There was a strange encounter in the Premier Division at Booth where visitors Oxenhope, batting first, were skittled for only 66 runs in 24.2 overs. However the home side did not have it all its own way as five batsmen were back in the tent for a meagre combined total of 15 runs and at one stage a major upset was possible. However Hasnain Wajid called a halt to the nonsense and hit 49 not out to ensure the champions collected maximum points. Out of the fifteen batsmen to lose their wicket thirteen failed to reach double figures! Warley continued on its winning way with a comprehensive defeat of visiting Copley by 139 runs, maintaining its joint position at the top of the division and condemning its visitors to bottom spot. Greg Keywood (58) and Faheem Khatana (55*) were the principal scorers as six Copley bowlers shared the nine wickets to fall. In its reply only Alex Blagborough (41) offered to take the match to Warley and when second change bowler Cameron Rodney Jansen van Rensberg (10.3-3-16-6) entered the fray the match was as good as over. Note this is the first and last time the full name of Warley’s new signing will be used! After last week’s exploits Triangle were back to relatively normality at SBCI but continued on its winning start to the season. The home team posted 220-6 with the century of Simon Wood (106) the highlight, ably assisted by Tyson Illingworth (69*). Triangle’s response was a classic team effort with the six batsmen required all making significant contributions as it passed the target in the 39th over. Chris Metcalf (52*) top scored as SBCI tried eight bowlers in an attempt to thwart its visitors. Mytholmroyd got its season up and running in a well-fought contest at Moderna Way against Shelf Northowram HT. Batting first the home team were bowled out for 273 as seven batsmen topped 20 runs, led by Thomas Conway’s 46. The battle during Hedge Top’s reply centered around Kier Litjens (68) and James Cowens (6-52) with the latter taking the major honours as the visitors fell 24 runs short in the first 12-6 points finish of the season. Promoted Bridgeholme are beginning to realise the difference in divisions as joint leaders Thornton hammered 392-4 in enjoying its picturesque Eastwood ground. The Hutchinsons both hit centuries, Joshus (133) and Nikki (102), whilst winter signing Ben Burkill (90) got back in the groove. The home team’s response was never going to get close as wickets fell at regular intervals in an all out score of 171 and a heavy 221-run defeat. Hosts Southowram recovered from its Triangle trauma of last week in the best way possible with a 36-run defeat of Sowerby St Peter’s. The home team batted first with Dean Crossley top-scoring with 53 runs out of the total of 150 and it was Crossley again, this time with the ball (4-31), along with Tom Belfield (5-51) who despatched St Peter’s. Spare a thought for the latter’s Martin Schofield whose earlier effort of 7-47 brought nothing more than four points.
In the First Division, at Queensbury, a valiant effort by Kevin O’Rourke (55) of Stones was not enough to move his team off the bottom of the division but at least provided a bagful of future hope. The visitors scored 154-5 but the home team, led by 93 not out from Oliver Challis, ran out comfortable winners by six wickets. The good start to the season of leaders Bradshaw came to a stuttering halt as the curse of a Courier article struck again. Visitor’s Sowerby Bridge posted a challenging 202-8 with lower order batsmen Sam Mellor (44) and James Yates (42*) the top scorers. Bradshaw in response were in dire straits at 37-7 as Mellor (6-22) tore a massive hole in the top order. It apparently wasn’t the only tear as he had to leave the attack with an injury after his 9.5 overs which allowed Simon Collins (61*) and Dean Cotton (33) to add some respectability to a 45 overs total of 147-8. Two Illingworth St Mary’s batsmen were dismissed in the nervous nineties at Clayton, Stephen Cook (97) and Daniel Murfet (92). Whilst disappointing for the duo a score of 320-6 for the visitors certainly was not and proved far too many for the home team. It struggled in the early overs and, like at some other grounds, it was a lower order batsman, Sam Wilson (65*) who gave a score line of 206-8 a boost. Surprisingly Blackley are struggling at the moment and occupy one of the relegation places, going down at Greta Horton PC by two wickets. Batting first the Lindley Road team stuttered to an all out score of 154 – only four batsmen contributing in double figures. It was left to the home team’s Richard Hassall (59) to provide the one half-century of the match and steer his team home to a 12 points.
Two completed innings in the Second Division fixture at Cullingworth cumulated in just 116 runs being scored – clearly not exactly a batting track! Visitors Bradley & Colnebridge batted first and its players must have thought that 72 all out was not a winning score. However in just 19.1 overs after tea the home team had been demolished for just 44 runs as Andrew Mitchell took 7-14 and a staggering seven Cullingworth players recorded ducks. The low-scoring continued at Mount where Greetland succumbed for a meagre 56 runs, Fakir Layer taking 4-6 as only Paul Quarmby (18) reached double figures. The home team had no trouble knocking off the runs in less than 10 overs. Leymoor faired a little better on its trip to Low Moor HT but not by much. On another ground that has suffered from a lack of pre-season preparation the visitors were bowled out for only 105. The home team, pleased to be in action at last after two washouts, got its season up and running with a five-wicket win as James Overend (46) and Graham Scarborough (32) ensured a maximum. Upper Hopton’s skipper will have to consider reversing his batting order next week because, at 91-7, a 12-point maximum versus visiting Outlane was somewhat distant. However Nos 7 & 10 batsmen, Matthew Haigh (60) and Matt Broadbent (56 not out), put a very different complexion on the outcome. A score of 233-9 proved a winning one as Outlane fell for 103 all out, Jack Stephenson taking 4-25. Joint leaders with Bradley & Colnebridge are Luddendenfoot whose second victory of the season came down the road at Old Town. The home team batted first and scored a respectable 214 all out however the Foot had the answer in the batting stakes winning on the trot by six wickets.