Thongsbridge skipper Ben Raven-Hill (89) shot his side to victory over Honley in gameweek 3 as they and Broad Oak lead the table early. Elsewhere Hoylandswaine made a strong statement in an away win at Shepley and last season's runner up Delph & Dobcross opened their account away at Scholes
All eyes were looking down at what unfolded at Marsh Lane as 2017 champions Hoylandswaine locked horns with a much fancied Shepley side. Following their decimation of newcomers Mirfield Parish Cavaliers in GW02, the hosts found runs much harder to come by against Swaine’s fierce bowling attack as new signing Shakir Muhammad (3-23) efficiently removed the Shepley sting by taking out key batsmen Dan Wood, Tom Denton and skipper Greg Wood. Shepley battled back bravely with overseas John Anderson (34) and Danny Glover (27) but it wasn’t likely to be enough to hold back one of the most potent batting lineups in the league, further strengthened this week with the arrival of Yorkshire’s Alex Lees. It was Lees (69no) himself that led the reply and even though Swaine were pegged back at 6-2 after Nasir Jamal (2-42) made early in-roads they ran out easy winners, ably supported by Chris Holliday’s (47).
At Chapelgate, Delph & Dobcross showed their teeth in a ruthless performance to see off Scholes who lost the toss and were asked to bat first. The hosts, after patiently laying a foundation to give Delph a stiff chase to pursue, collapsed to 150ao after being kept in check by Arron Lilley (3-38) and a eventually blown away by a sterling 5-wicket showing by Delph’s new attack bowler Umer Yaqoob (5-42). There simply wasn’t enough on the board for Scholes as Delph nimbly went about their task with opener and last season’s batsman of the season Mosun Hussain (65no) scoring a half-century. Scholes’ Tom Chadwick attempted to put the cat amongst the pigeons by removing Chris Tipper (21) and Lilley (4) with a superb piece of bowling but Delph had enough to bring home the six points.
Broad Oak have made it back to back wins to joint lead the early Premiership table after they overcame Colne valley neighbours Golcar at home. Oak accumulated their way to 212-8 after a fifty from Jack Hargreaves (55), suppoted by Sean Mee’s 46 lay the bedrock of the innings. Will Hinchliffe (4-56) for the visitors. Golcar - who were welcoming back skipper Steve Whitwam after missing GW02 - subsided to 99ao in response from 88-5, a marvellous five wicket return from Daniel Taylor ran through the visitors lower order, putting sorry Golcar to the sword.
Moorlands began their season with a win over Shelley. The Jedi Championship champions were always under the cosh from a strong bowling attack as Micky Padgett-led Moorlands restricted them to 160-9 from the first innings. Joe Sykes (69) stuck around but it was 4-46 from Padgett that helped keep Shelley in their crosshairs. Moorlands found the chase straightforward enough and Dave Winn (40) along with new imports Nathan Rabnott (43) and Siraj Sajid (36) that knocked off the runs.
Over at Thongsbridge, Honley made the short journey down the Woodhead Road and came off second best to Ben Raven-Hill’s impressive who remain unbeaten and joint top of the Premiership. The skipper himself worked his way to a 104-ball 89 and was helped down the order by Australian Haydn Slodecki (45) and Jack Cassidy (40) as Thongsbridge made 281ao. Fellow antipodean Brett Randell’s 3-56 and Sam Denton (3-43) was the highlight of Honley’s bowling on a hot afternoon down Miry Lane. Even a sparkling 102-ball century by Will Fraine (111) and an eye-catching contribution from Timmy Taylor (75) weren’t enough as Honley paced their chase nicely, only to be let down by the lower order after relinquishing control at 201-4. Ben Balmforth (5-44) send Honley spiralling towards defeat, obliterating the tail-end in his returning spell.
Kirkburton showed their mettle in a good win away at Cawthorne. They secured a victory based on a controlled spell of bowling from seamers Alex Scholefield (3-45) and Javaid Ahmad (3-36) with only a typical skippers knock of 74no by Chris Walmsley lifting Cawthorne to 181ao and hand his side something to bowl at in the second innings. A fine half-century from Luke Williamson (55) set the tone as Kirkburton reached 182-5 in reply to chalk up a first victory of the season.
