There are none all season at senior club level in Yorkshire and then two turn up at once.
The first was at Cleckheaton in the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League.
Visitors Hanging Heaton won the toss and opted to bat but that looked a bad choice when they had lost their top three of Gary Fellows, Joe Fraser and Nick Connolly with just 24 on the board.
However, the rescue act was started by Callum Geldart (69) and captain Ben Kohler-Cadmore (47), who put on 72 for the fourth wicket.
Both hit three sixes, with Geldart adding three fours and Kohler-Cadmore five fours, and Geldart was the glue in the Hanging Heaton innings, hanging around to add 69 with David Stiff (34) for the seventh wicket as they recovered to 213 all out with eight balls unused.
Former Yorkshire and Scotland pace bowler Iain Wardlaw took 6-78 in an incident-packed spell of 12.3 overs, and it needed Amir Hussain (1-41 in 15 overs) to keep a lid on the scoring.
Cleckheaton’s best partnership was 41 by openers Kris Ward (36) and Nick Lindley (17) but they were more consistent.
Nevertheless, they needed a last-wicket stand of 19 between Hussain (31no) and Andrew Deegan, who was run out by James Byrne off the last ball with the scores level, with Hussain having taken seven off the previous five deliveries.
The other top-flight tie came in Yorkshire Premier League North at Acomb where Yorkshire Academy made 199-8.
They were indebted to a stand of 55 for the fifth wicket between Harry Allinson (66no) and Daniel Ford (31), with overseas player Darius D’Silva the pick of the bowlers with 3-31 in 13 overs.
Opener William Wade (49) and D’Silva (48) added 76 for the third wicket after a poor start, and then former overseas star Darcy O’Connor (44) seemed to have given Acomb the edge.
But after the latter was eighth out at 184, it needed wicketkeeper Joe Schofield’s busy 29 not out to help the home side to a tie, with No 11 James Tindall adding 10 precious runs to get Acomb level before Tindall was caught by Edward Booth off spinner Harry Sullivan, who probably cannot understand why he was not on the winning side after taking 8-52.
Meanwhile, back in the Bradford League, Woodlands and Townville, first and second in 2019, are already occupying the same positions. Consistent batting and steady bowling helped Woodlands to a 144-run victory over second-from- bottom Wrenthorpe, while Townville were indebted to Conor Harvey (4-27) and Ritchie Bresnan (3-15) as Methley were toppled for 87 in a nine-wicket defeat.
The tie was enough to keep Acomb at the top of the pile in Yorkshire Premier League North, while at the other end Sheriff Hutton Bridge and York finally got off the mark.
Simon Lambert’s 76 not out guided York to an eight-wicket win over Stamford Bridge, while Mark Fisher (71), Dulash Udayanga (56) and Tommy Hudson (44) were in the runs for Sheriff Hutton Bridge in their five-wicket triumph at Driffield Town.
In the Yorkshire Southern Premier League, something had to give when winless sides Elsecar and
Hasnat Yousaf and Oliver Blackburn both made 33 in Elsecar’s 177, with Joe Cooper (4-40) doing more than most to keep the batsmen honest.
However, Hallam finished one short of three figures in their reply, with Moin Ashraf the main thorn in their side with 4-21.
Saltaire continue to lead the way in the Airedale & Wharfedale League, and found two men in form with the ball at Beckwithshaw, with Usman Munir taking 4-2 and Musawar Shah 5-21, both in six overs, as the home side were toppled for 70, losing by seven wickets.
Awais Ejaz (5-28) was one of two heroes for second-placed Bilton, with captain David Cummings (56) being the other in a 66-run defeat of rivals Addingham.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Thongsbridge were the big casualties in the second round of the Sykes Cup.
The Huddersfield League Premiership leaders were at Championship promotion contenders Skelmanthorpe and must have been regretting their decision to bat when their top three all failed to score.
Things didn’t get much better after that, with only Kai Greig (10), captain Alex Kemp (13) and Tom Raven-Hill (15) getting double figures as Thongsbridge were rolled over for 70 in 25 overs.
Adam Rollin (4-20) led the Skelmanthorpe attack skilfully, and he was backed up by Kasun Hewa (2-12) and the experienced Paul Cummins (2-7) as they kept the front-runners under the cosh.
Rollin went early in the reply, but any nerves were soothed by a second-wicket partnership of 49 between Cummins (23no) and the more aggressive Joe Sykes, who hit seven fours in his 36, and Skelmanthorpe won by seven wickets with one ball left of the 19th over.
They are the only Championship side in the quarter-finals, with relegation-threatened Delph and Dobcross causing a minor surprise with their home victory over fifth-placed Honley.
The top five, led by wicketkeeper Nathan Jones (51), all made over 20 for the hosts in their 223-8, with openers Mosun Hussain (24) and Joe Selby (39) putting on 60 and Jones and Harry Partington (32) adding 82 for the third wicket.
Simon Kelly (93no) was the stand-out performer for Honley, carrying his bat in their reply of 169, but he lacked support.
Umer Yaqoob (4-22) had the best figures for Delph and Dobcross.
Another first-round tie has been completed in the Viking Cup – the knockout competition that involves both the Yorkshire Premier League North and the Yorkshire Southern Premier League.
Oliver Jackson (6-10) was the Barnsley hero with the ball in their nine-wicket home victory over Tickhill, Nathan Swift then making 53 not out as the hosts won in the 25th over.
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