As we start to get closer to the business end of the season, it would appear our first and second teams have found their form, just as the third team have lost theirs. The fourth team are lucky enough to have two byes in a row at a time when player availability is at its worst, so we hope that some of our players get to enjoy their football style ‘winter break’, but the likelihood is most of them will see some action in our other sides!
Last weekend saw the first team win again, this time at East Bierley, with some powerful batting from Jonny Reynolds (93), making his top score of the season and Dwayne Heke (63), lifting the side to a powerful total of 276. A last wicket partnership of 30 between Zulfi Muhammad (22*) and Ben Grimmitt (14*) arguably lifted us to an above par total. Then Umar Zahoor (4 for 49) and Kev Mcdermott (4 for 44) suffocated the Bierley reply as we ran out winners by 64 runs. Birstall are the visitors to Jenny Lane this Saturday and Dwayne will be hoping his team can avenge the six wicket defeat they incurred at Leeds Road earlier in the season. As the teams around us have also started winning games, it’s becoming vitally important to make the most of the form we are in and push hard to get to a mid-table position as soon as possible.
1st XI home to Birstall; Kev Mcdermott, James Ford (WK), Jonny Reynolds, Dwayne Heke (C), Mounam Ejaz, Will Kelly, Joel Newlove, Chris Reynolds, Zulfi Muhamad, Abdullah Khan, Umar Zahoor
With Darren Wilson missing through injury and vice-captain Simon Mcdermott in the first team, it was time for Stefan Mather to step up and lead the side (with another ten captains on the field happy to offer advice of course…). George Barker (88) and Stefan (50) made sure that Methley would come to regret their decision to ask our twos to bat first as we racked up 254 for 5. It was then time for Danny Hunt to remind everyone what he’s capable of, as he picked up figures of 4 for 31 from 12 overs. With wickets shared out at the other end, Methley finished on 179 all out. This week, with Darren still icing his knees, Simon will be leading the side out, away at Lightcliffe. We came away from the reverse fixture earlier in the season with a narrow victory, in an extremely dull game that had any neutrals running for the exits. However, it’s the result that counts and if we were to win at Lightcliffe, our climb to reach the top three will continue. Our opponents currently sit in third position, 12 points ahead of us.
2nd XI away to Lightcliffe; Simon Mcdermott (C), George Barker, Adam Dean (WK), Stefan Mather, Danny Hunt, Sam Woledge-Wilkinson, Jake Terry, Adam Hussain, Haris Hussain, Sam Kelly, Josh Capper
With another loss last week, the third team gave up more ground on league leaders Roundhay. We currently sit in second place, 12 points behind first position. After a last gasp defeat to Leeds Sikh, we now face the tough challenge of visiting the bowler’s graveyard, Muff Field. Batting first against Leeds Sikh, our batters again found themselves in trouble at 66 for 6, this was the signal for Harry Brook-Dobson to demonstrate that like all our bowlers – he’s a pretty handy batter as well! Harry reached his first senior league 50 and finished on 70* from 61 balls, with 10 x 4s and 3 x 6s. Alongside Owen Pickles, he lifted us from 115 for 9 to 157 all out. In reply, Leeds Sikh took the game down to the wire, with an unbroken 10th wicket partnership of 60 getting them over the line with 2 balls remaining. Although he went wicketless, Danny Bell was the pick of the home attack, returning figures of 12.4 overs, 7 maidens for only 21 runs. Fingers crossed that one of the best wickets in the Dales Council will help our batters return to form tomorrow.
3rd XI away to Muff Field; Dave Hodgson (C), Jamie Denison, Tawseef Ahmed, James Butterfield, Parth Sunil, Tom Dixon, Dan ‘Mini’ Metcalfe, Tom Pickles (WK), Danny Bell, Owen Pickles, Lucas Shaw
The fourth team didn’t have a great weekend, suffering a walloping away at Muff Field and then suffering a rain based abandonment against Cookridge (usually a guaranteed win) on Sunday. Although the Muff Field game was devoid of individual highlights (I can’t bring myself to recap the score), there were some achievements in the time that was available in Sunday’s game. Namely, our most recent convert from rugby to cricket, Tom Parnell, scored 60 in his debut appearance. No doubt Adam Dean (40*) will claim most of the credit for Tom’s knock as he was at the other end as they added 97 together.
The under 18s cup final was sadly rained off at the weekend, so we will be trying again on Sunday 4th of September. In other junior cup news, our under 15/16 side narrowly missed out on reaching a final of their own, suffering an agonisingly close semi-final defeat against Gt Horton Church this week. In a game that took place over two evenings due to more rain, we ended the first evening on 75 for 9 thinking there was no point coming back , however, on the second evening we pushed one of the strongest sides in the league all the way to the bitter end. It wasn’t until the 4th ball of the final over that our score was passed, down to one of the very best bowling and fielding displays our boys have produced.