With the status quo unchanged at the top following wins for the top two, the spotlight switched to the bottom of the table after bottom-placed Golcar rode to a vital win against fellow strugglers Mirfield Parish Cavaliers. Shelley also nabbed a huge win against Cawthorne in a day of Premiership drama in more ways than one. Further down, at the top of the Championship, Clayton West boosted their promotion hopes with a fine derby-day victory at home to Skelmanthorpe whilst Lascelles Hall and Almondbury Wesleyans maintained their joint stranglehold at the summit. There has also been a change of leadership in the Conference after Denby suffered their first league defeat away at Marsden allowing Cumberworth United to snatch the advantage after they routed Denby Dale.
An Adbul Wahid (featured image) half-century helped fire the bottom side Golcar to an essential victory in the battle to break free of the bottom two. Mirfield Parish Cavaliers, who were hoping to add to their previous weeks win over Delph & Dobcross, were made to chase a first innings total of 224ao but found life on the road harsh as they slumped to 86ao in an overwhelming defeat. Wahid (56) played a patient 97-ball innings to get them off to a solid start and the home side had to withstand a mid-innings wobble as Aiden Hawkesworth (4-75) turned the screw. However Jake Lockwood (43no), handed a more comfortable middle-order role, put on some useful runs as he and Craig Ruscoe (38) clubbed their way into a defendable position. Golcar rounded off a perfect team performance and captain Steve Whitwam (5-9) was in sparkling form with the ball as he blitzed the Parish middle-order eliminating any threat. Parish only managing 86ao in a comprehensive 138-run defeat.
Whilst Wahid, Whitwam and co were putting Mirfield Parish Cavaliers to the sword Shelley made it three wins from four against Cawthorne to pull themselves further clear. The hosts needed to regroup after losing a cluster of wickets at the start of play leaving them rocking at 40-4 with star batsmen Sikander Raza (22) trapped LBW. An inspirational innings from Mo Bhoola (60) helped galvanise his side and with further inputs from Harvey Jones (36) and the experienced Ranjith Bandula-Don (47) Shelley recovered to 199-9. Cawthorne overseas bowler, West Indian Kimsell Dalzell (5-49) recorded his season’s best figures in the process. The visitors were rocked by drama when Iqbal Khan (22) collapsed at the crease causing just concern amongst his teammates as an ambulance was called and Khan was taken away for treatment. Thankfully the latest news is Khan is responding well in hospital. The incident may have had some bearing later in the innings as many Cawthorne batsmen made starts yet were unable to convert any into meaningful opportunities as opening bowlers Raza (4-35) and Bandula-Don (3-19) chipped away reducing the visitors to 157ao in reply. Naturally, everyone associated with the league wishes Iqbal Khan a full recovery.
Gurman Randhawa produced a splendid bowling display to put the skids under his former club Kirkburton as Hoylandswaine protected their two-point lead at the top of the Premiership. Randhawa (5-30) came on after the Swaine opening bowlers drew a virtual blank with Kirkburton nicely poised to set a useful first innings total. They then crumbled from 56-3 to 121ao once the former Kirkburton all-rounder Randhawa had his say with the congruous Toby Booth (30) hitting the high notes for the visitors. Kirkburton could’ve done with the potent bowler Jack Brooks on this occasion to protect such a low total but they needed to make do without as Hoylandswaine shrugged off losing openers Gharib Nawaz and Alex Lees in the first few overs. A fine knock from Muhammad Saeed Anwar (71no) made sure as he along with captain SP Singh (37no) totted off the total in 25 overs.
More woe was piled on out-of-form Delph & Dobcross after Honley completed a straightforward victory at Far End Lane. The title challengers kept Delph well under the cosh with good bowling performances from Lewis Kenworthy (3-31) and Tom Craddock (4-26) preventing Delph from ever getting out of second gear. Wasim Qasim (24) epitomised his sides failings with the bat after he top scored at 10 in an evidently under-par total of 111ao. Honley have matched Hoylandswaine week-by-week so far this season as they search for their first Byrom Shield triumph in eight years and made it their seventh successive win as they sauntered to 114-3. Honley captain Timmy Taylor (55no) struck an unbeaten run-a-ball half-century to wrap up the win.
