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Baildon CC Weekend Preview - 14th and 15th of May

This week we have Club President and one of the most respected sport's commentators in the business, John Helm, to talk us through the weekend's fixtures...

I don't know why Darren isn't wearing any socks?

Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to Jenny Lane for this afternoon's contest against old rivals East Bierley.

The two clubs are almost a mirror image of one another. Both have had wonderful years in the Bradford League winning trophies and being dominant, then falling on leaner times, and now find themselves trying to claw their way back to the top.

The times they certainly are-a-changin'. Who could possibly have predicated even a couple of years ago that Jer Lane would be top of the Championship table - deservedly so too after an impressive start to life at a new level.

Already the table looks to be taking shape for us - two home defeats against the top two, two away wins against lowly Morley and Wrenthorpe.

Two smashing away wins orchestrated by the flashing blade of Kevin McDermott, nobly supported by Fordy at Morley, and the skipper and Jonny at Wrenthorpe.

It would be nice if we could start getting teams out for under 200 though.

It's a sobering thought for me when I look at the slump in fortunes for some of the traditional clubs. Lightcliffe top Division Two, but Yeadon are 7th, Bowling Old Lane 8th and Hartshead Moor 10th.

In Division Three Spen Victoria are 7th, Windhill and Daisy Hill 10th and Brighouse 11th.

It was a great double last week-end with the Second Eleven also convincing winners against Great Preston, five bowlers each taking two wickets apiece.

As for East Bierley they suffered a 100-run defeat against Birstall despite Matthew West's 50 - with five of their batsmen contributing just three runs between them.

I've always enjoyed visits to South View Road to a club that was formed in 1865.

They've had wonderful servants like Harry Waterhouse, Norman Kitson, Brian Lymbery and Murphy Walwyn, county players Anthony McGrath and Gavin Hamilton, as well as fearsome West Indians Roy Gilchrist (not averse to bowling a beamer) and Collis King.

It's a ground that tends to encourage batsmen. I remember once arriving around 2.30 to find to my astonishment that Baildon were almost 200-0 thanks to Richard Robinson and Paul Spragg - and still we contrived to get beaten.

Bierley once won the National Village Trophy at Lords in 1979 inspired by former Baildon seamer Paul Topp and have been habitual Priestley Cup finalists.

Yet, very much like us they have struggled since relegation in 2018 to get back to the Bradford League's top table.

Maybe this year ? Well, for one of us at least.

Away from the first team, our 2nd XI make the long journey over to Methley, the 3rd XI travel across the city to Mayfield and the 4th XI make their home debut this year at Belmont also against Mayfield. Then on Sunday our third team are in Pool Paper Mills cup action away at Muff Field.

Finally, please spare a thought for your captains this week as behind the scenes the selection roundabout has been spinning uncontrollably! I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few phones being turned off tomorrow morning - if they haven't already been thrown out of the window! Please do your best to let your skipper know your plans for the next 4-5 weeks so we can hopefully do some forward planning and look to balance the teams out as best we can. Advance notice of holidays, weddings, parties, exams, funerals and birthdays is much appreciated!

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