This week's guest previewer is the man with the biggest contact book in local cricket, Darren Wilson!
Hello all, and welcome to this week’s Baildon preview. I think it’s fair to say that this season has started as a mixed bag for the 4 senior sides!
The first team have begun positively after a winter of upheaval with players leaving and new recruits joining. We've managed to assemble a good competitive team, who after a disappointing first week, have bounced back to play some attacking cricket and have 3 wins to their name.
Leading from the front has been Kevin Mcdermott, who is currently in a rich vein of form. However, he has also been well supported by the other senior players; James Ford, Jonny Reynolds, Dwayne Heke and the returning Mounam Ejaz. It has also not gone unnoticed that Umar Zahoor has been exceptional with the ball and he has been a real find from Bowling Old Lane, along with Abdullah Khan who has also proved to be an excellent recruit. Youngsters Will Kelly and Joel Newlove have also contributed in what is their first full season at this level, with Aakash Dutta chipping in with wickets with his off spin.
The second team thus far are underperforming, which is frustrating from a captain’s perspective. What looks a good line up on paper is yet to click, but we are only 5 games into the season and this can soon be rectified. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to consistently put the same side out each week due to a variety of factors (injury, covid, holidays) and we have already used 20+ players. Any successful team needs continuity of selection and that’s something which we will continue to try improve. Sam Kelly has started the season strongly with 15 wickets to his name, with Simon Mcdermott the only performer of note with the bat. Sam Holmes has stepped up when called upon and has showed real application whilst batting, something which the more experienced guys need to show on a consistent basis.
The third team are performing exceptionally with ‘old pros’ Dave Hodgson, Simon Bullock and James Butterfield leading from the front. What has been so impressive about their start is they have rarely been at full strength, due to the same issues referenced earlier. This has allowed them to nurture the next crop of juniors with Will Baker, Sam Miller and Tom Pickles stepping up last weekend in the league, and Owen Pickles showing up well in the Sunday cup game.
The fourth team unfortunately to date have suffered from the knock on effects of the availability situation and have struggled at times, but did record an impressive win a couple of weeks ago. Andy Norton, Ash Free and Tim Joy continue to act as the glue holding the fours together. They will be looking for a league and cup double this weekend.
Despite these issues of availability, it must be stressed that the club is in a very healthy place, turning out 4 senior teams, a Sunday team and junior teams across every age groups, the envy of many clubs. Our goals are not measured solely on one team’s success but as an entire club and we all strive towards that.
The recent cricket vs rugby game was a huge success, with cricket coming out on top. It must be said though, the rugby guys put up a great fight with the bat to create a good game. Don’t forget the return fixture is this Tuesday night with Rugby vs Cricket. I have it on good authority this will be touch rugby, otherwise I am unavailable!
Second Team Skipper