After a very long two days, we finished with 4 wins out of 7 in senior cricket, which was not a bad return, however, the 1st XI’s losing run has continued.
One of the main high-spots of the weekend took place on the other side of the boundary, as club President John Helm unveiled a new plaque, dedicating our refurbished scoreboard to the memory of the much missed club stalwart, Roger Pawson. In a moving, heart-warming ceremony attended by Roger’s widow Val and their family, it was also lovely to see many of Roger’s old friends from the club over the past 30 years (and a bit more!) in attendance; David and Linda Abbott, Gill Reed, Geoff Kay, Marlaine Graham, Brian Whittaker, Bob Reynolds and Graham Chester. Thank you all for coming, sorry we couldn't treat you to a better result later on that day!
The cricketing highlight of the weekend was the 2nd XI’s visit to Townville, which saw a much changed side achieve victory with one ball remaining. With as many as 7 regular players out of action for a wide variety of reasons, Darren Wilson rang the changes, bringing in Jack Ryan, Zulfi Mohammed and Jamie Abbott for their first games of the season. Alongside those three, Adam Dean, James Butterfield, Harry Brook-Dobson and Louis Turner all came up from the third team. Upon winning the toss, Darren chose to bowl first in a move that looked to have back fired as the opposition raced away to a fast start. However, the introduction of Baildon’s very own dual-code maverick, Jack Ryan (6 for 56), put the brakes on the Townville batters. The highlight of his six wickets was a nonchalant, one-handed caught and bowled to dismiss one of the league’s most in-form batsmen. Jack was assisted by Jamie Abbott, who managed to get through 8 overs for the first time in almost two years as he continues his fight back from a shoulder injury. Townville were bowled out for 199 in the 45th over, a total which felt just about par as the wicket had been somewhat up and down, despite the fast outfield.
When George Barker departed early in our reply, our wicket-keeper batter twins, Darren and Adam Dean (check out the Youtube footage and see if you can tell them apart!) set about building a foundation for our chase. After putting on 50 together, Darren (27) departed just as he was looking to push on – however, this brought in Stefan Mather (37) to continue his recent good form, confidently striking the ball around the ground. Meanwhile at the other end, Deano was busily keeping the scoreboard ticking over as he reached his best Bradford League score of somewhere between 42 and 46 (depending on Darren’s youtube analysis and internal mental arithmetic!). In recent games we’ve seen Adam really starting to find his feet in senior cricket as a batsman, hopefully he can continue this upward curve as he starts to realise his potential. Back to the run chase and Adam, Stefan and Jake Terry all departed in quick succession to hand the momentum back to Townville as we entered the final stage of the game. This brought together our two ‘senior’ batters, Zulfi Mohammed (23) and James Butterfield (31), with 71 runs still required and just 12 overs remaining. Slowly but surely, they combined to put on a 50 partnership, wrestling the initiative back from the bowling side with well-timed blows, both across and over the boundary ropes. Just as victory was within their grasp they both then conspired to run themselves out – which fittingly left man of the moment Jack Ryan to hit the winning runs with a 4 over cover with one ball remaining. Sat on the ground with a pint (generously supplied by an ecstatic Stefan!) after the game, we all agreed that games like that are why we all play cricket in the first place and why we put up with the days when things don’t quite go your way! For such a tight game to be played out in good spirits, without a bad word said between the two sides, was a fitting tribute to the memory of Roger Pawson. A man for whom as John Helm said in his address on Sunday, sportsmanship mattered more than any other cricketing attribute.
The 3rd XI fought through a similar situation to come out victorious against local rivals Tong Park Esholt down at their Low Springs Ground. With 5 regular players missing due to call ups from the 1s and 2s, Dave Hodgson knew his team were in for a battle, but as ever, his team drew strength from adversity. Our bowling attack of the wily old Ahmeds (Tawquir and Tawseef) and four young seam bowlers (Will Baker, Sam Miller, Lucas Shaw and Leo Smalley) managed to dismiss TPE for 222. This week it was time for Tawseef to take the family bragging rights as he claimed the excellent figures of 6 for 36. Our reply to TPE’s score was the perfect example of team work, with no player scoring higher than 33, but 6 players scoring more than 20. After threatening to make a comeback for the past 5 years of junior coaching sessions, Richard Illingworth finally resumed his Baildon career, compiling a crucial 32 in the middle order. Hopefully it won’t be another 5 years until he plays again! We passed TPE's score with 2 overs and 3 wickets remaining
Our 4th XI came out on top against rock bottom St Chads in less than 28 overs. Bowling first, we dismissed the opposition for 42, with Lela Modhwadia (3 for 7) and Akeel Ahmed (5 for 7!) the stars of the attack. In reply we knocked of the runs required in only 9.4 overs.
Last but not least of the Saturday fixtures, our 1st XI took on Undercliffe at Jenny Lane. Batting first, it was James Ford’s turn to enter this season’s 100 club, as he struck a magnificent 101* off 135 balls, with 11 x 4s and 2 x 6s. With the form of Kev Mcdermott this year it has been easy to overlook Fordy’s hot streak as he continues to more than make up for a lean year last season. Unfortunately, as has been the running theme this year, only one other batter passed 20 (Jonny Reynolds with 48) as our middle order got blown away before rain brought the innings to a premature end for 202. Despite a fast start by our bowlers, taking the first 3 wickets for 33 runs, Undercliffe breezed past our score with 16 overs remaining, with the damage being done by Jack McGahan (86*) and Bailey Worcester (82*).
Poor availability then hampered the first team’s Priestley Cup match against New Farnley the following day, as 4 second team players were brought in to plug the gaps. Kev Mcdermott manfully held the innings together with 86, but with no other players passing 20, we could only post a very below par 156. Special mention goes to Louis Turner, making 16 at number 10. The visitors then hurried past our target in only 17 overs.
The 4th XI bowed out of the Cawthorne Cup at the Quarter Final stage, taking on what is effectively a 1st team in Shipley Providence. The fours did really well to dismiss Prov’ for 201, with Tim Joy (3 for 36) and Zeeshan Ahmed (3 for 18) the leading lights. Despite 35 from Jamie Denison, the fours were dismissed for 104 all out.
The only victorious cup side on Sunday were the 3rd XI, who overcame Roundhay at Belmont by 49 runs. Just as with the day before, Dave Hodgson had to cope with further availability issues, meaning that we took on the team who are second in our league with 6 players under the age of 20 (1 x 19 yr old, 1 x 18 yr old, 2 x 16yr olds, 1 x 14yr old and 1 x 13yr old). A strong team performance saw us post 221 in our 40 overs, with Sam Holmes again leading the way with another 50 (54). Important contributions also came from Adam Dean (33) and Will Baker (23*). Harry Brook-Dobson (2 for 19) carried on where he had left off against Muff Field in the previous round, ensuring that the opposition could not get away to a fast start. Then in the middle overs, Paul Hannam(n) bowled through the pain barrier, taking 2 for 28 as Roundhay started to fall behind the required run rate. The breaks were then well and truly applied by the 8 overs shared between 13yr old Josh Hannan (1 for 22) and 14yr old Leo Smalley (2 for 18). Despite the bang average weather, with the usual gale force winds battering the Superdome, we were very well supported by our hardy fans – who had brought their own family stand with them . . .
A tough semi-final draw awaits (Interlink, Drighlington or Thornbury!) - with the game to take place on the Sunday of the Beer Festival!