BOWLING Old Lane showed why they are promotion contenders, and Keighley merely pretenders, in Division Two of the Bradford Premier League on Saturday.

After a slow start, the Lawkholme Laners looked set for a late tilt at returning to Division One at the first attempt.

But their form has gone south of late, and Bowling strengthened their spot in the top two with a convincing 62-run win at Keighley over the weekend.

The visitors started brightly, and had made their way to 107-1, but Keighley appeared to have reeled them back in impressively.

With Ijaz Ahmed leading the way with 4-52, they were able to reduce Bowling to 221-8 from their 43 overs. The other three bowlers, Amjid Hussain, Scott Etherington and Daanyaal Ahmed, all took a wicket apiece.

In the rain-affected clash, Keighley were left with a revised target of 228 from 43 overs.

They started their chase brightly enough, as Zahir Shah (32) and Johandre Barnard (19) guided them to 67-1, but the pair were then both dismissed without adding to that total.

Keighley subsided to 116-8, and only a battling 26 not out down the order from bowling hero Ahmed gave them some respectively, as they were eventually dismissed for 165.

Simon Bailey’s side visit fourth-placed Hunslet Nelson this coming weekend, looking to end their hosts’ own promotion hopes.

The seconds suffered their own setback, as their push for the top two was damaged by a 92-run defeat to Birstall.

That looked highly unlikely when the hosts were reduced to 110-7, but some sensational hitting down the order propelled Birstall to 249 all out, Harry Barker taking 4-52.

Noah Thirkill made an excellent 95 in the reply, but no-one else passed 13, as Keighley were all out for 157.

Keighley’s seconds are fourth in Reserves Division Two, and now face a fight to be promoted.