THERE was plenty of sunshine cricket, despite the ever-present threat of rain, and nowhere was there more excitement than in the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League Premier Division.

Leaders New Farnley had to show great character to overcome Townville by four wickets, while Methley pulled off a thrilling two-wicket win over Woodlands with three balls to spare.

There was also excitement at the foot of the table, with Scholes defeating Lightcliffe and Bradford & Bingley overcoming Cleckheaton in matches decided on Duckworth Lewis Stern after rain interruptions.

New Farnley had to chase down a challenging Townville total of 265-6, which was built around a superb innings of 130 from opener Jonathan Booth, which contained three sixes and 13 fours.

He was joined in a third-wicket stand of 132 by Harry Clewett (64) as Townville gave the league leaders plenty to think about.

Former Yorkshire and England seamer Ajmal Shahzad was the pick of the New Farnley bowlers with 3-58.

New Farnley looked to be cruising towards their target when opener Alex Baldwin (75) and Yorkshire wicket-keeper Andrew Hodd (79) were adding 111 for the third wicket, but once they were parted the complexion of the game changed.

New Farnley lost three wickets for 21 runs as they slipped to 233-6, but all-rounder Richard Atkins steadied any nerves by hitting seven fours in an unbeaten 32, which enabled his side to seal victory with 23 balls to spare and go 14 points clear at the top.

Their closest challengers are Pudsey St Lawrence, who romped to a nine-wicket victory over bottom team East Bierley.

Left-armer Charlie Parker took 5-37 and was supported by leg-spinner Tom Hudson (3-12) as East Bierley were dismissed for 101.

Opener Mark Robertshaw made an unbeaten 62 as St Lawrence cruised to their target for the loss of just one wicket.

Farsley dropped from second to fourth after suffering a 71-run defeat against defending champions Hanging Heaton.

After a delayed start, Hanging Heaton powered to 248-6 in 40 overs, thanks to Callum Geldart (64), Joe Fraser (38) and Ismail Dawood (37no).

Farsley's reply of 177 was dominated by Dan Hodgson.

He made 84 but could not save his side from a defeat, which enabled St Lawrence and Hanging Heaton to climb above them in the title race.

Spinner Aqsad Ali finished with 4-25.

An unbeaten ninth-wicket stand of 74 off 48 balls between Waqas Ahmed (45no) and Sohail Raz (33no) enabled Methley to go past Woodlands' 265-7 in the final over.

They came together with their side on 192-8 and changed the course of the game with a flurry of boundaries.

The pair hit seven sixes and three fours to snatch the game from Woodlands' grasp.

The Methley innings was a real roller-coaster ride.

They slipped to 24-3 before being revived by Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite (63) and Adam Patel (46) in a fourth-wicket stand of 108.

Woodlands hit back again before opening bowlers Ahmed and Raz had the final say as they showed off their batting prowess.

Overseas player Ishfaq Ahmad had led the way with 97 when Woodlands batted first.

Liam Collins (41) and Kez Ahmed (39) added valuable runs as Raz (3-73) emerged as the best of the Methley bowlers.

Scholes produced a sterling performance to reach their DLS target and defeat Lightcliffe by seven wickets.

Openers Shoukat Ali (92) and Kasir Maroof (42) led the way with a partnership of 109, which set their side on course for their target of 185.

Lightcliffe had made 187-9 in their innings, which was reduced to 47 overs by rain.

Rhys Jowett (55) and skipper Matt Baxter (52) added 101 for the third wicket before their side's innings subsided as James Stansfield (5-59) and Yasir Ali (3-55) got to work.

The win enabled Scholes to keep ahead of Bradford & Bingley, who still occupy a relegation position despite defeating Cleckheaton for the second time this season.

Bailey Wightman, their midweek signing from Hyde, took 5-13 on his debut as Cleckheaton made 78-9 to lose by 31 runs.

Former Pudsey St Lawrence batsman Callam Goldthorp top-scored with 45 in Bradford & Bingley's total of 109. Once again Nick Walker impressed with 5-45, but on this occasion he could not lift his side to victory as their three-match winning run came to an end.