Sunday, June 11, 2017

The vagaries of the West Yorkshire weather were there for all to see on Saturday as matches were completed as far afield as Great Horton and Upper Hopton and yet games were abandoned from Birchencliffe to Thornton, four without a ball being bowled. Booth maintained its 12-point lead at the top pf the Premier Division as it and the three teams behind it at the start of play were all involved in abandoned matches. Booth was 43-1, chasing 204 to win, when the rains came and similarly Jer Lane had just three runs on the board chasing 284 at a damp Mytholmroyd. Oxenhope had to settle for just two points as it never got out of the tent at a very wet Thornton. In mid-table Sowerby St Peter’s was the big gainer as it travelled to Northowram HT and collected maximum points in a five-wicket win. Its runs were shared amongst the team but earlier Matthew Hoyle (4-6) and Ben Watkins (4-32) had put the skids under the home team, despite Thomas Clee’s 75. The win sees it move to within 13 points of the leaders. The other winner in this division was Triangle, whose visit to Copley brought 11 points. Amongst the showers Mark Thristan’s opening knock of 71 and Oliver Thorpe’s 40 runs were the only plus points for the home team as Triangle contributions from Nathan Madded (4-47), David Turner (4-69) and Christian Silkstone (59) proved the decisive factors. Copley now finds itself in the very unusual position of propping up the rest of the division.

In the First Divison Southowram opener David Jowett was the star as he hit the only century of the day, that included 10 x 4’s and 7 x 6’s, in an undefeated 102 against Sowerby Bridge, further denting the visitor’s promotion aspirations as the home side moving clear of the relegation places. Blackley was the major winners of the day as its push for an immediate return to the top division received a boost at Graet Horton PC and, in the process, moving nine points clear at the top. Not that it looked promising at tea as the home team’s Stuart Fenton had taken 6-69 in helping to dismiss Blackley for 132, only Jonathan Stenson (52) coming to terms with the conditions. However the home team’s batting fared even worse and 33 overs later it was all over as Jacob Linsel took 4-32 and, like the visitors, only one batsman really troubled the scorers as Richard Hassall hit 43 runs.

The shock result of the day came in the Second Division where bottom club Old Town making one of the longest trips in the league, to Upper Hopton, came away with its first win of the season. The combination of Ali Asghar (4-37) and Sajid Khan (3-41) were the instigators and then Adnan Afzal’s cameo of 3-2-3-3 helped to restrict the home team to just 94 runs. The Old Town response was, at best, a bit of a scramble but that mattered little as the journey home with a three-wicket win and maximum points was more than enjoyable. Illingworth St Mary’s extended its lead at the top of the table to 19 points with a win at Low Moor HT although, if the home team’s second change bowler Mark Stokes had been called upon earlier, the result may have different. Low Moor made only 107 in his innings as Jamie Moorhouse was again in fine form taking 6-47 and St Mary’s looked to be cruising to victory at 61-0 until Stokes was introduced. Panic then set in as six wickets fell for 31 runs and had it not been for opener Callum Cook’s 58 not out the result could have been different, the honours going to Stokes with figures of 6-2-19-5. The leaders’ nearest rival, Bradshaw, was inactive on it first trip to Leymoor as was Luddendenfoot on a miserable day at Clayton. The Birchencliffe v Outlane match was perhaps the unluckiest victim of the downpours as the local derby was evenly poised when called off, the teams having to settle for six points each. A string of excellent performances, in the conditions, came from Omar Latif (83), Adeel Khalid (73) and Faisal Mohammed (51) for the home team with contributions for the visitors coming from Ben Lawton (5-38), Toby Croft (4-79) and Alex Blagborough (60). Both teams are level in mid-table with 54 points.