Moorlands relinquished their position at the top of the table after Delph & Dobcross chased down their imposing first innings total in dramatic circumstances with Alex Peters (featured image) at the forefront. Kirkburton also registered their first league win after picking off Broad Oak. The Championship top two went head to head with Marsden crushing Lascelles Hall and Upperthong demolished Linthwaite to retain the top spot in the Conference.
It’s felt like five long weeks at Delph & Dobcross but they finally registered their first league victory in one of the most thrilling run chases ever seen at the club. Louis Aspeling’s new look side have found start to life this season uncomfortable with two defeats and two matches matches abandoned prior to this match. You may be forgiven to assume more misery would be heaped on them when the hosts slumped to 7-3 early in the second innings but the perfect team performance, led by Aspeling himself at first brought them back into the match before pacing their run chase to perfection. Earlier, Moorlands shrugged off an early blow after losing the opening batters fairly cheaply. However a 100-run partnership between Jason Grosvenor (131no) and James Stansfield (45) saw Moorlands assert their control. The Delph bowlers were bludgeoned at the death as the visitors piled on a 287-5 total and some good swing bowling had Delph in extreme trouble at the start of the reply. A short rain break with Delph flailing at 7-3 gave the home side some welcome relief and they made full advantage of the respite at the restart as Aspeling (64) and Alex Peters (82) carefully rebuilt the innings with a patient 145-run partnership. A quickfire 32-ball half century was blasted by Adam Hayes (50) but when Moorlands removed him, the outcome was still in the balance. Bowlers Reece Drake (4-50) and Shoukat Ali (4-67) thought they may have done enough by reducing Delph down to their last men in the final over. However a four off the first delivery by Wasim Qasim (10no) then put Delph back into the driving seat and with the field in, Qasim calmly chipped the ball over point for a scampered two with two balls remaining in a remarkable contest that finally ended just after 8:30pm.
Another excellent recovery ensured Kirkburton chalked up an important first league win of the season as they tempered a seering opening salvo by visitors Broad Oak. Former ‘Burton opener Charlie Roebuck (77) continued his sterling start to the season but Oak failed to cash in on their solid foundation at 126-1 which was ultimately to their cost. Persistence paid off for opening bowler Alex Scholefield (5-70) and he helped restrict Oak to a far more reachable 203ao. A fine performance from Andrew Smith (94) along with Scholefield (38) helped ‘Burton start the reply well putting 86 runs on for the first wicket. From there, Smith was joined by skipper Toby Booth (45) and the hosts cruised to a welcome victory reaching 205-4 with five overs remaining.
Honley’s spirits were dampened and Shepley’s batting lineup finally sparked at Marsh Lane. Shepley were up against it in the early exchanges when the visitors had them peril at 10-2. Captain Greg Wood (114) put in a matchwinning performance with a tremendous century to steady the ship. He was joined by Sam Tee (52) to put on 143 runs for the third wicket and with the foundation in place, Honley had no answer to the late onslaught as Shepley made a collossal 307-9. Jack Hebden’s five wicket haul for Honley was ultimately in vain as runs leaked too frequently. Their reply seemed scuppered when Yorkshire player Will Fraine - fresh from a big score for Yorkshire 2XI in the week - was removed and the score on 45-2. When Simon Kelly is in the mood, anything is possible and it took until the removal of Kelly (68) before Shepley could breathe easier. Tom Chadwick (4-31) ruthlessly ran through the remaining batsmen and Honley meekly subsided to 149ao, Iosing their final 7 wickets for 21 runs.
Joe Carter made his presence felt as Scholes edged out visitors Almondbury Wesleyans at Chapelgate. Carter (60no) and Bradley Birkhead (50no) shared a 105-run partnership in Scholes’ 255-4 first innings score after Gharib Nawaz (41) helped the hosts start off the right way. Visiting Wes frequently lost momentum in the reply but with Matt Henshaw (61) scoring a half-century Wesleyans kept a foothold in the match. Skipper Josh Brook (5-52) kept them at arms length with a fine performance with the ball and the visitors were forced to settle for a point after being bowled out for 220.
Chris Holliday (above) carved a brilliant century away at Armitage Bridge to help Hoylandswaine to the spoils.
A magnificent century from Chris Holliday had Hoylandswaine recover their mojo following a poor showing the weekend before with a league defeat and being knocked out of the Heavy Woollen Cup. They suffered a rocky start away at Armitage Bridge too as they slumped to 18-2 early on. Holliday (133) however diligently joined forces with Gurman Randhawa (71) with the score on 64-3 and the pair put on 177 runs together. Holliday scores 12 fours and 2 sixes in his 139-ball innings to help set up a large 269-9 total for the hosts to chase. Marco Van Biljon (5-65) maintained his impressive start to his debut season at Armitage Bridge with another five wicket plunder to take his personal tally to 15 wickets. Hoylandswaine eventually crushed Bridge’s hopes with a professional performance with the ball as their key batsmen failed to get a foothold in the match. The spinners soon took command with Randhawa (4-39) and Arron Lilley (3-51) suffocating the hosts who could only manage 137ao in reply.
