On a bright bank holiday Monday Premiership-only fixture programme; Hoylandswaine continue to vanquish all before them with Moorlands the latest team to feel their wrath. With Honley still keeping pace with a routine victory at Cawthorne, Shelley and Kirkburton made it two wins from two. Elsewhere, Broad Oak and Shepley both climbed the table with away wins at Delph & Dobcross and Golcar respectively.
A 112-ball century by Greg Wood (109, featured image) fired Shepley to victory away at struggling Golcar in an absorbing match. Shepley picked themselves up from 62-4 as Wood and Archie Greaves (54) put on a 148-run partnership to assert control in the first innings. This gave the platform for a 23-ball smash by Danny Glover (48) to put scoreboard pressure on bottom-side Golcar, despite Will Hinchilffe (5-69) earning a 5-wicket haul in front of their own supporters. Golcar showed character in the reply though, with captain Steve Whitwam (90) and James Howson (58) putting on 113 runs for the third wicket. However all too often, their middle and lower order have been too fragile when put under some serious pressure and Shepley spinner Abbas Ahmed (5-61) did well to whittle down the tail and curtail the Golcar chase by 41 runs. Golcar did pick up a precious point but it is wins which they desperately require to pull them out of the quicksand.
Leaders Hoylandswaine have some fierce, nuclear-level batting power at their disposal and they displayed it once again on a sultry bank holiday Monday fixture at home to Moorlands. It was the visitors who won the toss and elected to bat first but they couldn’t put enough on the board to really cause Hoylandswaine problems as they battled their way to 253-8 off their 50 overs. Opener Jared Maxwell (69) got the visitors off to a solid enough start but wickets fell at regular intervals and it was only the late run injection by Australian bowler Nicky Smith (62) that pushed them onto a defendable total. But what is a defendable total against the current title holders? It only took 31 overs to overtake Moorlands’ score with two centuries from Muhammad Saeed Anwar (100no off 90 balls) and Yorkshire’s Alex Lees (119no off 80 balls) - the latter passing 500 runs from only 5 appearances this term. Hoylandswaine finished on 254-1 to make it six wins from six.
Lewis Kenworthy (3-14) and captain Timmy Taylor (3-15) tormented Cawthorne as Honley stayed just a point behind Hoylandswaine to make it a successful weekend where again, they barely broke sweat. It took 40 overs for Honley to bowl out Cawthorne for a lowly 87 as the hosts struggled to build enough of a score to test Honley. They did sense the match could possibly be closer than it was when they took out Honley stalwart Simon Kelly in the second ball of the reply but fellow opener Danny Howard (25) and Taylor (63no) carried out a professional job to see things out with Honley running out convincing 9 wicket winners.
Kirkburton followed up Saturday’s eye-catching victory away at Delph & Dobcross with another strong performance at home to Armitage Bridge who didn’t quite have enough in the armoury in a high-scoring match at Riley Lane. The 283-5 put on by Kirkburton batting first was enough for Craig Fletcher’s team to take the victory which propels them to fourth in the table as a fine 94 from Toby Booth (99 balls. 7 fours, 5 sixes. Pictured above) was sandwiched between telling knocks by Jack Brooks (45) and Alex Scholefield (65no). Armitage Bridge salvaged a couple of batting points with an enterprising reply which took them close, but not close enough. Jaycub Curtling (79), Matthew West (33) and Robin Broom (30) all contributed to 259-8 in reply only to go down by 24 runs of an entertaining match.
Zimbabwean international Sikander Raza put in his second outstanding performance of the weekend to fire Shelley to a victory that pulls them out of the bottom two. His 74 off 50 balls in the first innings along with a half-century by Joe Sykes (51) to set visiting Thongsbridge 237-8 from 50 overs. It was an entirely one-sided match as Raza (5-40) then took the new ball and along with the economical Ranjith Bandula-Don (2-8) cut through the Thongsbridge reply as they were stunned and bowled out for 105 in reply.
A fine all-round team performance by Broad Oak made it a miserable bank holiday for Delph & Dobcross who slumped to their second defeat of the weekend and their third defeat in four matches. Jack Hargreaves’ outfit were boosted by the return of Charlie Roebuck and he enjoyed a matchwinning performance. Roebuck (62) provided the inspiration for others as Sean Mee (30) and Alex Slack (66) hit a 1XI career-best to put on 244ao with Arron Lilley (4-66) and Waqas Maqsood (3-67) in the wickets for the hosts. Delph would rue sloppiness in the field - normally an area they are so proficient at - as no less than six clear catching opportunities were wasted. A typically belligerent display by Lilley (40) wasn’t enough to prevent Delph going down following an action packed start to the reply as runs flowed but chances were there. Broad Oak eventually got a hold of the game and soon Andrew Gleave’s side ran out of steam as they haemorrhaged wickets and momentum subsiding to 140ao.
Scholes returned to winning ways in emphatic style by seeing off a challenge by Mirfield Parish Cavaliers. Josh Brooks’ Scholes side were ruthless with the ball as he took 3-24 and Tom Chadwick (3-39) to scupper any chance that Parish had of applying pressure on to the visiting team. David Bolt (34) top scored in vain as Mirfield Parish Cavaliers were rolled over for 126 after electing to bat first. Scholes opener Alex Clegg (60no) piled on a season-best score as he along with the experienced James Noble (58no) guided the Chapelgate side to a ten wicket annihilation inside 30 overs.
*Cawthorne 87 (L Kenworthy 3-14, T Taylor 3-15)
Honley 90-2 (D Howard 25, T Taylor 63no).
Broad Oak 244 (C Roebuck 62, S Mee 30, A Slack 66; W Maqsood 3-67, A Lilley 4-66)
*Delph & Dobcross 140 (A Lilley 40; A France 3-61).
Shepley 271-8 (G Wood 109, A Greaves 54, D Glover 48; W Hinchliffe 5-69)
*Golcar 230 (S Whitwam 90, J Howson 58, M Wilson 28; N Jamal 3-15, A Ahmed 5-61).
Moorlands 253-8 (J Maxwell 69, N Smith 62; U Arshad 3-70)
*Hoylandwaine 254-1 (G Nawaz 27, A Lees 119no, S Anwar 90no).
*Kirkburton 284-5 (J Butterfield 27, J Brooks 45, T Booth 94, A Scholefield 65no)
Armitage Bridge 259-8 (M West 33, S Matlub 27, R Broom 30, J Curtling 79, F Hussain 26; J Ahmad 3-58).
*Mirfield PC 126 (A Hawkesworth 27, N Hussain 27, D Bolt 34; J Brook 3-24, T Chadwick 3-69)
Scholes 130-0 (A Clegg 60no, J Noble 58no).
*Shelley 237-8 (L Sykes 31, J Sykes 51, S Raza 74; B Balmforth 3-13, T Raven-Hill 3-80)
Thongsbridge 105 (S Raza 5-40).