Welcome back to the Baildon CC weekend preview, apologies that the website has been low on content recently, the beer festival demanded a lot of our time!
Talking of beer festivals, the committee would like to thank everyone who came up to the club last weekend for a truly memorable celebration of beer, gin, food, music (and a little bit of cricket!) In all our time of running the event, we have never seen crowds like it. Hopefully everyone that came saw that we have the best beer garden in the village and will return more regularly in the future. We also need to thank the small army of volunteers that worked away feverishly behind the scenes – I felt very proud to be a member of a club where so many people were willing to sacrifice their time to keep the drinks flowing (just!)
Now our attention turns back to cricket, we must recognise a few recent achievements before we can look forward to this weekend. Last Saturday, our first team got back to winning ways, thanks to a Graham Gooch like ton from the skipper and our opening bowlers showing what they are capable of. Batting first on a tacky wicket, made even damper by an early start, Dwayne Heke used every drop of his experience to rise above the conditions and strike 107 at more than a run a ball. To put his runs into context, the next highest score in the game was 21! Bowling unchanged in the second half, Umar Zahoor (4 for 38) and Abdullah Khan (6 for 47) did not give Morley a sniff of a chance and made sure that Dwayne’s runs were not in vain. Next up for the ones is a trip to the run-away league leaders, Jer Lane, who have won all 12 of their games so far. Unbeaten records often put more pressure on the teams that are protecting them so let’s hope we can spoil the party!
Our junior sides have reached the business end of the season where games come thick and fast with cup games peppered throughout midweek. Two such games have taken place recently. Firstly, our under 15/16s had the daunting task of taking on Pudsey St Lawrence in their cup quarter final. PSL have long set the standard for producing excellent juniors and approached this game with the air of a side who expected to brush aside the minnows of Baildon. However, this was not to be the case with a mighty team effort seeing our boys defend an underpar total and run out deserved winners. Then, just last night, our under 18’s had a similar uphill task to perform in their visit to Bradford and Bingley for a cup semi-final. They were facing a B&B side who are currently cruising to the league title and have often proved a thorn in the side for this age group. However, all that was put to one side as Sam Holmes’ men stood up and showed they are a match for anyone. A blistering spell from Sam Kelly (4 for 8) made sure the opposition were unable to build any momentum through their innings. A mature spell from 14 year old Leo Smalley backed up by the rest of the attack made sure that B&B never got away to set the sort of total they would have liked. Our chase was held together by Sam Holmes (36) and Will Baker (26) and then finished off by the calm head of Sam Kelly (15 not out) as we crossed the line with 4 balls to spare. We will be facing Pool in the final on a date still to be finalised.
After two narrow defeats (see Darren Wilson for more details), the twos welcome Cleckheaton to Jenny Lane on Saturday. The game will be taking place amongst the festivities of the Baildon Carnival, so please get to the ground early and park your car around the boundary edge – choose your places carefully!
The threes will be entertaining Mayfield at the Belmont Superdome tomorrow, a team who we always have close games against. Fingers crossed the good weather will bring on another run fest as Dave Hodgson’s side look to maintain their top of the table position. Sadly the threes bowed out of the Pool Paper Mills cup last Sunday as a very strong Thornbury A side knocked us out in a one-sided semi-final.
Making the opposite journey, our fourth team visit the picturesque Mayfield Terrace ground. No need to take the 4x4’s tomorrow as I’ve been reliably informed that Bradford cricket’s worst access road has been resurfaced.
Finally for the weekend, our side in the Mid-Yorkshire league will be taking on Hartshead Moor, as Simon Mcdermott tries to keep his team’s unbeaten run going.