Featured Image: Ben Raven-Hill helped his side Thongsbridge shock Golcar at Swallow Lane with a well-earned 78no as Thongsbridge made an excellent start to life in the Premiership.
Last season's unbeaten title winners Delph & Dobcross were made to fight by a never-say-die Honley side. Delph, still awaiting overseas professional Shreevats Goswami, took first strike and set a competitive score of 256-6. Key to that total was the former Yorkshire Academy batsman Mosun Hussain who followed up the previous weekend's 46 with an utterly clinical century on his home debut to lay a terrific, and ultimately vital platform for the home team. Runs flowed in the last ten overs as both Shakir Muhammed (54) and the big-hitting Luke Hargreaves (40no) made Honley suffer as the innings closed. Honley meanwhile made a measured start but had their upper order decimated with the quick wickets of Timmy Taylor and Bjorn Taylor both for ducks. However Honley's long-serving Danny Howard rolled back the years with a brilliant performance, regularly drilling the Delph bowling attack back over the boundary. He was well supported by Luke Kenworthy (43) but just as the visitors looked to be turning the tables on reigning Champions Delph, an outrageous run out by Qasim to remove Kenworthy and skipper Arron Lilley came up with the goods in the nick of time cruelly accounting for Howard just 3 runs shy of an extraordinary ton. Honley finally ran out of steam in an absorbing match finishing 18 runs short but collected 2 points for their valiant efforts.
Hoylandswaine made it two wins from two with a routine dismantling of Skelmanthorpe who put down 215ao batting first; Khan (56) and former Swaine all-rounder Ibby Younis (47) top scoring for James Crossland's men. It was never likely to be enough for a powerful Hoylandswaine team who overcame the target for the loss of three wickets. Gharib Nawaz continued his sensational start with his second consecutive century with SP Singh (75no) providing support.
Newly promoted Thongsbridge showed that they haven't come into the Premiership just to make up the numbers, chalking up their second win of the season with a victory at Golcar. Whilst Swallow Lane is always a tough place to go, Thongsbridge restricted their hosts to 144ao thanks to three wickets apiece for Tom Raven-Hill and South African overseas Philip Visser. A well-crafted innings of 78no by Ben's sibling Tom Raven-Hill ensured Thongsbridge secured six points whilst Golcar picked up a point for at least picking up five of the visitor's wickets.
Another close match was played out at Marsh Lane, Shepley as visitors Scholes picked up their first win inflicting a first defeat of the season on Danny Glover's Shepley team. Batting first Shepley grafted their way to 179ao. New signing Nadim Hussain battled his way to 52 for the home outfit but brothers Tom and Josh Brook ensured their side kept in the hunt snaring four wickets each. In reply Scholes were indebted to a half century by opener Luke Chadwick and New Zealander Callum Hill carrying his bat for 44no in his sophomore season for the club as they eased home with 7 balls left.
Broad Oak narrowly succumbed at home to Premiership new boys Moorlands in a tight match, bowler John Keeling returning 4-49 to keep the visitors in check. Despite a 41 from opening bat Dominic Finn and Tom McCreadie's 58, Broad Oak ultimately fell 13 runs short of the Moorlands total.
Cawthorne inflicted a second defeat in two on Armitage Bridge at Dark Lane. A 249-7 total was always going to be a big ask with Ben Simpson (79) and Dehmel (71) putting on over 100 for the first wicket and laying down the foundations for victory. Armitage Bridge will continue to search on for their first win of 2017 despite former Elland captain Robin Broom's elegant 91 as they went down by 39 runs.
Kirkburton bounced back from their opening day defeat by overcoming Barkisland. Darren Robinson (66) and Jake Finch (54) led the way to Barkisland's 215-6 but Kirkburton paced their reply to perfection winning with an over to spare. Siraj Sajid cemented his place as one of the district's top young all-rounders with a sparkling performance with the bat, hitting an unbeaten 58 to carry his side home.
It's all systems go as Mirfield Parish Cavaliers set the pace in the Championship but they were made to work hard for their win against Elland. The Parish put on 240-9 with Hussain (77no) leading the way with the bat. In a match that ebbed and flowed, Elland eventually ran aground being bowled out for 221. Hussain capped a fine all round performance with 4-40 with the visitors helped by Mohammad Ali's 67 as they returned back to Hullen Edge with 2 points.
Shelley will also fancy a quick return to the Premiership and their hopes were boosted with a second win in two away at Meltham. They chased down Meltham's 183-9 with relative ease. Joe Sykes (63) and Yousef Hasnat (53no) the mainstays in Shelley's win.
Rastrick bounced back with a hard-fought win away at Holmfirth. A score of 245ao proved to be too much for the home team who despite Matthew Gummerson's 79 couldn't quite do enough to get over the line and Holmfirth stuttered 23 runs shy.
Clayton West and Slaithwaite played out an entertaining 6pts-to-2pts tussle with Slaithwaite easing home with a couple of wickets spare. Clayton West's total of 236-8 was overhauled with help from half-centuries by Rehmann (53) and Butt (63) for the Moonrakers.
Linthwaite didn't hold up too much resistance away at Almondbury Wesleyans who ran out comfortable 5-wicket winners whilst short and sweet was the order of the day at Kirkheaton with Lascelles Hall bowler Zac Ahmed's 7-14 haul helping the visitors bowl Kirkheaton out for 51 in just 16 overs. They in turn reached their target with the minimum of fuss to take 6 points.
Cedar Court Conference
Lepton Highlanders made it 2 from 2 with a comprehensive victory at Birkby Rose Hill in the highest scoring Conference match of the afternoon. Birkby Rose Hill's 239ao was reached with ease in a workmanlike display as Hussain (105no) and exciting young talent Jacob Mulhall (83no) drove the Highlanders to 240-2 in reply.
Marsden registered an opening win away at Mirfield. With 209-4 the target, Mirfield fell well short on 91ao as Matthew Johnson (4-24) and Steve Robinson (3-32) got to work on the Mirfield batsmen.
There were rather one-sided wins for Cumberworth United (197-9) at home to Almondbury (111ao) and Denby Dale (82-4) away at Emley Clarence (80ao). Whilst Hall Bower (156ao) edged home against Denby (134ao) and Thurstonland (196-7) muscled out Upperthong (187ao) in two of the days more nip-n-tuck matches.