WHAT for so long had looked a two-horse race between Carlton and Yeadon is now a four-way battle for the promotion places in the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League Championship Two.

Birstall have climbed above Yeadon into second place after collecting a maximum 100 points from five straight wins, while Buttershaw St Paul’s are now well position if the teams above them slip up.

Record-breaking Kershaski John Lewis and Daniel White have made big impacts with the bat while the wickets of Jonathan Rudge have also been key to Carlton’s success.

Their recent performances have not been as assured as earlier in the campaign, but after Saturday’s crucial home game with Buttershaw St Paul’s they have fixtures against six of the bottom seven clubs.

Birstall are a team on a charge with their batsmen leading the way. Opener Eric Austin and Josh Haynes have been backed up by Matt Dyson, Nick Kaye, Rishy Limbechaya and Australian Ashley Burton as Birstall have consistently made big scores.

Their key game comes on Saturday when they visit Yeadon in a precursor to their Jack Hampshire Cup final clash at Liversedge on Sunday, August 18.

Yeadon dropped out of the top two after a surprise defeat by struggling Liversedge and they face some tough challenges ahead. Their clash with Birstall is followed by a trip to Buttershaw St Paul’s

Overseas batsman Sarmad Hameed looks a fine player while spinner Gareth Lee and James Massheder will have important roles to play in the final run-in.

Buttershaw St Paul’s reached the semi-finals of the Jack Hampshire and Heavy Woollen Cup this season and can yet have a big say in the promotion race as they have to play Carlton, Birstall and Yeadon in August.

Batsmen James Crossland and Jonathan Burston have shown consistent form while spinner Ben Platt can usually be relied on to take key wickets.

With three teams being relegated at the end of the season a real scrap is developing. Currently, 37 points separates Hunslet Nelson in eight place and bottom team Adwalton.

Apart from a final day encounter against Birstall, Hunslet Nelson look to have a comfortable run in. All rounders Will Stiff and Danny Cross have the ability to keep their side out of trouble.

Bowling Old Lane have some testing times ahead as they look to pull away from danger. They have matches against all the top three sides and will need their dangermen Farakh Hussain, Ahsan Butt and Zeeshan Haider firing.

Northowram Field have hovered just above the relegation zone for much of the season but have always maintained some daylight between themselves and those most in danger. Their ability to pull off win when it is most needed has served them well but games against Carlton and Yeadon will test Dru Patel’s side.

Skipper Ashley Mackereth and Michael Carroll are the key men as Hopton Mils look to steer a course to safety. They are just five points above the bottom three and among their remaining games are clashes with Carlton and Buttershaw St Paul’s.

Altofts are the team immediately below Hopton Mills and their remaining programme includes clashes with Birstall and Buttershaw St Pauls.

It is dangerous to write off Liversedge. They may be second bottom but beat Yeadon recently and Will Atkin’s side certainly won’t throw the towel in. Apart from a home game with Carlton they will consider they have fixtures which continue to offer them hope.

Adwalton have been rooted to the bottom for much of the season but their results have not always reflected the performances they have put in.

Wicketkeeper batsman Josh Bennett has had another good season, but his team have only managed one win. They will be hoping that games against Liversedge and Altofts may offer a potential escape route, but daunting home tests against Carlton and Yeadon are lurking


CARLTON (221pts): Aug 3 Buttershaw St Paul's H, 10 Adwalton A, 17 Hopton Mills H, 24 Northowram Fields A, 31 Jer Lane H, Sept 7 Liversedge A, 14 Bowling Old Lane H.

BIRSTALL (200pts): Aug 3 Yeadon A, 10 East Ardsley H, 17 Bowling Old Lane A, 24 Buttershaw St Paul's A, 31 Altofts H, Sept 7 Spen Victoria H, 14 Hunslet Nelson A.

YEADON (193pts): Aug 3 Birstall H, 10 Buttershaw St Paul's A, 17 Jer Lane H, 24 Adwalton A, 31 Bowling Old Lane H, Sept 7 Northowram Fields A, 14 East Ardsley H.

BUTTERSHAW ST PAUL’S (185pts): Aug 3 Carlton A, 10 Yeadon H, 17Altofts A, 24 Birstall H, 31 Spen Victoria A, Sept 7 Jer Lane H, 14 Hopton Mills A.