Batsmen reap rewards as Bradford League, Yorshire Southern Premier, Huddersfield and Aire Wharfe Leagues return

AS the sun shone through a largely cloudless sky, batsmen cashed in as the new season started in the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League.

Contribution: Pudsey St Lawrence captain Chris Marsden, left,  scored 32 runs and took five wickets.. (Picture: Steve Riding)
Contribution: Pudsey St Lawrence captain Chris Marsden, left, scored 32 runs and took five wickets.. (Picture: Steve Riding)

Hanging Heaton, who were third behind Woodlands and Townville in the 2019 Premier Division table, seemed determined to make amends.

The 2017 champions pummelled 352-8 at Methley, with the ageless Gary Fellows leading the way with 103.

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The 42-year-old former Yorkshire player made his runs off only 108 balls and hit 19 fours, putting on 170 for the first wicket with Nick Connelly (70).

Kirkstall Educational v Colton in the Aire Wharfe League - Darren Precious of Colton hits out (Picture: Steve Riding)

One of the bowlers to suffer was Tom Chippendale, captaining Methley for the first time, who conceded 81 runs in just nine overs.

His opposite number Ben Kohler-Cadmore (57 off 39 balls) piled on the agony, adding 116 in a mere 10 overs with David Stiff, whose 59 took only 29 deliveries.

Methley were then castled for 166, with left-arm spinner Callum Bethel taking 6-55.

New Farnley skipper Lee Goddard, another of the former County Championship old guard at 37, also had a spring in his step as he made 123 off 117 balls in their eight-wicket win over Cleckheaton.

Farsley captain Mathew Lumb runs in past Pudsey St Lawrence non strike batter Chris Marsden in the Bradford League (Picture: Steve Riding)

Meanwhile, Woodlands had to show their powers of recovery to win a tense match against Townville.

The defending champions took last year off and were soon 6-4 before returning New Zealand all-rounder Brad Schmulian (62) and Scott Richardson (67) helped them to 168. Ritchie Bresnan (4-37), Jack Hughes (3-29) and Conor Harvey (3-53) shared the wickets, and it was the dismissal of captain Hughes for 60 that prompted the fall of four men for 10 runs, giving Woodlands a 10-run victory as spinners Chris Brice (4-44) and Kez Ahmed (4-46) weighed in.

If it was tension that you wanted, there was plenty at Treeton in the Yorkshire Southern Premier League.

With six overs remaining, the hosts were crawling towards their target of 230 as visitors Tickhill put the squeeze on.

However, three fours in the 44th over by Chris Cobb off the bowling of Josh Court largely settled matters, and Treeton won by five wickets with 16 balls to spare.

Tickhill, who made 229-5, were indebted to openers Mark Cummins (32) and Ross Diver (42) in a stand of 60, but more so to wicket-keeper Mark Billings, whose 80 at No 4 took just 54 balls and included 11 fours and two sixes.

Treeton also made an encouraging start, with a first-wicket partnership of 59 between Dave Rodgers (34) and Stephen Foster (60), who then added 66 with Liam Johnson (73no).

There was a lower-scoring affair at Field Lane, where Wakefield Thornes prevailed by 17 runs over Sheffield Collegiate.

Opener Byron Boshoff (65) dominated Thornes’ innings of 161 as Jamie Carrington (4-15) put the skids under them, and then Collegiate seemed well placed for victory after their first-wicket pair had done their stuff.

Daniel Priestley (54) and keeper Sam Hunt (37) added 66 but after that only Henry Eldred (17) made double figures as they collapsed to 144 as Brad Green (4-6) and Kamran Hussain (3-33) caused the shutter of wickets.

Otley had won 29 of their previous 33 matches in Aire-Wharfe League Division One, but the defending champions were on the wrong end of things at Saltaire. The hosts racked up 302-9, having lost half their wickets for just 77.

Jibrael Malik (90 off 94 balls including eight fours and four sixes) and new signing Mussawar Shah (76 off 51 balls including nine fours and five sixes) lit the blue touch-paper, and Otley, despite some lower-order resistance, had no answer, being dismissed for 261.

There were no such problems for Hoylandswaine, who started their title defence in the Huddersfield League with a five-wicket triumph over Barkisland, with opener Chris Holliday’s 91, made off just 62 balls, being the key contribution.

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