James Noble's scintillating 186 was the days top score as Sykes Cup holders Scholes began their defence in the best possible way with victory over Lascelles Hall. It was a day of few shocks as Hoylandswaine, Delph and Shepley eased through past lower-league competition whilst Honley had to dig deep to survive an upset away at Cumberworth United
Sykes Cup First Round
At Lascelles Hall, Sykes Cup holders Scholes made hay whilst the sun shone by reaching 362-4 batting first. The returning James Noble (186) hammered 15 fours and 11 sixes in a stunning 149-ball innings and overseas Ishan Rangana (92) forced Lascelles Hall to chase more leather hitting 11 fours and 3 sixes. Captain Josh Brook (4-13) dished out a harsh lesson with the ball as Scholes booked their passage into round two.
Honley found themselves in a pickle at Cumberworth on a testing weekend for the Premiership side. The three-times winners of the Sykes Cup got off to a good start by preventing Cumberworth from getting too far out of their sight by bowling them out for 195; Reid Somani (67) hitting four sixes in a highlight for the home side. A pair of three wicket spoils for Sam Denton (3-22) and Ben Lindley (3-55) was the best of the visitors bowling. Without the class of new captain Timmy Taylor (101) who carved out an excellent century, Honley may well have been dumped out of the competition. His 109-ball ton consisted of 14 fours and 3 sixes as he effectively dropped anchor with his team in a spot of bother at 133-5. Honley reached the target with ten wickets remaining for a much-needed win.
In an all-Premiership contest, Thongsbridge maintained their perfect start to the season with a hard-earned victory over last season’s Sykes Cup runner-up Broad Oak. The Colne valley side struggled to get to grips in the early stages as Thongsbridge surged forward led by in-form opening batsman and skipper Ben Raven-Hill (50) with a half-century. It was only when spinner John Keeling (5-12) began to assert his influence later in the innings that hampered Thongsbridge’s progress as they settled for 197ao. However Oak’s reply got off to the worst possible start as they sat stunned at 15-4 with Ben Balmforth (2-13) and Zafir Iqbal (3-13) causing maximum damage. Kiwi Kyran Dill (40) gave Oak a lifeline batting at 6 but as wickets fell in quick succession Thongsbridge ran out 42 run winners to make it three wins from three.
Another top-flight battle saw Kirkburton travel to Moorlands with the Mirfield-based team running out convincing victors by ten wickets. Opening Bowlers Darrell Sykes (3-28) and Nicky Smith (3-16) caused all the destruction as they scythed their way through some weak Kirkburton batting. A decision to bat first was looking questionable as Kirkburton slumped to 94ao; the battle for consistency carrying on into this season it seems. Moorlands had no issues knocking off the score for no loss with openers Nathan Rabnott (55) finishing with a 34-ball half-century and Jared Maxwell (36) offering support.
Delph & Dobcross made light work of seeing off Almondbury away from home. The Fernside team was hampered with a couple of cry-offs in the morning and life didn’t get any easier as Umer Yaqoob (4-30) kept up his fine start to the season with another four wickets for Lancashire’s Arron Lilley (4-18). Atif Kamran (28) added an entertaining cameo but Almondbury were bowled out for 79. The hosts gave themselves a sniff of opportunity after reducing Delph to 10-2 early in the second innings but a 30-ball half-century by Lilley (58) made sure of a 8-wicket victory meaning Delph would be in the hat for the second round.
Hoylandswaine put Conference side Emley Clarence to bed in clinical fashion by bowling out the Welfare Ground side for 170. A belligerent lower-order blast by Mohammed Nabeel (76) who crashed 4 fours and 9 sixes in an entertaining 30-ball innings set a reasonable score up for Emley as they were bowled out for 170. Hoylandswaine swiftly got on top in the game with a half-century from opener Gharib Nawaz (61) and they reached 172-2 in 22 overs.
Another all Premiership affair was a rerun of a first round match from 2017 with Mirfield Parish Cavaliers taking on Golcar at home. Last season, Golcar ran out victors so parity was restored this time round after Parish skillfully chased down Golcar’s 243-6 first innings total. Two centuries were on show in this match, with Steve Whitwam (102) and number 5 batsman James Howson (82) getting Golcar up to a defendable score. It was ultimately all in vain as a Tim Orrell-inspired Parish galloped to a convincing 6-wicket win. Orrell’s 116-ball innings contained 12 fours and 8 sixes and he along with Daniel Broadbent (56) took Parish to a place in the second round with ten overs to spare. Golcar rotated their bowling attack in vain utilising up to eight different bowlers in an effort to stem the Cavalier charge.
