Woodlands took a significant step towards defending the Bradford Premier League title they won in 2019 by beating fellow challengers New Farnley on Saturday.

The battle between first and second went the way of Brad Schmulian’s side as they chased down a 50-over target of 174 to win by five wickets.

A 19-point haul gives them 13-point gap over Townville, who moved into second with a victory, after 11 games – the halfway mark in the season.

Opener Lee Goddard’s 48 and Steven Bullen’s 41 ensured visitors New Farnley battled to 173-9 at Albert Terrace, with Muhammad Bilal taking 3-38 for Woodlands.

The chase was then anchored by Sam Frankland’s measured 82 off 134 balls, with him settling any nerves that came with them falling to 1-1.

That he fell at 154-5 was no issue given Scott Richardson finished 34 not out from number six, with the win secured with 3.1 overs remaining.

Make no mistake, Woodlands, who have won eight of their 11 games, still have plenty of work to do, with Townville snapping at their heels.

They won a thriller against bottom side Batley on Saturday, defending a 242 target.

Batley were eyeing a first win of the season when Abdul Wahid (49) and captain Roheil Hussain, who made 71, shared 111 for the first wicket.

But opening bowler Conor Harvey claimed four wickets as Townville fought their way back to leave Batley at 226-6. They later finished on 236-6.

Earlier, Harvey preceded his 4-86 with a superb 57 not out from 31 balls to push his side up to 241-5 having been 169-5.

Batting at number six, Harvey backed up scores of 48 from opener Jonny Booth and 65 from Harry Warwick at number three. The latter two shared 100 for the second wicket.

There were two centuries in the Premier League on Saturday, the most notable being Methley wicketkeeper Eitan Litvan’s first at this level.

Fourth-placed Methley won by 75 runs at Farsley having totalled a commanding 282-7 from being 8-2.

Litvan came in at 77-3 and shared a match turning 117 for the fourth wicket with James Marshall, who made 90 off 92 balls. Litvan’s 100 not out was similarly paced, off 106 balls.

In reply, Farsley were hurt by slipping from 69-0 to 120-5 and were later bowled out for 207. Seamer Ben Waite finished with 5-48 from 12.2 overs.

The other came hundred from mid-table Pudsey St Lawrence opener Mark Robertshaw, whose 112 provided the foundation for a 115-run success at Bradford and Bingley.

His century led Pudsey to 269-6 from their 50 overs before Charlie Parker took the new ball and returned 4-40 from 13 overs as Bradford were bowled out for 154 inside 38 overs.

Former Yorkshire seamer Iain Wardlaw claimed 6-50 from 11 overs in a 10-wicket success at home to Morley.

The visitors were skittled for 104 inside 27 overs before openers Kris Ward (51) and Nicholas Lindley (46) knocked off the target within 17 overs.

Cleckheaton in eighth have three wins, the same as Morley in 11th in the 12-team division. But there is a 28-point gap between the two teams, and Morley are firmly in relegation danger.

The other game saw Hanging Heaton beat Wrenthorpe by 32 runs defending a 244 target.

Bowled out for 243 including 62 for opener Nick Connolly and 67 for Callum Geldart, Josh Wheatley’s season’s best 5-35 from 15 overs stifled Wrenthorpe.

At 74-1, they would have been confident of victory, only to lose 6-59 to slip into trouble at 133-7.

Al-Mustafa Rafique’s unbeaten 44 at number eight pushed them above 200, but he was realistically left with too much to do and they finished on 211-9.

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