There were wins for Shepley, Thongsbridge, Honley and Broad Oak in the opening Premiership matches of the Huddersfield Cricket League. Elsewhere Elland got themselves off to a victory in the Championship whilst Lascelles Hall and Slaithwaite played out a stunning tie.
Mirfield Parish Cavaliers were handed a blunt start to life in the Drakes Premiership with a overwhelming defeat at home to a strong Shepley outfit, looking to win their first Championship win since 2013. New captain Greg Wood, returning to Shepley after four years at Wrenthorpe had his two opening batsmen to thank as Shepley piled their way to 363-4 declared. New overseas, Australian John Anderson helped himself to a 61-ball 82 (8 fours, 8 sixes) but it was the familiar face of Dan Wood eclipsing that by hammering a stunning unbeaten 174no off 138 balls (13 fours, 14 sixes). Former captain, Danny Glover hit a quickfire 77no before the visitors declared with an over remaining. Parish were never in the hunt in reply but they aquitted themselves well making 162-8 with their overseas Nazar Hussain top scoring with a 63-ball 52no (4 fours, 3 sixes).
Honely had to battle hard in a tough encounter away at Armitage Bridge, winning on the last ball of the match. The home side battled their way to 169ao with Australian Robin Broom the high scorer grafting his way to 50 off 83 balls. In reply, Honley were made to work hard but kept up with the pace losing wickets at regular intervals. A half century by opener Will Fraine and a useful contribution by Lewis Kenworthy (38) set the foundations and they reached a revised target of 165-8 in the final ball of the innings.
Another century in the days play came at Kirkburton as Charlie Roebuck (122, pictured above) fired Broad Oak to victory at Riley Lane. Roebuck, returning back “home” after a spell at Treeton in the South Yorkshire League and playing against his former club, took 86 balls and 18 fours, 5 sixes and was supported in the middle order by Sean Mee as the Oak compiled 264-9 from their fifty overs. Kirkburton’s Andrew Smith (4-49) the key wicket taker for the home team. Kirkburton got themselves off to a reasonably solid start before overseas Luke Williamson (49) cruelly got out one run sort of a half-century. Kirkburton collapsed thereafter as spinner John Keeling (4-32) got stuck into the batting order and Jack Hargreaves’ Broad Oak side ultimately registered a convincing 105 run win.
At a chilly Swallow Lane, visitors Thongsbridge got their season off to a good start with a low-scoring win away to Golcar. In a reduced-to-40-overs match Thongsbridge grafted a 115-9 first innings score in conditions that it’s fair to say, favoured the bowlers. Golcar were missing key players Steve Whitwam, Craig Ruscoe and Abdul Wahid and the strain took its toll in the reply as stand-in captain James Howson couldn’t quite manage to steer his side to an opening-day win. Golar collapsing to 62ao in reply following a strong bowling performance by Thongsbridge.
Heavy rain midweek did enough damage to render matches at Delph (v Moorlands), Hoylandswaine (v Shelley) and Cawthorne (v Scholes) unfit to start.
Only two matches survived the bleak April weathers and one featured a thrilling tie. Skelmanthorpe vs Lepton Highlanders, Rastrick vs Almondbury Wesleyans and Clayton West vs Barkisland all becoming victims to a weeks worth of inclement weather.
Meanwhile at Lascelles Hall, the hosts managed to rescue a tie from the jaws of defeat in an exciting encounter at home to Slaithwaite. Lascelles Hall were restricted to 122ao as Sohail Butt (3-22), Alex Walker (2-29), Josh Chojnowski (2-19) and Hasnat Yousef (2-12) all combined to run through Hall’s batting, with only Hardeep Singh (35) managing to dig himself into an innings. The reply looked to be going all Slaithwaite’s way and with rain revising the target to 90 it seemed a straightforward task on paper. At 80-5 the win was in sight but Zeeshan Khan (2-5) and Tom Wightman (2-43) had other ideas and they rattled through Slaithwaite’s tail to end the match on a tie.
In the only other Championship match to survive the weather, Elland picked up an easy win at home to promoted Almondbury, who know they’ll need to up their game to compete in a tough Championship this term. Elland skittled out the visitors for a lowly 91 with only Mirza Mobeen (23) top scoring for Almondbury. Three wickets apiece for skipper Alastair Finn (3-18) and Peter Dobson (3-13) kept Almondbury from straying far from their control. It was never likely to be a score for illustrious Elland, themselves in their second season in the Championship following relegation in 2016 and they progressed to a 6 wicket victory reaching 92-4 in 24 overs. Opener Ciaran O’Malley (41no) and the experienced Paul Winrow (28) guiding the Hullen Edge team home.
Cedar Court Conference
In the Conference, Birkby Rose Hill got their season off to a good start with a comprehensive win at home to Emley Clarence. A six-wicket haul for Muhammad Saeed (6-13) never let Emley off the hook and they knocked off the low total in 22 overs reaching 68-3 in reply.
Hall Bower were also victorious at home to Mirfield as they edged out the visitors by three runs. Hall Bower had two half-centurions in their innings of 173-8 with opener Matthew Crane (65) and lower order batsman Ryan Beaney (60) at the the core of the Bower run tally with Emma Boult (3-46) the key wicket taker for Mirfield. In reply, Mirfield stumbled just three runs short as nails were bitten amongst watching spectators. There were contributions all through the Mirfield order in a valiant effort, particularly from Wilbur Pomorin (31) and Andrew Young (38). Russell Evans (3-22) became the Hall Bower hero as they ran out narrow winners.
Another gripping affair was at Cumberworth as they defeated visitors Marsden by one wicket. Cumberworth United chased down Marsden’s 114ao for the loss of 9 wickets as Oliver Turner (37no) dropped anchor and eased his side home. Sajid Ali’s magnificent 6-16 with the ball wasn’t enough in the end for Marsden.
Upperthong tasted defeat in their first match at home to Denby as they were bowled out for 93, Denby’s Zafar Jadoon (4-24) and Mark Askham (4-31) taking most of the wickets between them. Denby managed their run chase expertly reaching 97-6 in the 29th over as Tom Sanders (26) top scored for the visiting team.
There was no play possible at Linthwaite v Thurstonland and Kirkheaton v Denby Dale in the other two Conference matches.