KEIGHLEY’S promotion hopes suffered a double blow last weekend with defeats against Undercliffe and Spen Victoria.
They pushed runaway leaders Undercliffe hard on Sunday before going down by 31 runs.
But the Lawkholme Laners will be kicking themselves after losing at Spen – who started the day second from bottom – 24 hours earlier, especially as second-placed Saltaire lost at Great Horton.
Hamid Khan made 79 to guide Undercliffe to 193, a total which looked like being much bigger until their progress was checked by an excellent spell of off-spin bowling from Keighley all-rounder Richard Robinson.
He returned the impressive figures of 14-7-11-4 and they contrasted sharply with the return for Australian paceman Andrew King, whose five wickets cost 95 runs.
Keighley made a steady start before losing wickets to impressive young spinner Amir Hussain (3-36) and overseas player Nawaz Sardar (3-46). They were dismissed for 162, with Richard Wear and Tom Stead both scoring 33.
Spen’s victory on Saturday owed much to an outstanding maiden century for young batsman Oliver Davison. He struck a six and 20 fours during an unbeaten knock of 126. Rob Burton (38) helped push the total up to 248-8.
Keighley’s reply was dominated by an innings of 102 from Freddie Pearson. One six and 14 fours punctuated his 101, while Max Davidson made 53. The last eight wickets fell for 50 runs as Abid Awan (4-50) and Rob Warriner (4-55) wrapped up Spen’s win.
Keighley have another double weekend this week, with games at home to Brighouse (Saturday) and Bankfoot (Sunday).
The latter match has been brought forward from Saturday, August 9 as Keighley host the Priestley Shield final the following day.
Keighley II eased their relegation fears in Division One of the second-team competition and increased Lightcliffe’s worries with a five-wicket win.
Ashley Robinson took 5-33 and Andrew Coppen 3-21 as Lightcliffe, despite 48 from Ian Towers, were dismissed for 124.
The experienced Steve Reape made 51 to steer Keighley to victory.
The seconds visit Farsley on Saturday.