Skipper Townsend gunning for more success

Blackley v Sowerby. Dave Townsend batting for Blackley.
Blackley v Sowerby. Dave Townsend batting for Blackley.

Dave Townsend will notch a fairly unusual treble when Southowram take to the field for the season’s opener at home to Sowerby Bridge on Saturday, April 18.

Townsend will be captaining his third different club in the Premier Division of the Foster’s Halifax League.

The Rams will be hoping he matches his successes when at Blackley and Mytholmroyd.

Blackley won back-to-back titles in the top two sections under Townsend in 2008 and 2009 and Mytholmroyd benefitted from his leadership skills when they took Division One honours in 2012.

Townsend has been appointed skipper in succession to new dad Scott Moody. Ben Wells is vice captain.

The Rams, who finished a creditable fifth in the Premier in 2014 following promotion behind Sowerby St Peters the previous year, have been busy during the winter.

Long-serving player and their former Parish Cup-winning captain Ian Uttley said extensive work to improve the ground’s drainage had been taking place during the winter.

Hard-working trio Gordon Scott, Graham Wells and Paul Gibson had tackled areas around the square and in the bottom corner of the ground.

“They did the work just before Christmas and it took about a month,” said Uttley, who added that the ground was recovering well.

Southowram now have roll on, roll off covers, purchased from Elland, and the covers they previous used will be utilised on the bowlers’ run-ups and the rest of the square during bad weather.

The club also hopes to have a digital scoreboard in place for the start of the campaign.

Southowram are holding a sportsman’s evening on Friday, April 10 when ex-Bradford and Hull striker Dean Windass will be the guest speaker.

There will be a pie and peas supper and tickets are £20 from Uttley on 07765 565658.

Preparations are well under way for the sixth ‘Ramfest’ pop festival at the Ashday Lane ground in July.

Walsden have confirmed that Shubham Harkal, a member of the club’s title-winning side in 2013, will be back as overseas amateur this summer.

The Indian is a batsman and leg spinner.

Harkal, who has an uncle in the Bolton area, is likely to lodge with Walsden scorer Mick Watson.

Harkal scored 336 runs at an average of 16.8 and took 12 wickets at 17.75 in his first stint as a 17-year-old at Scott Street.