Pudsey had their two teams' fixtures called off this week after a COVID implication resulted in several bowlers from their A and B teams going into self-isolation. So that's a first but life goes on and the other teams provided an almost full programme of matches as the season resumed after the halfway break.
The Pudsey 'A' team went into the mid-season break top of the league and are one of three sides vying for the Division 1 Championship so their enforced absence provided an opportunity for the other two prime contenders to put some daylight between themselves and the leaders and they both duly obliged. Thongsbridge 'A' beat the Lower Hopton 'B' team 9-3 to put themselves two points clear at the top ahead of Lower Hopton 'A' who collected 10 points from their home encounter with Dearne Sports. Bottom team Ossett Flying Horse 'A' won their first match since April when seeing off Denby Grange 'A' but remain 18-points from safety although being the only winners from the bottom half of the table will give them heart.
Division 2 leaders Kirkheaton Con 'A' suffered a second consecutive defeat after winning the first 8 matches of the season, this time to nearest challengers Alverthorpe 'A'. The aggregate points made it 7-5 in favour of the home side although the gap remains significant at 8-points. Woodlands Park lost at 4th placed Crossgates 'B' by 8-4 and drop to third as a result with the top four well spaced out with 23 points between 1st and 4th. The Harold Club 'A' recorded a 2nd consecutive victory beating Whitkirk 8-4 but remain at the foot of the table with Pudsey 'B' and Brighouse Sports inactive but still just out of reach. Spen Victoria 'A' had a good 9-3 home win over Eccleshill to move up two places but remain one of the 5 teams hovering above the bottom spot and separated by 9 points.
The top two teams in Division 3 both lost this week and Shipley took full advantage to go a point ahead of former leaders Dodworth by one-point after an 11-1 win over Littlemoor 'B' who drop from 2nd to 4th as a result. Dodworth lost 8-4 at Elland C&BC and Ossett C&AC force their way into third-place after a big 10-2 away win at Horbury who remain in the relegation places along with Milnsbridge 'A' who were thrashed at Rothwell 12-0.
Thornhill C&BC and Kirkheaton Con 'B' went into the halfway break locked together on 53 points in 2nd and 3rd places in Division 4 and were matched for the resumption game. A 173-172 aggregate advantage sealed an 8-4 win for the visiting Thornhill team who stay a point behind the leaders, Lowerhouses, who also won 8-4 this week against Broad Oak 'A'. Mirfield Old Bank's 9-3 home win over Spen Victoria 'B' saw them leapfrog their opponents and two others to go fourth whilst the bottom-of-the-table match saw Denby Grange 'B' finish right on the coat-tail of Ossett Flying Horse 'B' after beating them 10-2 and dragging 4 more teams into the relegation battle.
Morton House held the League's only unbeaten record going into the mid-season break and they will rue that disruption to their weekly points-feast after going down for the first time in 2021 to Almondbury Lib by 7-3 which was not helped by being one bowler short of a full team. They remain top of Division 5 but the three teams immediately behind them all won to increase the pressure with Cleckheaton Sports 'B' having a big 10-2 home win over The Harold Club 'B' to stay second. Marsh United won the bottom-of-the-table fixture beating Cowcliffe 7-3 to swap places with them but a 6-4 home win over Alverthorpe 'B' for Longwood ensured that they remain just out of reach of the bottom two but certainly still in the drop-zone.
One of the closest scores of the day was the 133-130 outcome when the top two in Division 6 met at Golcar Lib. The home side needing that aggregate advantage to claim the majority of the points 6-4 leaving them just a point behind the Thongsbridge 'B' team. Netherton Con failed to take advantage of the top two's attention being elsewhere and went down 3-7 at Bradley & Colne. Almondbury BC's 8-2 home win over Grange Moor dragged their opponents down with them into the relegation battle with Milnsbridge 'B' seemingly doomed but who will partner them down seems to be between four teams now.
Broad Oak 'B' team's surprise home defeat to Thorpe Green 'B' by 1-9 seriously disrupted their Division 7 promotion plans and Springwood took full advantage to move into the top two with a 6-4 home win over Royds Park. Meanwhile, Shepley had a comfortable 8-2 home win over Cleckheaton Sports 'C' to go 19 points clear at the top.
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