Holiday season has arrived! This week the first and second team have pretty much the same teams out as last week, but when you see the third team line-up you can start to see the names are starting to change. If it wasn’t for another bye this week for the fourth team, I doubt whether they would have got a side out. From speaking to the people behind the scenes arranging selection, they’ve never known anything like it – the covid holiday backlog has a lot to answer for. If you are available next Saturday please let your skipper know!
Last weekend was another positive one for the club with none of the Saturday sides tasting defeat. The first team managed to keep their winning run going, defeating Birstall at Jenny Lane by 7 wickets. In another powerful performance by the ones it could have been even more convincing were it not for a lower order fightback, as Birstall recovered from 110-7 to finally post 184 all out. Umar Zahoor and Abdullah Khan both came away with 3 wickets each. With the threat of rain hanging in the air, our batters left nothing to chance and knocked off the runs required in only 28.2 overs. James Ford stroked 48 from 53 balls to get the innings going, before Dwayne Heke muscled us over the line with a rapid 53* from 36 balls. With 4 victories from the last five games, the team have definitely remembered how to win! They now need to take that attitude away to Gomersal this weekend, a team who, like Birstall did, sit above them in the league. From Birstall in 5th place on 202 points, to Morley in 10th place on 179, there are just 23 points separating 6 teams. We're currently sat right in the middle of the congestion in 8th position, on 185 points. With only Wrenthorpe having a stinker of a season and Jer Lane running away with it (apart from a wobble last weekend!) pretty much every game this season has been very competitive. Hopefully our winning run can continue and see us start to put pressure on the top 5.
Dwayne Heke (56)
1st XI away to Gomersal; Kev Mcdermott, James Ford (WK), Jonny Reynolds, Dwayne Heke (C), Mounam Ejaz, Will Kelly, Joel Newlove, Chris Reynolds, Dan Metcalfe, Abdullah Khan, Umar Zahoor
Just like the first team, the second team season is very much on an upward curve. As the batters have returned to form our bowlers have been able to really shine, with Haris Hussain and Sam Kelly proving a real handful for most opposition batters. With a strong victory over Lightcliffe last weekend, we managed to leapfrog them into 4th position in the table, 21 points behind second placed Bradford & Bingley. Batting first in murky conditions, Sam Woledge-Wilkinson (53) and Simon Mcdermott (76) helped us to set Lightcliffe a very challenging total of 222. Our score was lifted at the back end by a well-paced 33 from the returning Adam Hussain, sporting the sort of haircut that would make a bald man very jealous! In the second half Lightcliffe had no answer to Adam’s brother Haris, as he ran through them to claim figures of 6 for 41. In dream bowling conditions, Stefan Mather kept Haris company with 3 for 23 at the other end. This week sees the visit of our old foes Yeadon to Jenny Lane, for what will no doubt be another tough battle. Looking at the line-up for this Saturday’s game (below), the chosen eleven could possibly lay claim to having the lowest average age of any second team ever fielded by the club. It’s a long time since we played a game against Yeadon with a team that didn’t include any of the following; Darren Wilson, Jamie Abbott, Ross Todd or James Butterfield.
Simon Mcdermott (76) Sam Woledge-Wilkinson (53) Haris Hussain (6-41)
2nd XI home to Yeadon; Simon Mcdermott (C), George Barker, Adam Dean (WK), Stefan Mather, Danny Hunt, Sam Holmes, Jake Terry, Adam Hussain, Haris Hussain, Sam Kelly, Josh Capper
Scanning all the league’s scorecards last week, it was obvious that pretty much every game went ahead. Sadly, that wasn’t the case for the third team’s visit to Muff Field. The game was abandoned without any play at 2pm. All I will say on the matter is that as soon as the game was called off, most of the third team took the 10 minute drive to Lightcliffe to watch our seconds in action (and who had been in action since 12:30pm). It was a real shame as the Muff Field away game is always one to look forward to – great wicket, short boundaries and good hospitality. Our run of tough fixtures continues with a visit to Thornbury tomorrow afternoon. This year, fate has dealt us a cruel hand by having us face our toughest games when we are at our weakest. As with Thornbury’s visit to Belmont earlier in the season, it’s fair to say that Dave has not been able to field his strongest side for any of our crunch games this year. However, these are the circumstances that third and fourth teams have to put up with and if you look back into the history books, some of our best victories have come when our backs have been up against the wall. Selection has been a nightmare for all the captains this year but it has been especially hard for our skipper in recent weeks, so we all need to step up and put in a performance that shows how much we value his efforts.
3rd XI away to Thornbury; Dave Hodgson (C), Jamie Denison, James Butterfield, Parth Sunil, Harry Brook-Dobson, Tom Pickles (WK), Danny Bell, Andy Norton, Sam Miller, Leela Modhwadia, Jamie Abbott