On Wednesday 15 August, the Huddersfield representative U21 team played the MCC at Honley. This was an unlimited overs match, with the final 20 overs being called at 17:30. On paper this was always going to be a competitive match, with league-legend John Booth captaining the MCC team and sons Harvey and Toby featured in the U21 team.
The MCC elected to bat and Nick Gaywood (ex-Kirkburton) and John Sadler (ex-Hoylandswaine) opened the innings. Opening bowlers Louis Brook (Scholes) and Jack Hinchliffe (Armitage Bridge) bowled tidily and Hinchliffe was rewarded with the wicket of Gaywood for 16. Sadler was joined by Brown and MCC started to find the boundary. Huddersfield struggled to contain the partnership. Just before lunch, Cawthorne's Jacob Deavin-Baker found the edge of Brown's bat and Mohammed Ali (Mirfield Parish Cavaliers) took a good catch behind the wicket. Brown departed for 34 and the MCC 95-2 at lunch.
During the afternoon session, the Huddersfield U21's had more success. Ali took a further three catches behind the wicket - Sadler 44, Moorhouse 13 and Carson 5. Ali took two of these catches off the returning Louis Brook, who bowled with excellent venom from the Scorebox end. Suddenly MCC had been reduced from 100-2 to 119-5.
During the final twenty overs of the MCC innings, Huddersfield continued to bowl and field well. Will Reeves (Kirkburton) trapped David Sadler for 8 and Nathan Jones (Delph and Dobcross) had Jackson caught for 35. MCC 165-7 off 50 overs. Huddersfield then opted for some 'declaration bowling', allowing the MCC to declare four overs later for 205-7.
Huddersfield shared the wickets evenly, but it was the opening bowlers Louis Brook (2-34 from 12) and Jack Hinchliffe (1-27 from 9) who were the stand-out performers.
The U21's started their innings positively, with Yaasar Imtiaz (Scholes) and Nathab Jones hitting early boundaries. Tea was taken after 8 overs - Huddersfield 35-0.
After the resumption, John Sadler hung on to a return catch from Imtiaz, who departed for a run-a-ball 26. Toby Booth (Kirkburton) joined Jones and the pair took advantage of some gentle bowling by Sadler and Lees. Jones passed 50 in the 28th over. The last hour was called at 30 overs. Huddersfield 121-1 needing another 87 runs from 20 overs to win.
Then the heavens opened. The rules stated that during the last hour one over was lost for every three minutes. Upon resumption, Huddersfield needed 78 from 5.3 overs.
Booth quickly departed for a well-made 44. Jones then took sole responsibility for the chase, taking 12 off the 34th over. However, the rain had spoiled a well-crafted run chase and the target remained elusive. Huddersfield finished 20 runs short and Jones, despite some wonderful hitting, finished unbeaten on 95 from 108 balls.
The Huddersfield U21 team will surely try again next year!