Moorlands recovered from 27-4 chasing Scholes’ low score of 104ao to record a morale-boosting win and bounce back from three league defeats on the spin. Visitors Scholes were put under the cosh after the opening bowlers got into their groove with Australian import Nicky Smith (3-32) and Andrew Walker (4-45) taking advantage as Scholes suffered in the first innings. However Louis Brook (5-43) caused some major damage with the ball as the young opener accounted for five of the Moorlands top six. Sooner or later Moorlands were going to find someone to dig in and wicketkeeper Michael Rounding (32no) duly obliged to take his side to a welcome four wicket win.
Armitage Bridge kept out close rivals Thongsbridge by 24 runs in a hard-fought win at Miry Lane. The visitors Armitage Bridge themselves had to recover from 30-3 to reach a competitive 243-9 with a key contribution from Robin Broom (76). Broom (pictured above) put on a 97-run partnership along with wicketkeeper Jaycub Curtling (34) and they were helped by small cameos further down the order with opening bowler Zafir Iqbal (3-39) in typically economical mood with the ball for Thongsbridge. In reply Thongsbridge looked in a position of power and were possibly poised to win, be it handily placed at 170-3 after the in-form Jack Cassidy (56) and Richard Marshall (47) combined together for a 94-run third wicket partnership. Faheem Hussain (6-52) had other ideas and once he removed the stubborn Tom Raven-Hill (30) the rest of the Thongsbridge innings subsided short of the total.
An intriguing 4th vs 3rd place match between Shepley and Broad Oak took place at Marsh Lane and it went the way of hosts Shepley as they lodged a comfortable victory ahead of their Heavy Woollen Cup quarter final. After the visitors elected to bat, Shepley opening bowlers Nasir Jamal (3-25) and Archie Greaves (2-82) accounted for batsmen 1 & 2 in the first couple of overs. A superb 86-ball innings by New Zealander Kyran Dill (82) containing 6 fours and 6 sixes put Oak back into the match as they made 202-8 from their 50 overs. A 131-run opening partnership from John Anderson (58) and Dan Wood (72) helped plot a firm course towards victory for Greg Wood’s men and it was Wood (37no) himself that took advantage of that solid foundation as he guided them to within two points of third-placed Broad Oak.
*Golcar 224 (A Wahid 56, J Lockwood 43no, C Ruscoe 38; A Hawkesworth 4-75, C Rowlands 3-8)
Mirfield PC 86 (D Broadbent 28; S Whitwam 5-9).
Delph & Dobcross 111 (L Kenworthy 3-31, T Craddock 4-26)
*Honley 114-3 (S Kelly 27, T Taylor 55no).
Kirkburton 121 (A Smith 28, T Booth 30; G Randhawa 5-30)
*Hoylandswaine 125-2 (S Anwar 71no, S P Singh 37no).
Scholes 104 (N Smith 3-32, A Walker 4-45)
*Moorlands 105-6 (E Walmsley 29, M Rounding 32no; B Birkhead 5-43).
*Shelley 199-9 (M Bhoola 60, H Jones 36, R Bandula-Don 47; K Dalzell 5-49)
Cawthorne 157 (G Charnock 29; S Raza 4-35, R Bandula-Don 3-19)
Broad Oak 202-8 (C Roebuck 26, J Hargreaves 28, K Dill 82no; N Jamal 3-25)
*Shepley 205-3 (J Anderson 58, D Wood 72, G Wood 37no).
Armitage Bridge 243-9 (J Curtling 34, R Brown 76, J Hinchliffe 25no; Z Iqbal 3-39)
*Thongsbridge 219-9 (R Marshall 47, J Cassidy 56, T Raven-Hill 30; F Hussain 6-52).
