Monday, April 23, 2018

Just two matches, out of fourteen, failed to start in the scheduled fixtures with the grounds at Copley (v Mytholmroyd)) and Mount (v Queensbury) failing to recover from the heavy rain earlier in the month, despite the improved weather over the previous week.

In the Premier Division Warley enjoyed the track prepared by the Booth groundsman with four batsmen in the runs, led by Jimmy Sarwar (83), to set a formidable 268 for the home team to chase. It was far too much as only Steven Butterworth (74) showed any real home form with Andrew Oates adding figures of 4-29 to his 40 not out with Sarwar taking 4-86. There was a similar story at Sowerby Bridge as only Isacc Davy-Day (63*) mastered a tricky wicket for champions Bridgeholme, who at one stage were 61-8. No 10 James Leah (33) helped to boost the total to 140 all out as James Webster took 5-30. However the home team, led by Martin Mellor (60), needed only 24 overs to knock off the runs. Two other groundsmen deserving credit were those at Triangle and Thornton. At Triangle 520 runs were scored in the local derby with Sowerby St Peter’s, as the latter eventually triumphed by three wickets. Amongst the runs were Anthony Sykes (61) for Triangle whilst Mark Bennett (79) led the St Peter’s victory charge, as seven players passed double figures in a fine team effort. That overall runs total was topped at Hill Top Road with 575 runs recorded, but again it was visitor’s SBCI that prospered as it flagged up a massive 334-9. Anthony Kirby (120) hit the first Second XI’s century of the season, ably supported by Daniel Brock (54) and Michael Veitch (51) – the valiant home team bowlers being Owen Thomas (4-47) and Tom Ashley (4-119). Thornton’s response saw a brilliant knock from opener Darren Richardson (109*) who unfortunately stood at the bowler’s end to watch nine wickets fall – SBCI winning by 93 runs. Promoted Upper Hopton took a reality check at Blackley, as the home team bundled it out for 130 runs. Not that Blackley were too comfortable in taking the 12 points and, for the umpteenth time over the years, relied on Dave Townsend (55) to set up the win.

It could be that the highest winning margin of the season has already been set, after just one match, as Shelf Northowram HT in the First Division recorded a 302 run victory over its punch drunk visitors Outlane. The home team scored 396-3 as Taylor Swaine ran riot, hitting 22 x 4 and 10 x 6 in a knock of 182. Tait Coles (54), Craig Green (53*) and Dan Klemm (52) chipped in with their contributions whilst the visitors, no doubt leg weary, could only muster 94, as James Feranley took 4-18. Zuber Patel (5-15) and Umer Mohammed (46*) were Great Horton PC’s match-winners on the visit to Oxenhope, as the visitors recorded an easy six-wicket win. At the tea interval at Stones the home side’s Nelson total of 111, versus Southowram, looked like a bad omen. Not so however as Philip Robbins was virtually unplayable in taking 7-17 to reduce the visitors to a miserly 51 all out, only John Smithies (19) reaching double figures. Previously Ewan Gledhill had taken 6-33 but his efforts were forgotten as his team’s batting farrago enfolded.

The Second Division saw an intriguing contest at Bradshaw that, at the finish, saw the decisive bowling performance coming from the home team’s Andrew Ingham (6-21) against local rivals Illingworth St Mary’s. Imram Aslam’s 84 runs had put Bradshaw in the driving seat but Matthew Watson’s late 5-52 put the contest on a level par at the break. A partnership between Hamza Mehmood (46) and Liam Kelly (47) gave St Mary’s hope, however Ingham had the last word with the visitors 37 runs short. Bradley & Colnebridge’s second team debut brought a two-wicket win at Huddersfield rivals Leymoor with its opening bowling Khan partnership in near perfect tandem, Shahraiz taking 4-36 and Shahid 4-38. Leymoor’s 147 runs were spread across the team but it was not enough although, at 72-6, the visitors were in trouble only to be rescued No 9 batsman Shahid with an undefeated 42 runs. Home team Luddendenfoot’s start to the season will be best forgotten as it could only manage 53 runs in 30.5 overs on a surface that caused problems aplenty, especially from the bowling of Clayton’s Damien Walker who returned impressive figures of 15.5-8-16-5. The visitors had no such problems winning by nine wickets in just 8.1 overs. There was an almost identical scenario down the A646 at Old Town as the home team were bowled out for only 63 runs by Low Moor HT, Daniel Russon taking 5-37, with the visitors here winning by eight wickets.