Captain Clegg Leads Meltham To Vital Victory - Championship Matchday #19 Report

Captain Clegg Leads Meltham To Vital Victory - Championship Matchday #19 Report

24 Aug 2023

A calm half century by Alex Clegg fired Meltham to the victory which saw them climb out of the bottom three at Holmfirth’s expense as the relegation battle intensified. Business was concluded at the top with Golcar and Delph & Dobcross both winning to confirm promotion to the Premiership. Birkby Rose Hill’s watertight home form held firm despite Armitage Bridge setting the highest total of the season and Slaithwaite, winless since May, finally got over the line when they needed it most with a nine-wicket destruction of Clayton West whose own relegation worries deepened dramatically.

Sam Clegg hit 66 to help his side control their crunch relegation clash with Holmfirth as Meltham emerged victorious in a 35 run success. Mark Askham’s half-century whilst opening the batting also proved crucial to underpin their 230-7. Clegg’s middle order innings was complemented by Ely Van Der Merwe’s 28 and a breezy 21 scored by Ibrar Hussain. Holmfirth found themselves two wickets down for only four runs in a disastrous start to their reply as Jack Wallis put the visitors in trouble. Mark Askham claimed 4-53 and despite stubborn resistance from Seb Allen (38) and Holmfirth’s namesake Ibrar Hussain (49), the visitors fell dramatically behind the rate. Andy Grey’s cavalier 59 - containing five sixes - gave Meltham some anxious moments but his dismissal at the hands of Wallis (3-70) pivoted the tie and Holmfirth petered out on 195-9.

Adnan Ghani reached peak form for Delph & Dobcross where his six wicket blast smashed through hapless Lascelles Hall. The hosts were bowled out for only 46 after deciding to bat first and Ghani, now recovered from a back problem that hampered his season, mercilessly scythed through the Hall to claim 6-18. Nayyar Abbas’ skilful leg spin accounted for 3-25 to complete the innings which Delph knocked off for the loss of one in just 29 balls. The crushing victory sealed Delph’s promotion to the Premiership at the first time of asking.

Golcar joined Delph in their promotion celebrations with a routine success at Shelley thanks to a solid team performance. Jacob Mulhall (34), Mohammad Ali (47) and Ryan Adams (35) all contributed to assemble a 199-9 first innings total where Tiger Payne and Jake Holling picked up three wickets each. Shelley’s solid start to their reply threatened to usurp the title challengers as they breezed to 60-0 led by George Barden (36), however they unravelled quickly after the introduction of Golcar spinners Zac Hurley and Jack McNamara (4-14). Shelley lost eight wickets for just 23 runs as the visitors ruthlessly dominated the rest of the match. Hurley collected 3-26 as the hosts were bowled out for 123.

An impenetrable home record has been the secret to Birkby Rose Hill’s success and Armitage Bridge were the latest victims when slumping to a four wicket defeat. Stand-in skipper Zain Ul Abdin snared 3-62 after Muhammad Munsaf had paved the way with 4-79 in Armitage Bridge’s dismissal for 207; the highest total made at their ground this season. Jonah Thackeray top scored with 66 but it wasn’t enough to put the game beyond Birkby who paced their pursuit expertly with an innings built around a Khalil Khan century. The former Wrenthorpe man hit his top score this season with an unbeaten 113 from 91 balls, carving 14 fours and 4 sixes. Birkby replied with 208-6 for their ninth home victory of the season.

Young Denby bowler George Gumpert bagged his best first team bowling return with a five wicket haul which sent Rastrick thundering to defeat to end their albeit slim promotion chances. Mohammad Khuzaifa stunned the high-flying hosts with four wickets as they crashed to 6-4 and then 32-5 when batting first. Gumpert helped finish Rastrick off by claiming 5-16 to mop up the tail as the home side were bowled out for 103. Denby, who’s own promotion campaign was derailed due to the loss of key players throughout the season, restored their winning feeling with their first victory in six matches. Jack Jones (37) and Kaleel Ahmed (36no) guided the visitors to 105-3 in reply.

A wretched winless run of form since May for Slaithwaite had seen them plunge closer to the relegation zone but they comfortably saw off bottom side Clayton West to ease their worries. Alex Walker ran through West to grab 6-37 - his second six-wicket performance of the year - as the struggling visitors crashed to 82ao. Slaithwaite completed the win with few problems as Dave Berry (34no) and Blair McKenzie completed the rout to leave Clayton West six points from safety. 


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