Copley’s stand-in skipper Chris Dennison made a sensational start to the Foster’s Halifax League season by crashing 220 off 131 balls against Blackley yesterday.
The left-hander, in charge because Craig Taylor was in goal for Halifax AFL title hopefuls Stump Cross, would have fielded if he had won the toss.
Fortunately for him his Blackley counterpart Reece Jennison called correctly and Dennison responded to being asked to bat by making one of the biggest individual scores in league history.
Last year’s Parish Cup and Twenty/20 winners Copley went on to record a 62-run win in game which produced more than 700 runs on a wicket which had some moisture in spite of the dry week.
Dennison, 23, put on 241 for the first wicket with Oliver Thorpe (85), after a relatively quiet start, and Craig Chew’s 45 not out left Blackley licking their wounds at tea with 383 for three to chase.
The visitors responded positively with a well constructed 78 from Jennison and a hard-hit 119 from number seven James Watson to reach 321 for nine.
Jer Lane, chasing a third successive crown, must have been relieved to emerge with a four run win at home Booth.
The visitors, who threw away a winning position against Lane in the 2013 Parish Cup final at Blackley, did the same again.
Lane were restricted to 211 for eight after middle order men Raqeeb Younas (63) and Johnny Lister (59) had helped them partially recover from 20 for two.
Robert Laycock made a fine 102 in reply, putting on 119 for the first wicket with Robert Worsnop (46).
However, Lister dismissed both on the way to figures of six for 52 and new signing Mansha Khan (three for 45) bowled tightly to set up an exciting finish.
Booth needed around 55 off 10 overs but kept losing wickets and Ian Sharkey could only manage a single off the last ball with six needed for victory.
Promoted pair SBCI and Queensbury were both beaten.
SBCI were dismissed for 107 in reply to Thornton’s 231 for seven while Mytholmroyd paceman Jack Earle (six for 66) helped dismiss hosts Queensbury for 148. Steve Senior’s 45 helped ‘Royd complete a five-wicket win.
Ian Hall batted through the Southowram innings with 119 not out at home to Sowerby Bridge.
Bridge were set 200 to win and got there with seven wickets to spare thanks to 51 from opener Tim Helliwell and 76 not out from the returning Nick Whitehill.
Warley had no trouble registering a six-wicket win away to below-strength Triangle.
Half centuries from Chris Marsh and new recruit Dan Syme helped them past their hosts’ 208 total, which included 79 from Tony Sykes and 50 from Dave Turner.
Bridgeholme announced their arrival in the middle section with a thumping 220-run home win over Stones.
Things didn’t look promising for last year’s bottom section champions at 22 for three but Yasir Mahmood (104), Mohammed Basharat (62) and Nazakat Ali (53) took the home side to 270 for seven.
Stones’ batsmen would benefit from a few tips from former England captain Andrew Strauss, due visit the Ripponden club on Friday, judged on their reply of just 47.
Veteran Andy Ingham took four wickets to tip the scales Bradshaw’s way at Oxenhope, where the visitors defended 151 and won by five runs.
Northowram Hedge Top’s electronic scoreboard wasn’t working and two players missing having their impressive scores up in lights.
Home skipper Chris Conroy’s 153 proved more valuable than their former player Ollie Hemingway’s 140 for Luddenden Foot as the Rams won by 66 runs in a typical high-scoring contest at Hedge Top Lane.
Sowerby St Peters started their quest to regain top flight status with a 44-run win at Low Moor, Gavin Clarke hitting 79 not out.
There was no dream start for league newcomers Upper Hopton, who lost by 74 runs at Denholme Clough in Division Two.
Great Horton Park Chapel, the former Wibsey Park Chapel side now playing out of Great Horton, got off to a great start with a six-wicket win over Clayton.
There were handsome wins for Cullingworth (by 135 runs against Shelf) and Old Crossleyans (by 126 runs against Outlane).