Cawthorne saw off Shelley in an easy 8-wicket triumph. Shelley are yet to win so far this season and couldn’t quite muster up enough runs to put visiting Cawthorne under any serious pressure. Harvey Jones (42) top scored for Martin Sykes’ team as they made 209-7 from their 50 overs. Cawthorne skipper Chris Walmsley (3-49) took the most wickets but it was all-rounder Liam Wiles that did the most to keep Shelley in check, conceding only 18 runs from his allotted ten over spell. Cawthorne cantered to the win thanks to opener Lewis Skelly’s endeavour with 75 from 120 balls. Liam Wiles (56) capped a great performance with a breezy knock with the bat to bring home a win on a mixed weekend for his team.
Elsewhere Premiership teams Armitage Bridge set Slaithwaite 239-8 at Hill Top but Alex Walker’s side could only manage 163ao in reply. Nasir Jamal (3-12) ensured Shepley had a minimal chase away at Meltham as they bowled them out for 83 before knocking it off with all wickets intact thanks to a Tom Denton (52no) half-ton. Elland continued their outstanding campaign with an outclassing of Upperthong, bowling their hosts out for 48 and briskly knocking them off in six overs in a ten wicket win.
Other teams to make up the second round draw are Clayton West who tamed Hall Bower, Skelmanthorpe ran out six wicket winners at Marsden, Rastrick (206-8) subdued Kirkheaton (92ao) and Almondbury Wesleyans edged out Holmfirth by chasing down a ‘Firth total of 109ao for the loss of seven wickets.
*Almondbury 79 (A Kamran 28; U Yaqoob 4-30, A Lilley 4-18)
Delph & Dobcross 83-2 (A Lilley 58no).
*Cumberworth Utd 195-9 (R Somani 67; S Denton 3-22, B Lindley 3-55)
Honley 196-7 (T Taylor 101; R Somani 3-46).
*Emley Clarence 170 (A Taylor 30, M Nabeel 76; U Arshad 4-41, G Ranhawa 5-41)
Hoylandswaine 172-1 (U Arshad 49, E Hurst 34no, G Nawaz 61)
Shelley v Cawthorne - Late Result
Clayton West 291 (A Clegg 42, T Barber 79, P Tunnicliffe 30, A Thompson 31; F Siddiq 3-49)
*Hall Bower 71-9 (S Tyas 3-26, D Barber 5-13).
Almondbury Wes 110-7
Scholes 362-4 (J Noble 186, I Rangana 92, B Birkhead 28no, T Brook 43; T Wightman 3-57)
*Lascelles Hall 95 (M Simpson 25, G Summerville 29; T Chadwick 3-12, J Brook 4-13).
*Linthwaite 116 (S Moyle 4-24, M Steers 3-20)
Barkisland 120-0 (G Hampere 53no, L Bridges 52no).
*Marsden 183 (I Malik 56, J Smith 27; J Crossland 3-22, A Greenwood 3-42)
Skelmanthorpe 185-4 (A Hooper 70no).
*Meltham 83 (N Jamal 3-12)
Shepley 86-0 (T Denton 52no, S Raheem 27no).
Golcar 243-6 (S Whitwam 102no, J Howson 82)
*Mirfield PC 244-4 (T Orrell 126, D Broadbent 56).
Kirkburton 94 (J Butterfield 26; D Sykes 3-28, N Smith 3-16)
*Moorlands 95-0 (N Rabnott 55no, J Maxwell 36no).
*Thongsbridge 197 (R Marshall 29, T Raven-Hill 50, H Slodecki 31, B Howitt 30no; J Keeling 5-12)
Broad Oak 155 (S Burluraux 34, K Dill 40, T McCreadie 26; Z Iqbal 3-13).
*Upperthong 48 (A Hodgson 4-7, A Finn 3-13, P Dobson 3-5)
Elland 52-0 (G Alexander 32)