Each week, Brad Caufield reviews Championship Two; a division he is involved in playing for Broad Oak 2XI.
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Saturday ended the anticipation of the long awaited 2021 season in excellent fashion. Sunshine, cricket and plenty of beers. This is the round up of Championship Two's opening weekend.
Broad Oak Victorious After a Dominating Performance Over Shepley
Broad Oak got off to a strong start against Shepley with Conor Woodruff putting on 39 before losing both openers to Shepley's Nigel Hoyle. Jake Read (62*) and Bradley Caufield (103*) put on an exceptional partnership of 160 coming in at number 3 and 4 respectively, with Bradley hitting 13 fours and 3 sixes in 74 balls. Both hogged the crease from the rest of their team-mates to bring Broad Oak's total to 224/2. The final over was a nail biting few moments for Bradley as he performed acrobatics to get back to the crease with one to come, hitting a four on the concluding ball of the innings to grant him entry to The Ton Club.
The start of the second innings proved problematic for Shepley as they lost two relatively early wickets to Liam Moran (2-12). Jamie Walker (22) and Philip Marsh (35) gave Shepley a glimmer of hope as they looked to be comfortable at the crease, before losing wickets to Louis Wood and new signing Ismail Ahmed (3-18). More wickets fell before Captain Mike Fish (2-2) brought himself on in the embers of the match, grabbing himself two wickets to give Broad Oak a win in their opener of the season.
Elland’s Season Opener Proves Unproblematic Against Cartworth Moor
It was a difficult start to the season for Cartworth Moor 1XI as they couldn’t seem to find their rhythm in the opener. Three early wickets proved pivotal for Elland, coming from Dale McMullan (3-4) and Tariq Sajid, putting the hosts on a less than ideal 19-3 in the opening 6 overs. Exceptional bowling from Mark Ward (4-21) continued to reduce Cartworth’s efforts but not before a respectable 21 a piece put on by Umar Shehzad and Ifraz Ali along with Jonathan Tucker’s 19 gave them something to bowl against. The innings ended on 117ao.
Elland’s openers Amir Rahman (17) and Oliver Brook (14) both fell victim to Jonathan Tucker’s excellent spell (3-6) after spending 11 overs at the crease, giving Cartworth a flicker of belief. Wickets continued to fall in the middle order for very few runs thanks to Javaid Hussain (3-13) until Dale McMullan put on a respectable 18 with Jordan Williamson (34*) and Benjamin Ward (14) dealing the final blows in the last over of the game to finish on 118-7, leading Elland to victory.
Mirfield Parish Cavaliers’ Exceptional Batting Performance Over Cumberworth United Cements an Opening Win
Mirfield elected to bat after winning the toss which proved to be an unquestionable decision from the captain Connor Rowlands. Euan Hardcastle (13), Ben Tillotson (39), William Smeaton (26) and Connor (31) all put great numbers on the board, but a stunning knock from Neil Harrison (85) and a phenomenal 102 in only 54 balls from Paul Wild gave Mirfield a final figure of 305-5 - a troublesome score for Cumberworth to pursue.
Cumberworth’s top order couldn’t seem to get settled at the crease and were left at 22-5 after only 10 overs. As well as his batting, captain Connor Rowlands led Mirfield with a strong bowling performance, tearing through the top order to take figures of 3-16.
Impressive knocks from Cumberworth’s Richard Smith (31), James Bower (45) and Matt Boswell’s valiant effort of 68 came just too late in the game as they were all out for 192 after 33 overs, sealing Mirfield’s win on the first day of the season.
Unbeaten 98no For Earnshaw Helps Thongsbridge to Victory Over Denby Dale
Two remarkable batting performances from Thongsbridge’s Thomas Webster (53) and Benjamin Earnshaw (98*) helped them seal the win over Denby Dale. Unfortunately Earnshaw fell just short of the century but nonetheless helped put his team in a strong position of 253-6. Additional runs came from the captain Richard Wagstaff (22) and Syed Sah (30).
Denby Dale’s Gary Shuttleworth (18), captain Aidan Geldart (22), Joshua Fowler (13) and Noah Wood (30*) couldn’t make their efforts count and eventually succumbed to Thongsbridge bowling attack with Joseph Reeves taking 3 wickets and Syed Shah, Kieran Taylor and Patrick Armeson each taking 2. Denby Dale all out for 120.
Geldart’s 93 Proves Pivotal in Skelmanthorpe’s Win Over Moorlands
Moorlands opener Adam Roberts fell slightly short of his half century with 48, however it still established a foundation for the rest of the order to build on. A fantastic innings for Joshua Riding (71) along with valuable runs from Din Alaud and Arslaan Razzaq (each scoring 24) gave Moorlands a more than acceptable 194-6 to bowl against. Unfortunately for them it soon proved not to be enough as Skelmanthorpe’s opener Bradley Geldart anchored the innings with a superb 93*, followed by Rob Bartram’s 52 to give them the start they needed. Runs followed by James Dollive (17), Kristian Whittaker (11) and Ashley Brothers (14) who all helped push them to victory in 31 overs as they triumphed on the opening weekend of the season.