A stellar team performance by Almondbury Wesleyans was the key to their home victory against Elland which helped them maintain their joint-topping of the Championship table. No less than seven Wesleyans batsmen got themselves into double figures with six of those hitting 20 runs or more. Top scoring was middle-order batsmen Fred Walker (73) who arguably played a pivotal role with his 78-ball innings containing seven fours and 3 sixes as Wesleyans made 248-7 batting first. They were made to work hard for their latest win as Alex Hodgson (75) attempted to assert control for Elland. Once Hodgson had departed though, Wesleyans made certain as opening bowler Jack Atkinson (4-78) finishing things off with Walker (3-30) completing a man-of-the-match performance himself.
Lascelles Hall are also boldly keeping pace and their latest victory came at the expense of Almondbury. Two superb centuries from Matt Simpson (102no) and Sheheryar Hassan (118) almost accounted for the entire 261-6 that visitors Lascelles Hall posted batting first, such was their domination. Simpson stroked 12 fours and 2 sixes in his innings whilst Hassan bludgeoned 14 fours and 4 sixes in a cavalier performance. Mirza Mobeen (3-71) and Nasir Ayub (3-87) trying their best to stem the flow of runs for Almondbury who in reply could only muster 108ao as Gavin Smith (4-46) took four wickets.
Daniel Robinson (4-48) put in an enlightening bowling performance for Meltham but it wasn’t enough to complete a desperate win for the bottom-placed side. Visiting Meltham did a sound job of restricting promotion-chasing Rastrick who had three batsmen digging their way into their thirties with Ovais Hussain (31), Jacob Waterson (33) and Wasim Javed (32no) all chipping away as Rastrick made 165-7 in fifty overs. However scoring didn’t come easy for Meltham either as opening Rastrick bowler Asif Afridi (5-43) starred with the ball as he along with Jack Pearson (4-61) hammered into the Meltham ranks reducing them to 70-8. Kamran Muhammad (49) managed to get nerves fluttering amongst home supporters but with Muhammad bowled by Afridi a run short of a fine half-century, Meltham couldn’t find a way to win from there and finished short on 132ao in an entertaining match.
Clayton West completed a demolition of near-neighbours Skelmanthorpe to keep their promotion hunt alive and kicking. The impressive hosts, already through to a Sykes Cup quarter final never let their visitors settle as Dan Barber (5-50), who grew up playing his junior cricket for Skelmanthorpe, put his former team through the ringer with a five wicket haul and all-rounder Phil Tunnicliffe (3-25) accounted for three as Skelmanthorpe stuttered their way to 121ao. The victory was completed at a canter as an unbeaten half century from Dan’s sibling Tom Barber (52no), again a fellow Skelmanthorpe junior saw his side home inside 25 overs.
Wajid Hussain added a crucial contribution as Slaithwaite saw off visiting Lepton Highlanders by a convincing 140-run margin. Hussain (78) along with Australian Jackson Mace (42) helped power Slaithwaite to 238-7 in the first innings with Imran Khan (3-53) taking wickets for Lepton. The overwhelmed visitors lost their first two wickets without a run on the board and it never got much better from there as they collapsed to 98ao as Sohail Butt (5-33) tormented them with the ball. Opening bowler Harrison Quarmby (3-15) also took important wickets in Slaithwaite’s rampant win to make it two wins from two.
Lascelles Hall 261-6 (M Simpson 102no, S Hassan 118; M Mobeen 3-71, N Ayub 3-87)
*Almondbury Wes 248-7 (C Stott 34, F Walker 73no, J Hoyle 25, A Smith 32no; A Finn 3-29)
Elland 170 (A Hodgson 75; J Atkinson 4-78, F Walker 3-30).
