Battling Morley test Bradford League leaders

James McNichol.
James McNichol.
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Morley CC made leaders Pudsey St Lawrence fight all the way for the points in their Premier Division game in the All Rounder Bradford League.

Fine displays from David Nebard with the ball and James McNichol with the bat helped keep second from bottom Morley in the hunt for a shock victory, but they fell 26 runs short in the end.

Richie Lamb, with 40 not out and 2-50, proved the match winner for Pudsey in front of a good crowd at Tofts Road as the leaders went in first and posted a 222-6 score from their 50 overs.

Opener Mark Robertshaw also struck 40 and Barrie Frankland 39 while Nebard could hold his head up high for a good bowling spell on a short boundary near the clubhouse, taking 4-62.

Morley began their run chase well with a 71-run opening stand between Henry Rush (16) and McNichol.

The latter went on to make 61, including two sixes and four fours before being third man out with the score on 116.

Kashif Naveed (28), Kriss Watts (22), Luke Heinemann (18) and Matthew Baxter (17) also batted well, but Morley were guilty of getting themselves out at the wrong time with victory in sight and were all out for 196.

Morley seconds also suffered defeat at the hands of Pudsey St Lawrence in the Second Teams Premier Division as they went down by four wickets.

George Robson (30) top scored for Morley as they failed miserably with the bat and were all out for just 60 against second-placed opponents. Robert Thornton (5-4) came on as first change and ripped through the middle order while Christopher Sharkey (3-17) and Joshua Wilson (2-29) also got in on the act.

Rob French (3-11) and Michael Darby (3-23) led a fight back in the field from Morley, but it just was not their day as William Sharp (21 not out) steered the visitors to victory with plenty of overs to spare.

Morley’s third team brought some cheer to the club as they got back to winning ways in beating Great Horton Park Chapel by eight wickets in the Dales Council Division C.

Chapel were bowled out for just 36 with Andrew Kirkwood (4-16) and Harvey Winn (3-7) doing the bulk of the damage and a quick turn round took place as Morley wasted no time in surpassing their total.

Morley crashed out of the Priestley Shield when they were beaten by East Bierley on a faster scoring run rate on Sunday.

James Higgins, who hit 53 runs and took 2-18, starred with bat and ball for the visitors as they posted 122 while Morley’s Graeme Roberts (4-16 and (9 not out) was officially named most valuable player. But persistent rain forced an abandonment when the hosts were on 62-6 after 17 overs.

This Saturday sees Morley’s first team looking to climb the table when at home to Pudsey Congs (1pm) while the second team travel to Pudsey Congs (also 1pm). In the Dales Council League, Morley thirds host Cookridge C (1.30pm).