Premiership newcomers Mirfield Parish Cavaliers are left still searching for the first win of the season after going down at Armitage Bridge. Andrew Gledhill, back to skippering the Bridge had his opening batsman Matthew West (44) to thank as his contribution along with a typically dogged 79 from Wayne Swift led Armitage Bridge to set 202-8 batting first with a return of 4-58 from the visiting bowler Jamie Hardcastle. Opening batsman Tim Orrell (44) used his vast county and Bradford League experience to try and chase that down but no-one could follow his lead as Mirfield Parish crumbled to 86ao, clearly rattled by a fine five wicket peppering by home spinner Daniel Moorhouse (5-14).
*Armitage Bridge 202-8 (M West 44, W Swift 79, R Broom 38; J Hardcastle 4-58)
Mirfield Parish Cav 86 (T Orrell 44; D Moorhouse 5-14).
*Broad Oak 212-8 (J Hargreaves 55, S Mee 46, T McCreadie 38; W Hinchliffe 4-56)
Golcar 99 (J Mulhall 39; A France 3-36, D Taylor 5-21).
*Cawthorne 181 (I Latif 28, C Walmsley 74; A Scholefield 3-45, J Ahmad 3-36)
Kirkburton 182-5 (R Randhawa 35, L Williamson 55, T Booth 44no; L Wiles 3-37).
Shelley 160-9 (J Sykes 69, M Sykes 25no; M Padgett 4-46)
*Moorlands 162-3 (D Winn 40, N Rabnott 43, S Sajid 36).
*Scholes 150 (Y Imtiaz 34, T Brook 33; U Yaqoob 5-42, A Lilley 3-38)
Delph & Dobcross 155-3 (M Hussain 65no, G Simpson 35no).
*Shepley 149 (J Anderson 34, D Glover 27; S Muhammad 3-23, B Potter 3-35)
Hoylandswaine 151-3 (A Lees 69no, C Holliday 47).
*Thongsbridge 281 (B Raven-Hill 89, H Slodecki 45, J Cassidy 40; B Randell 3-67, S Denton 3-43)
Honley 239 (W Fraine 111, T Taylor 75; Z Iqbal 3-56, B Bamforth 5-44)
Elland lead the way in the Championship with two from two after hardly breaking sweat in a home romp against Meltham. They clattered their way to 314-5 with a big innings from Liam Fletcher (96) along with new signing from Linthwaite Greg Alexander (76). Paul Winrow (67) also added a flurry of runs with only Ibrar Hussain (4-64) showing any resolve for the visitors. Apart from wicketkeeper Sam Clegg (62), Meltham stayed well off the pace and they could only muster 135ao. Peter Dobson (4-14) for Elland as they top the early table.
Lascelles Hall followed up their tie with Slaithwaite in GW02 with a victory away at neighbours Lepton Highlanders. They racked up 228-8 thanks in the main to Ahmed’s 51. Lepton were kept at bay by Hassan (3-65) despite the efforts of no. 3 batsman Sajid Bashir (54) and Danny Mulhall (41no).
The Almondbury derby saw bragging rights held by Almondbury Wesleyans after they overcame Almondbury by 109 runs. Frederick Walker (60), opening bat Alex Taylor (45) and wicketkeeper Jon Hoyle (48) all piled on the runs from an anemic Almondbury bowling attack, apart from skipper Mirza Mobeen (6-67). They were well short with the bat as Frederick Walker completed a fine all-round display by taking 4-35 with the ball as Almondbury were bowled out for 146.
Rastrick made life in the Championship even more difficult for Barkisland by landing a damaging home defeat on them just up the road in Calderdale by chasing down a Barkisland total of 200-8. Further details weren’t available as Rastrick ran out winners with 204-3.
Slaithwaite made visitors to Hill Top Clayton West suffer in a 5-wicket win. They inserted Clayton West and kept them to 164ao; a 107-ball 92 from Philip Tunnicliffe the only signs of fight from the opponents on this occasion with Moonrakers skipper Alex Walker (4-65) starring with the ball. Hasnat Yousaf (44) paved the way to victory as Slaithwaite reached 166-5 in reply.
