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Down memory lane - 2016 3rd XI vs Leeds Sikh

Our next look back at a memorable match in our history sees chairman Ashley Free remembering one game with an unbelievable outcome.

As people will know I'm a huge supporter of the Dales Council both on its impact at grassroots level and its ability to develop our first and second team players of tomorrow. Often the standard, the pitches, the umpires are criticised but mainly by those that either have never played in the league or who have a moderate record at the level. We now have better surfaces to play on such as Cookridge and Drighlington whilst trips to the dreaded Bedquilts and Woodhall Playing Fields are a thing of the past.

I will say that my protection of the league was somewhat brought into question during the game in question as we travelled to Gledhow to play Leeds Sikh in 2016. A match that would see less than 100 runs scored and 20 wickets taken.

Batting first on a damp green top a score of 120+ was sure to see us in with a chance however when I walked off having been involved in a 21 run 3rd wicket partnership with Simon Bullock I would have scarcely believed that the partnership would be comfortably the highest of the day. We scrambled to 67 All Out with Bullock (15) being the top scorer. A combination of tidy bowling and an urge to hit our way out of trouble combined to a total that 99% of the time would see you beaten.

As it was Beer Festival weekend tea time talk was more about how quickly we could get back to the club to drown our sorrows than how we could make a game of it. Little did we know what was to follow.

We were lucky to have Adnan Sayed in our ranks that season and he scored valuable runs at the top of the order as well as taking plenty of wickets and he opened the bowling. Alongside him I threw the ball to chief partnership breaker Simon Bullock who prior to his one step wonder days used to steam in off...4 paces.

What followed was a batting performance saved only for those days that you talk about years later. Simon simply tore through a hapless home batting line up reducing them to 6-4, a position they would never recover from. Simon ended up being involved in 9 dismissals by taking 2 catches and ending with figures of 7-12. Adnan in support took 3-11.

As the final wicket fell for 25 to secure a 42 run victory we were unsure whether to celebrate or laugh but it remains a game that I will never forget and bring up in conversation years after my whites have been confined to the loft.

10 of the 11 players to take the field that day are still with the club, the 11th Simon Heginbotham who wasn't short of a word or two that day would play his final game for the club at the same ground the following season before his untimely death. The fact that he was on the field on that memorable afternoon is as much a part of the story as Simon Bullock running amock with his gentle inswingers.

The class(less) of 2016 (vs Cookridge B)

Back row (left to right): Simon Bullock, Scott Johnson, Adnan Sayed, Darren Barber, Saad Jamil.

Fron row: Josh Capper, Andy Garrard, Zulfi Mohammed, Ashley Free (Captain), Simon Heginbotham, Miraj Khan.

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