Hard going takes its toll

BRIGHOUSE skipper Will Smith opted to bat, with fears of the Hartshead surface getting lower and slower through the day.

Adam Brown and Matthew West scored quickly to take the total to 49 before Brown was caught attempting to clear the ropes.

Dean Crossley (28) worked hard against the still new ball as he and West put on a further 18 before West fell to the swing bowling of Simon North - splitting his bat in the process.

The wicket, although new, was very low and hard to score off.

The newly promoted Chris Maloney, who has dominated many second team attacks came in and continued in this vein, with a top scoring 41 off only 48 balls.

The spin of Jonathan Gould slowed the run rate on what was now a sluggish and dead wicket.

North finished with impressive figures of 15-3-33-3, and Gould 12-2-46-3.

Smith ended on 32, out in the final over, as the Brighouse middle order found life hard on the baked surface. The innings closed at 199 for seven.

With opening bowlers the Ladak brothers fresh from some great form at Bowling Old Lane and Bankfoot the previous week, hopes were high of a disciplined start.

This was the case as Aleem Ladak first removed Reece Jennison - strangely stumped in only the third over for four runs, followed by Adil clean bowling Craig Field three overs later for only eight. At 18 for two all the signs pointed towards a Brighouse victory.

Skipper North, however, did not agree with this, and although dropped at gully late on in his innings, batted superbly to finish 78 not out, supported by Graham Hilton (38) and Gould (26 not out).

The combination of a quick outfield, short boundaries, and intense heat took its toll on the Brighouse fielding and bowling, as extras reached a remarkable 49 for the game.

More discipline is required in the coming weeks, with the visits of Keighley, and away games at Spen Victoria.

Overall Hartshead were the better team, but Brighouse made it easy in the final third of the fixture