Schofield helps Sowerby get off mark

Southowram's Ben Wells hits out on his way to 50 at Booth
Southowram's Ben Wells hits out on his way to 50 at Booth

Sowerby St Peters got their Foster’s Halifax League top-section campaign up and running thanks to experienced campaigner Martin Schofield yesterday.

They gained their first win back in the top flight when winning away by two wickets to fellow early-season strugglers Bradshaw.

Slow bowler Schofield inflicted early damage, leaving Bradshaw 14 for three, but the home side recovered to 183 for nine with 66 from Connor Ryan, 31 from James Thompson and 26 from Elliott Mercer.

Schofield finished with five for 35 off 18 and followed up with 54 at the top of the Sowerby order.

He was third out with the score on 133, prompting at rush of wickets, before Hayden Bruce (28 no) and Craig Patrick (11 no) saw the visitors over the winning line.

The margin of victory was also two wickets at Copley where champions Jer Lane were given their sternest test so far in their title defence.

That was down mainly to two outstanding performances from Copley players.

Ex-Bradford League player James Clarke made 97 in the home side’s 195 for nine, Sam Wilson adding another four wickets to his tally.

Chris Goulden, back from the Huddersfield League, made 26 with the bat and then found form with the ball, dismissing five of Lane’s top eight.

However, Andrew Pinfield stood firm with 82 at the top of the Lane order and his side just gained the upper hand.

Early-season form pointed to a Sowerby Bridge win at Blackley and that is how it turned out, Bridge staying top with maximum points from a 111-run success.

The two Pauls - Gledhill (91) and Smith (56) - grabbed the initiative for Bridge, helping their side to a total of 268 for seven.

Sam Mellor, Ashton Richardson and Steve Shannon then snapped up three wickets each with Tom Baxter’s 64 best for Blackley in a reply of 157.

Mytholmroyd maintained their impressive start with a seven-wicket home win over useful Thornton.

The visitors took the early honours with a 125-run stand from openers Chris Ramsden (71) and Wayne Cotton (57).

Number three Nick Hutchinson made an unbeaten 55 but a succession of partners departed to Adie Gawthorpe (four for 49) and Thornton had to settle for 227 for seven.

That proved inadequate as ‘Royd knocked off the runs in 31 overs with another fine knock from Steve Senior, who finished unbeaten on 104.

Booth and Warley added 12 points to their totals with home victories.

Booth’s visitors Southowram made 206 thanks to Ben Wells (50), Dean Crossley (44), Scott Griffiths (35) and Jason Slater (33), Nigel Horsfall taking four for 19.

However, Chris Shannon struck another ton for the home side, his 105 not out helping Booth to romp home by nine wickets.

Shannon and former skipper Rob Laycock (72) completed the job after Patrick Thomas had departed for 18 with the score on 94.

Luke Duckitt had a fine match as Warley ensured Triangle tasted defeat for the first time in 2014.

He top scored with 55 in an inadequate-looking 159 for the home side, skipper Chris Marsh contributing 40 as Gary Rodger’s gentle line and length bowling yielded four for 41.

Duckitt followed up with three for 23 and Amjin Azam took three for 39 as Triangle mustered only 128, Tony Sykes plundering 47 of them.

Oxenhope went clear at the top of Division One with a comprehensive 173-run win over visitors SBCI, who had been level with them beforehand.

Numnerous home batsmen got a start but Josh Tetley was the one mainly responsible for a total of 262 for eight, making 72 not out.

Quick bowlers Ben Addison, Liam Dyson and Adam Bailey then took three wickets each as SBCI capsized for 89, after being 23 without loss.

Third-placed Northowram HT were beaten at home by Outlane in spite of piling up a big score, the visitors showing their strength in depth in the batting department to snatch an unlikely win.

Clayton are the only side in the section still seeking a win after they lost at home to Queensbury and Low Moor beat visitors Luddenden Foot.

Tom Watson’s unbeaten 82 helped Queensbury to 197 for seven and Clayton mustered only 99 in reply, Joel Metcalfe and Amjad Ali picking up three inexpensive wickets each.

Four wickets apiece for Nick Wood and Shazaib Waheed helped Low Moor, last year’s Division Two champions, dismiss Foot, the other promoted side, for 154.

Skipper Gareth Swaine’s 49 lifted the Foot total after the visitors had been 71 for six.

Moor lost Mark Mills with the total on 22 but Andy Croasdell (70 no) and Wood (58 no) wrapped up an easy nine-wicket win.

Cullingworth beat Denholme Clough by 61 runs in the battle of the early pacesetters in Division Two.

Opener Steve Welch batted through the 45 overs for the league newcomers and just made it to three figures, finishing unbeaten on 101 in a total of 206 for seven.

Graham Rankin had dismissed Clough’s top three by the time there was 31 on the board and a good all-round bowling effort from Cullingworth helped dismiss the visitors for 145 with number five Zhaid Yousaf left unbeaten on 44.

Wibsey Park Chapel inflicted further misery on struggling Shelf with a 116-run defeat at Bradford Park Avenue.

Runs from the middle to late order helped Wibsey amass 217 for eight and Shelf managed only 101 in reply.

Harry Reynolds’ five for 27 put Old Crossleyans on the victory trail at Stones.

The Ripponden side made a below-par 135 and Jonny Sykes’ unbeaten 65, coming in at number three, saw the Broomfield men through to a five-wicket win.