Barkisland followed up last Sunday’s stunning 1-run Heavy Woollen Cup victory at Hoylandswaine with an easier scalp away at Shelley to chalk up their first league win. The two sides met a couple of weeks earlier in the Sykes Cup and it Darren Robinson’s men have now some momentum to build on as they brushed aside Shelley with ruthless efficiency. Only George Barden (25) showed any kind of resilience as Barkisland’s four-pronged bowling attack melted away any opposition. Jamie Sykes (3-26) and Luke Bridges (3-4) led the way as Shelley crumbled to 65ao and Barkisland completed a dominant 8-wicket win with 66-2 in 11 overs.
The only side to maintain an unbeaten record is Thongsbridge who now top the table with a defeat over visiting Golcar. It wasn’t all plain sailing though after Golcar laboured to 149ao batting first. Australian born Jack McNamara (36), the visiting captain, top scored but Tom Raven-Hill (5-32) repeated his heroics from the previous week in their win over Hoylandswaine to snuff out the visitors innings. However Golcar had their opponents in big trouble batting second by quickly reducing them to 17-4. That was largely about as good as it got and once Will Hinchliffe (4-27) was replaced Thongsbridge then took command. Jack Cassidy (74) and Alex Kemp (56) both registered half-centuries as Thongsbridge eased to victory on 150-4 with 15 overs remaining.
Hoylandswaine 269-9 (C Holliday 133, G Randhawa 71; M van Bijon 5-65)
*Armitage Bridge 137 (G Randhawa 4-39, A Lilley 3-51).
Moorlands 287-5 [Rev 266] (J Grosvenor 131no J Stansfield 45, M Rounding 27)
*Delph & Dobcross 267-9 (A Peters 82, L Aspeling 64, A Hayes 50; R Drake 4-50, S Ali 4-67).
Broad Oak 203 (C Roebuck 77; A Scholefield 5-70)
*Kirkburton 205-4 (A Smith 94, A Scholefield 38, T Booth 45).
*Scholes 255-4 (G Nawaz 41, Y Imitiaz 31, J Carter 60no, T Brook 35, B Birkhead 50no; M Ahmed 3-55)
Almondbury Wes 220 (A Taylor 30, W Binns 30, M Henshaw 61, C Stott 26; J Brook 5-52).
*Shelley 65 (G Barden 25; J Sykes 3-26, L Bridges 3-4)
*Shepley 307-9 (T Chadwick 39, G Wood 114, S Tee 52, S Raheem 33; J Hebden 5-78, M Benito 4-54)
Honley 149 (S Kelly 68; T Chadwick 4-31).
Golcar 149 (J McNamara 36; T Raven-Hill 5-32)
*Thongsbridge 150-4 (J Cassidy 74no, A Kemp 56no; W Hinchliffe 4-27)
The Cuckoos are chirping confidently at the top of the Championship as Marsden lead the pack following an excellent bowling performance at home to promotion-chasing Lascelles Hall. Sajid Ali (5-34) put in a solid bowling display and was well supported by medium pacers Mark Johnson (2-27) and Jordan Ghani (2-9) as Lascelles Hall were left exposed on the edge of the moors at Hemplow, bowled out for 71. Marsden made swift work of the reply with 72-2 in 17 overs with Alex Lategan (22no) and opening batsman Martin Kyle (21) top scoring.
Holmfirth are finding their groove now and haven’t lost since the opening day as they added Skelmanthorpe to their growing list of conquests. Holmfirth’s 261ao was always likely to test the visitors on a ground that’s normally low scoring. The dependable Sami Ur-Rehman (83) anchored himself in allowing freedom for other batsmen to chip in to put on a defendable total with Skelmanthorpe’s Australian Blair Buchanan (6-57) taking six for the visitors. They were haunted by an ex-player with the ball too as Amar Rashid (6-52) became the difference to follow up his 24 with the bat in the first innings. Skelmanthorpe lost wickets regularly as they attempted to keep up with the required rate and the pressure eventually told as they tailed off at 189ao with skipper Luke Webster (34) the last man to fall.
Asif Afridi paraded his value with the ball as the Pakistani all-rounder sent visiting Mirfield Parish Cavaliers spiralling go defeat away at Rastrick. Afridi (6-36) starred in the home side’s win with Parish struggling to get reacquainted with life in the Championship following their relegation. Opener David Bolt (64) held one end up admirably but wickets kept on falling as Parish struggled to contain Afridi, particularly devastating as the visitors fell from a healthy 127-2 to 166-9 in a short spell of time; eventually rounding on 194ao. Rastrick had to thank the input of Majid Khan as they had to survive an interrogation with the ball themselves. Khan (84) held firm and Parish secured a point after taking their sixth wicket with Rastrick scoring 196-6 in reply.
