Anguish For Spirited Golcar As Wesleyan & Skelmanthorpe Reprieved - Matchday 26 Roundup

Anguish For Spirited Golcar As Wesleyan & Skelmanthorpe Reprieved - Matchday 26 Roundup

13 Sep 2022

Golcar’s battle to rescue themselves on the final day failed as they slumped to a home loss which allowed Almondbury Wesleyan, who weren’t able to take the field, off the hook. Thongsbridge edged out Broad Oak in a 20 over smash to finish the season with five wins from their final six matches and Luke Bridges’ hat-trick helped Barkisland pave a path round Kirkburton. Already relegated Armitage Bridge and Delph & Dobcross both enjoyed successes to restore some pride whereas Shepley and Scholes both scored heavily in a runfest at Marsh Lane.

Long-serving Premiership outfit Golcar couldn’t quite pull off their great escape at home to Hoylandswaine, who squeezed them out at Swallow Lane to end their 17 year top flight run. They will start 2023 plotting their return from the Championship which, if they show as much heart as they did here, should ensure their stay will be fleeting. Asif Iqbal’s patient 87 for Hoylandswaine, ultimately proved the difference in the visitors’ 23-run victory as they successfully defended a fairly placid 175ao first innings total. Steve Whitwam, a deeply proud Golcar servant more than did his bit with an excellent 5-54 with captain Jack McNamara (3-58) also chipping in. To Golcar’s deep frustration, a win here would have sealed a remarkable Houdini act with their inactive relegation rivals Almondbury Wesleyans (abandoned at home to Honley) anxiously forced to to watch from afar. The host’s reply was steady, but with key batsmen Whitwam (17) and McNamara (9) both removed it began to look an uphill task. Wicketkeeper Muhammad Ali (pictured above) battled hard for 38 and his partnership with old-head Craig Ruscoe (18) threatened to drag them over the line. Clinically, Swaine’s star bowler Muhammad Azzharullah took another ‘5-fer’ and spinner Max Morley returned 3-50 to conclude the match - and Golcar’s fate - on 152ao.

Talismanic Barkisland all-rounder Luke Bridges (pictured above) claimed a hat-trick and then excelled with the bat to condemn Kirkburton to defeat at Riley Lane. Home skipper Jonny Butterfield (40) top scored for the home side but their below-par 136ao was comfortably within reach for the visitors. Bridges claimed 6-18, including three in three balls, to tear through their opponents before making 40 in a steady opening partnership with captain Ben Heritage (25). Jake Finch’s 24no finished the job as Barkisland eased home on 137-6.

A third win in their final three matches gave bottom side Delph & Dobcross room for optimism, who saw off Moorlands at home in a compelling match. Reduced to 30 overs, Moorlands frittered away a positive start made by openers Gharib Nawaz (30) and Shoukat Ali (42). Nayyar Abbas  and Xander Selby both picked up three wickets as the visitors set 170-8, however Abbas (pictured above) continued his blazing hot form with the bat to secure Delph’s win. The Pakistan overseas slammed 94 from 57 balls, built on the careful foundations laid by opener Mosun Hussain’s precise half-century, as Delph successfully replied with 172-2.

Musa Ahmed (pictured above) carved a half-century before Bevan Coveley (45) and Chris Dennison (46no) slammed belligerent scores as already-down Armitage Bridge ended their disappointing season with a flourish away at Skelmanthorpe. Bridge set 172-3 from their 25 overs before turning the tables on their hosts who may have joined their opponents in going down had results elsewhere not gone their way. Armitage Bridge will hope that skipper Jaycob Curtling can spearhead an instant return next season and his 4-42 was influential to put the skids under Skelmanthorpe’s reply which was ended on 142ao.

Photo credit: Kieran O'Shea

Pragam Sharma (pictured above) received his award for Overseas Player Of The Year before Thongsbridge’s match at home to Broad Oak and he signed off his sterling debut season with an influential all-round performance. The Indian, who has been consistently superb all season, made 45 during a 20 over smash as Thongsbridge racked up 187-9. Alex Slack took 3-51 in an innings where all Broad Oak’s bowlers suffered damage. However, they positively pursued the target, knowing just a point would seal their top flight status and did enough despite falling short in an entertaining reply. Sean Mee (28) and Ben Lowden (35) raced along to put 61 for the first wicket, but Thongsbridge bowlers started to regain control with Ben Balmforth taking 3-21. Slack hit a breezy 39 lower down the order but was the final wicket to fall as Oak were bowled out for 171.

Daniel Wood (pictured above) hammered a big century for Shepley as they beat Scholes in a high-scoring Marsh Lane humdinger. Shepley opener, Wood was in fearsome form as he scored 131 from 102 balls, sending 12 fours and 7 sixes crashing across the boundaries. George Booth (61) helped him put on a mammoth 171 for the first wicket and ex-Scholes man Tom Chadwick made 33 in Shepley’s 300ao. Louis Brook (4-20) fared best on an afternoon where every player, including the wicketkeeper, got an outing with the ball! Scholes’ Yaasir Imtiaz crafted a brisk 80 and Bradley Birkhead hit a run-a-ball 78 as Scholes totalled 246-8 in reply.


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