CHAMPIONSHIP One leaders Keighley travelled to Batley hoping to further cement their first placed position - but were well beaten by seven wickets.

Skipper Paul Quinlan won the toss and opted to bat first. Without the experienced Richard Gould to open the batting, he opted to move wicketkeeper Adam Smith to the spare opening slot alongside Luke Chapman.

The pair made a steady if not fluent start putting 38 on for the first wicket before Smith fell for 19. This prompted a mini collapse as three wickets, including Chapman (26), left the Lawkholme Laners struggling at 61 for 4.

Stiff resistance though from vice-captain Max Davidson (37) and Jonny Wilkinson swung the innings back in Keighley’s favour as they put on 79 for the fifth wicket until Wilkinson was removed for a fine 42.

Sadly, though Keighley’s lower order did not come up to scratch. The last five batsmen were only able to score six runs between them, Keighley being bowled out for 150 in the 49th over.

Pick of the Batley bowlers was Tariq Hussain with 4 for 41.

Keighley have bowled most teams out this season for much less than 150 and so they were still very confident of a result. Their confidence rose further as firstly James Rogers (1 for 28), then Quinlan (1 for 25) had Batley on the ropes at 25 for 2.

Overseas star Alex Antoine (1 for 47) was the next to strike, removing Kasir Maroof lbw for 21 to leave Batley on 55 for 3.

However, a fabulous unbroken partnership from Sami Ullah (54 not out) and Faisal Javed (53 not out) proved the killer blow, the Keighley bowlers unable to make any further inroads as they were convincingly beaten.

The defeat still leaves Keighley at the top of the Bradford Premier League Championship One but by only one point from Morley and Bankfoot. They entertain East Bierley at Lawkholme this coming weekend.

Keighley seconds earn much needed win.

Meanwhile, Keighley’s second string got their season back on track with a much-needed win at home to Cleckheaton.

Skipper Alex Towler lost the toss and was asked to field first. Cleckheaton’s experienced opening pair of Chris Dobson and Russ Noble got the away side off to a good start with a partnership of 49 until Dobson (35) and then Noble (25) capitulated, which sparked a mini collapse started by Towler, who took 2 for 18.

His efforts were well and truly eclipsed though by spinner Jack Rogers, whose accurate bowling induced mistake after mistake taking six wickets for just 13 runs and helping to bowl the away side out for just 117.

Keighley’s batting line up has been brittle all season though and it needed the batsmen to dig in and show mettle in chasing this small score down. Evergreen Greg Wilkinson showed the way with a battling 22 and he was aided by 17-year-old Owen Narey, who chipped in with 21.

Despite this, wickets fell at regular intervals; however, the young late order held its nerve to get the home side over the line by three wickets.

The result sees them still next to bottom of Championship One, but crucially they have closed the gap on the teams above. They face ninth-placed Farsley this weekend in another important fixture.