An absorbing low-scorer saw Almondbury narrowly defend a meagre score and register their first victory of the season at home to Lepton Highlanders. It was a game for the bowlers with Adeel Ashraf (5-35) making the hosts toil in their 109ao first innings total. But Jacob Mulhall’s side couldn’t do enough to get over the line with Almondbury bowlers Wasim Khaliq (3-31) and Abdul Qader (3-22) finding good rhythm. At 60-4 Lepton were in prime position to secure the victory but a clatter of wickets put them in severe trouble at 98-9. Even Mulhall dropping down the order to guide the tail and the diligence of number 10 Jon Wareing (11no) wasn’t enough as Almondbury took the final wicket at 104ao to wrap up the win.
Slaithwaite’s good start to the season continued apace by defeating Clayton West who are struggling to replicate their good form at the end of 2018. New captain Benn Thornton saw his Slaithwaite side put in a commanding shift to restrict the hosts to 168ao. Opening bowler Sadaqat Zaman (4-39) led the way by trapping main threat Phil Tunnicliffe (31) to leave West struggling at 51-3 and wickets were then spread across the team to keep the pressure on Craig Glover’s side. Slaithwaite enjoyed a steady start with Wajid Hussain (40) and Alec Jakeman (49) but had to withstand a slight wobble with two quick wickets falling to leave them 143-6. Thankfully, Jay Cyrus (24) guided them through the rest of the play and was out with the victory virtually secured with Slaithwate finishing on 172-7.
Peter Dobson celebrated a five wicket return to down Denby in a welcome victory for Elland at Hullen Edge. The newly promoted side were dealt a short, sharp shock batting first as Dobson (5-25) took control of proceedings and Denby were all out for 104. It took 28 overs in the reply for Elland to overhaul the below-par target with a half century for Jason Lee (53no) and solid support from overseas Josh Ramdoo (36no) in Elland’s 105-3 response.
Lepton Highlanders 104
*Clayton West 168 (P Tunnicliffe 31, A Rank 43, B Oldroyd 26; S Zaman 4-39)
Slaithwaite 172-7 (W Hussain 40, A Jakeman 49; S Tyas 3-29).
Lascelles Hall 71 (R Naseer 26; S Ali 5-34)
Mirfield PC 194 (D Bolt 64, D Broadbent 28; A Afridi 6-36)
*Rastrick 196-6 (M Khan 85, J Waterson 29; D Hope 3-28)
Cedar Court Conference
Intense drama was afoot at Cumberworth United which resulted in their home match vs Birkby Rose Hill being abandoned at the start of the second innings due to a Birkby player suddenly collapsing. Earlier in the day, hosts Cumberworth had piled up a 321-5 total with opening batsman Dion Gibbons (73) top scoring. Nico Georgiou-Nicola (68) and Ashley Littlewood (47) also racked up big scores as Birkby Rose Hill exhausted eight different bowlers in their attempt to stymie the run flow. The reply reached 42-3 before the unfortunate incident occurred. Naturally, all within the Huddersfield Cricket League wish a full recover to the affected player involved.
Emley Clarence’s opening bowler Mohammed Nabeel fell a little short on creating a new Conference bowling record, currently held by pace bowler Adnan Ghani, now with Hoylandswaine. Emley were up against in after being bowled out for 109 away at struggling Kirkheaton. However, Nabeel (9-31) pulled a blistering bowling performance out of the bag to heap further anguish on Kirkheaton who are yet to register a win and are adrift in negative equity at the foot of the table. Nabeel took all wickets except the opening batsman as Kirkheaton waned to 64ao.
Upperthong lead the Conference with their latest victory over Linthwaite maintaining their five point lead at the top. Linthwaite were brushed aside by a rampant ‘Thong side with Jack Brook (6-24) in fine form with the ball as the visitors collapsed to 49ao. Linthwaite did manage to cause some discomfort during the second innings after opening bowler Sajid Bashir (3-9) reduced Upperthong to 10-3. However they soon rallied and Will Kilner (18no) and Sam Briggs (21no) guided them home to their target with no further losses.
Mirfield lost ground on the leaders by slipping to a tense 20-run defeat away at Hoylandswaine 2XI. The hosts had lower order batter Kyle Lockwood (55) to thank with a 21-ball half-ton which pushed them up to 251ao. Mirfield were well-placed to coast to victory at 162-1 but they hadn’t factored in another Lockwood as Darren Lockwood (4-61) got to grips with the ball. Josh Holmes (4-37) also pitched in and Mirfield fell away to 231ao.
Elsewhere, Meltham were undone by bowlers Fred Stower (4-45) and Hayden Rose (4-36) as they crashed to another loss away at Denby Dale. Meltham’s 141ao wasn’t enough to defend with Denby Dale reaching 145-5 in reply. A fine 85-ball century from Jay Allen (107) was the difference when Thurstonland overcame Hall Bower. Their 252ao was too many for Bower, especially after Jordan Thackray’s five-fer and the hosts succumbed to 179ao.
*Cumberworth Utd 321-5
Birkby Rose Hill 53-3 (Abandoned)
*Denby Dale 145-5.
*Hall Bower 179.
*Hoylandswaine 2XI 251
Emley Clarence 109