*Barkisland v Holmfirth - Late Result
Skelmanthorpe 121 (P Tunnicliffe 3-25, D Barber 5-50)
*Clayton West 122-2 (T Barber 52no, P Tunnicliffe 26no).
*Rastrick 165-7 (O Hussain 31, J Waterson 33, W Javed 32no; D Robinson 4-48)
Meltham 132 (K Muhammad 49; A Afridi 5-43).
*Slaithwaite 238-7 (W Hussain 78, C Coleman 27, J Chojnowski 32, J Mace 42no; I Khan 3-53)
Lepton Highlanders 98 (A Hussain 35; H Quarmby 3-15, S Butt 5-33).
Cedar Court Conference
Denby suffered their first league defeat of the season and it proved costly as they reliquished their position at the top following defeat at Hemplow. Marsden have endured an inconsistent start to their campaign but are now in a rich vein of form winning the last four matches. They were missing wicketkeeper Matty Butters but it didn’t matter as Marsden put on 210-8 batting first as opener Max Berry (48) just fell short of a diligent half-ton. Jack McNamara (75) flashed the blade as others nibbled away with small contributions as Denby let slip their opportunity. The reply was short lived and ultimately academic as they crashed to 9-4 with Jordan Ghani (4-19) having Denby in tatters. It never improved after that as the visitors dwindled further to 57ao.
This allowed second placed Cumberworth United to leapfrog Denby following an absolute routing of Denby Dale on their travels. Cumberworth clattered their way to 289-4 with big innings’ from Jack Maskill (48), Reid Somani (62) and George Smith (79no). Apart from a defiant showing from Denby Dale opening bat Naseer Rana (42no) no-one else could join him in the mix as Josh Kilner (4-29) led the way with Denby Dale stuttering to 86ao in reply remaining rooted to the bottom.
Elsewhere fourth-placed Hall Bower saw a runfest at home to Birkby Rose Hill. Wicketkeeper Danny Russell (95) made hay and former Huddersfield Town frontman Andy Booth (58) hammered a 41-ball half-century as Bower settled on 306-6. Seven batsmen hit double figures for Birkby Rose Hill with Rehan Khan (63) and Tahir Iqbal (45) top scoring before they lost their way at 250ao. Upperthong but Linthwaite to the sword by scoring 220ao before bowling Linthwaite out 103-runs short on 117ao. Four wickets apiece for Henry Frankland (4-50) and Tom Charlesworth (4-18). Emley Clarence edged home away at Thurstonland as they successfully overhauled 77ao for the loss of six wickets. Kirkheaton defended a modest total of 148ao away at Mirfield by bowling out the hosts for 116 with a five wicket haul for Paolo Girardi (5-15) looking to be the difference between the sides.
Cumberworth United 289-4 (G Parkes 25, J Maskill 48, R Somani 62, G Smith 79no, A Dolley 37no; A Geldart 3-100)
*Denby Dale 86 (N Rana 42; J Kilner 4-29).
*Hall Bower 306-6 (R Evans 30, F Siddiq 32, D Russell 95, I Siddiq 35, A Booth 58no)
Birkby Rose Hill 250 (T Iqbal 45, R Khan 63, R Nazar 35, M Saheer 29, R Monga 32; A Crane 4-26).
Upperthong 220 (G Marah 40, B Charlesworth 30, H Frankland 26, W Clowes 30; O Shaffique 3-38, T Suleman 3-37)
*Linthwaite 117 (H Frankland 4-50, T Charlesworth 4-18).
*Marsden 210-8 (M Berry 48, J McNamara 75)
Denby 57 (A Rehman 27; J Ghani 4-19).
Kirkheaton 148 (P Girardi 61, N Akram 43; N Saudagar 5-27, B McGuinness 4-24)
*Mirfield 116 (P Scouller 38; P Girardi 5-15).
*Thurstonland 77 (S Clarke 5-19, A Taylor 4-19)
Emley Clarence 80-6 (L Booth 5-55)