This weekend sees our under 18s take on Pool in the final of the Aire Wharfe Under 18s Denison Trophy. The game takes place at Pool, with a 2pm start time. For anyone that’s never been to a game there I can highly recommend a visit to what is one of the most picturesque grounds in the Aire Wharfe league. Sam Holmes’ side reached the final with a fantastic win away at Bradford & Bingley (who have since gone on to win the league at an absolute canter). They will need to recover some of that form in order to take on a strong Pool side who will be desperate to lift the trophy on their home patch. However, as we saw in last year’s under 18 final, playing at home is not necessarily a big advantage. Hopefully the Baildon players that took part in that game will take what they learnt into Sunday’s final and help the younger players cope with the challenge. We wish the boys well and cross our fingers for a great game that just swings our way!
Our under 18 side that reached the cup final in 2021
Before looking forward to any senior games on Saturday, we must first take a minute to focus on a truly extraordinary innings last weekend. After playing second fiddle to Dwayne Heke and Kev Mcdermott earlier on in the season, James Ford has now kicked into overdrive and shown that he can combine attacking play with the ability to construct a long innings. On a scorching hot day, he batted through the whole 50 overs to compile a majestic 162 not out, facing 150 balls and striking 18 x 4s and 4 x 6s. He put on 174 runs with Chris Reynolds (61) and then a further 156 with Mounam Ejaz (79*). Our total of 333 for 3 was too much for the division’s bottom side who were all out for 165, with Umar Zahoor taking 5 for 48. The first team visit East Bierley this weekend, knowing that another good result could see them climb further out of the relegation zone.
1st XI away to East Bierley; Kev Mcdermott, James Ford (WK), Jonny Reynolds, Dwayne Heke (C), Mounam Ejaz, Chris Reynolds, Simon Mcdermott, Zulfi Muhammad, Abdullah Khan, Umar Zahoor, Ben Grimmitt
James Ford, who scored his 2nd league century of the season last weekend
Another player who showed their ability to bat through an entire innings was second team skipper Darren Wilson (79*), who in anchoring his team’s pursuit of Great Preston’s 199, epitomised the phrase ‘a captain’s knock!’ Although he only ended up with half of James Ford’s score (facing 5 fewer balls), his knock was no less important – holding his side together until he was joined in an unbroken 9th wicket partnership of 44 by Louis Turner (26*). The 2nd XI welcome Methley to Jenny Lane on Saturday and will need to be on top form in order to consolidate their 5th placed position in the league.
2nd XI home* to Methley; George Barker, Adam Dean (WK), Sam Holmes, Danny Hunt, Jake Terry, Stefan Mather (C), Adam Hussain, Dan Metcalfe, Louis Turner, Jack Ryan, Haris Hussain
Our only senior side to lose last weekend was the third team, away to Roundhay. The defeat sees our threes drop to second place, with Roundhay leapfrogging us into first position. However, they are only one point ahead of us so every single bonus point is going to be vital between now and the end of the year. Leeds Sikh are the visitors to the Belmont Superdome this weekend and represent a tough challenge for Dave Hodgson’s side as they look to get back to winning ways. After being bowled out for 70 odd last week (out of which Adam Dean scored 40!) and suffering batting order collapses in the previous two wins, it is clear that our batting order, whilst strong on paper, need to get back to doing what they do best and put a decent score on the board.
3rd XI home* to Leeds Sikh; Dave Hodgson (C & WK), Tawseef Ahmed, Jamie Denison, Simon Bullock, James Butterfield, Tauqeer Ahmed, Danny Bell, Harry Brook-Dobson, Owen Pickles, Leo Smalley, Lucas Shaw
The fourth team face a daunting double weekend, with a visit to Muff Field’s fast scoring Sunnybank ground on Saturday and the visit of Cookridge to Belmont on Sunday – a fixture which will see our playing resources severely tested! If Andy Norton and Ash Free are able to get two sides out on the field we will have a chance to keep up our recent run of strong form – that has seen the 4th XI start to think about league positions at the top and not the bottom of the table! However, right now we will just settle for getting 11 players...
4th XI away to Muff Field; Tim Joy, Tom Pickles, Jamie Abbott, Sam Butterfield, Billy Cawley, Ben Fawkes, Josh Hannan, Sufayan Mahmood, Parth Sunil, Alfie Turner, TBC
4th XI home* to Cookridge; TBC