This Saturday we suffered our first day of the season where all the active teams lost. The 4th XI and the Sunday XI then got us back on track a day later.
It’s tough though to talk about defeat when one of our players scored a magnificent 142 against Pudsey Congs! It’s been evident that Dwayne Heke has been saving up his runs recently! – but he put them all to good use away at Pudsey Congs on Saturday – in pursuit of a challenging total of 256. After the 2nd XI game had an early finish (more of that later!) most of the team went across the village to watch the 3rd XI (more of that later as well!). In doing so, we were all glued to our phones, checking for updates from the Britannia Ground, as Dwayne gradually ran out of partners. Chris Reynolds (31) helped Dwayne add 80 for the 4th wicket and Dwayne eventually fell with the score at 226. However, there was still Simon Mcdermott and the tail, determined to put as much pressure back on Congs as we could. Sadly Josh Capper was dismissed with 10 balls to go and only 12 more runs needed. Dwayne’s ton now means that we’ve had 3 different centurions in the ones this year – we just need the players to co-ordinate a bit better and score them at the same time! Congs reached their total through a strong team effort with 50’s from Richard Jubb, Yohan Mendis and Rishi Chopra. Abdullah Khan was again the mainstay of our attack with 4 for 83. Player availability has been a real problem for the first team in the last month, if we can get a run of games going with our first choice side, there is no reason why we can’t get ourselves back up to the top five in no time at all.
Whenever the first team have players missing, it always causes a knock on effect to the sides down the ladder – and when they have players missing as well – you can end up facing a losing battle! The 2nd XI’s unbeaten run came to an abrupt end against local neighbours Bradford and Bingley – with our innings collapsing to 89 all out after Darren Wilson and George Barker had put on 37 for the first wicket. An accurate spell of off-spin bowling by Reece Cockshott (7 for 11) was the main contributor to our downfall. Then in reply, B&B hurried to their target in only 14.3 overs. Harry Brook-Dobson’s 2 for 7 being the only highlight. As with the ones, if Darren is able to put his first choice 11 out on the field he has a team capable of challenging the top 3.
Thornbury B celebrated beating our 3rd XI as if they had just won the world cup, and not a side playing 5 under 20yr olds and missing at least 4 key players. If we were wanting any more motivation to beat their A team in the Pool Paper Mills Semi-Final (Jenny Lane on the Sunday of the Beer Festival), they certainly provided it! Batting first, Thornbury were dismissed for what was to be a very challenging total of 183, thanks to a deep batting order recovering from the depths of 51 for 5. Sam Miller, who opened the bowling with fellow 16 year old Will Baker, recorded his best third team figures of 6 for 24. Sam is really showing the benefit of taking every chance to play and his development has gone into fast forward this year. So much so, we were able to play Dan ‘Mini’ Metcalfe as a batter only as he recovers from a knee injury. In our reply, despite 44 from Sam Holmes, we lost wickets at regular intervals to lose by 27 runs.
Then on Sunday, our 4th XI played their re-arranged game against Rodley, who currently top Division C. Winning the toss and batting first Rodley set what looked to be a very handy total of 185 for 6, thanks to 50 from skipper Dan Willoughby. Stand out of the Baildon attack was Akeel Ahmed with 3 for 25 from 12 overs. In our reply, Jamie Denison led the way with a well-paced 77 not out as we knocked off the runs for the loss of only 3 wickets in 37 overs. Fran Raper (35) helped Jamie add 78 for the first wicket.
The final game of the weekend took place at Jenny Lane as our Sunday XI played their second fixture of the season, against Hartshead Moor. This was a much trickier (and dryer) game than the first match, after Hartshead were bowled out for 154, we passed their total with only two wickets in hand. Josh Capper brought his 1st XI mindset to the game as he amassed figures of 5 for 15 in 8 overs, with 13 year old Toby Allerton claiming his first senior wickets in support (2 for 47) on his debut for our adult teams. Just as he was in the first game, Joel Newlove was the stand-out batter for Baildon, hitting a rapid 50 off only 30 balls. Third XI skipper Dave Hodgson got some much needed time in the middle as he hit 33, sharing a partnership of 62 with Adam Dean (27).