire South all won, with Wakefield Thornes having the easiest victory.

Pace bowler Matthew Taylor (4-34) mopped up the tail in Whitley Hall’s 191 that owed much to Chris Siddall’s 61.

James Wolfenden (36), Byron Boshoff (84) and Jamie Howarth (55no) took Thornes past the winning post in the 38th over with just two wickets lost.

Alex Grimes (91) and Paul Hilton (4-35) were the main contributors to Appleby Frodingham’s 40-run triumph over Cawthorne, while Shaaiq Choudhry (6-58) starred as Sheffield Collegiate beat Hallam by five wickets.

Hoylandswaine were in T20 mode in their nine-wicket victory over Broad Oak in the Huddersfield League, with Chris Holliday (88) and SP Singh (62no) helping them overhaul the visitors in exactly half the time needed.

Ilkley were not messing about either in the Aire-Wharfe League, hitting 309-6 in their 125-run win over derby rivals Olicanian.

Wicketkeeper James Pearson blasted seven sixes and six fours in his 98 not out.