Skelmanthorpe routed Holmfirth to pick up their first win away to a shell-shocked Holmfirth team. Seb Allen’s side had no answer to an on-fire Michael Kitson as the Skelmanthorpe skipper tore through the Holmfirth order finishing with impressive figures of 6-9. Visiting Skelmanthorpe reached 57-5 in reply with more runs coming in extras than any Skelmanthorpe batsman.
*Almondbury Wes 255-9 (A Taylor 45, W Binns 34, B Jenkins 36, F Walker 60no, J Hoyle 48; M Mobeen 6-67), Almondbury 146 (N Ayub 31, H Walker 28; J Atkinson 3-43, F Walker 4-35, B Shufflebotham 3-40).
*Elland 314-5 (G Alexander 76, L Fletcher 96, P Winrow 67, A Hodgson 49no; I Hussain 4-64)
Meltham 135 (S Clegg 62; P Dobson 4-14).
*Holmfirth 56 (M Kitson 6-9)
Lascelles Hall 228-8 (Z Ahmed 51, S Hassan 32, M Simpson 33; S Bashir 4-48)
*Lepton Highlanders 192-6 (S Bashir 64, D Hulhall 41no; S Hassan 3-65).
Clayton West 164 (P Tunnicliffe 92; J Chojnowski 3-22, A Walker 4-65)
*Slaithwaite 166-5 (H Yousaf 44, J Chojnowski 32; P Tunnicliffe 5-22).
Cedar Court Conference
There were a couple of thrilling low-scoring encounters in the basement with a simply stunning match at Kirkheaton with the most drama. Visitors Birkby Rose Hill must have thought they’d done everything to win by cutting down the Kirkheaton batting lineup bowling the home team out for 94. Captain Mushtaq Hussain (4-30) for Birkby with only Haydn Charlton (32) hanging around for any length of time. However they didn’t budget for Will Smith (5-21) to do the same to them as they lost their last four wickets for a paltry 20 runs and were bowled out for 92!
At Thurstonland, visiting Hall Bower were bowled out for an even lower 69 as Jordan Thackray’s five wicket haul got Thurstonland in the box seat. But such a low score can be defended on these early-season surfaces and top bowling by Hall Bower’s Iqrar Amjad (5-22) cut down Thurstonland without a single batsman reaching double figures. Thurstonland finishing all out for 60 as Hall Bower take six points to place them on top of the table.
Mirfield and Marsden both win their matches at home to Denby Dale and Linthwaite respectively. Mirfield’s 187ao was successfully defended as Denby Dale were rolled over for 76ao. Marsden recovered from the previous week’s narrow defeat to Cumberworth by convincingly defeating Linthwaite who are still coming to terms with last season’s relegation. 239-5 was too many on the board for Linthwaite after the returning Matthew Butters (96) went to town on them with the bat. Opening Marsden bowler Sajid Ali (4-24) got to work with the ball and Linthwaite were demolished, all out for 96.
Denby narrowly chased down Cumberworth United’s 168-9 in a two wicket win. James Gumpert (41) top scored as they reached the target with three overs remaining whilst Emley Clarence opening things up with a fine 157-run demolition of bottom-of-the-table team Upperthong. Kamran Saleem (79) helped fire his side to the win which was rounded off with a remarkable performance by Mohammed Nabeel (7-23). Upperthong being bowled out for 126.
Cumberworth Utd 168-9 (G Parkes 41, A Littlewood 52; Z Jadoon 3-36, M Askham 3-53)
*Denby 169-8 (J Gumpert 41).
*Emley Clarence 286-9 (C Saleem 79, S Sykes 38, R Clarke 28; B Mighal 3-43)
Upperthong 129 (B Charlesworth 48; M Nabeel 7-23).
*Kirkheaton 94 (H Charlton 32, A Charlton 25; M Hussain 4-30, R Nazar 3-19)
Birkby Rose Hill 92 (W Smith 5-21).
*Marsden 239-5 (M Berry 29, M Butters 96, I Malik 79)
Linthwaite 96 (T Suleman 28, O Shaffique 27; S Ali 4-24, J Ghani 3-11).
*Mirfield 187 (P Scouller 35)
Denby Dale 76 (N Saudagar 4-40, B McGuinness 4-19).
Hall Bower 69 (J Thackray 5-25)
*Thurstonland 60 (I Anjad 5-22, S Siddiq 3-12).