No joy for Under-15s after defeats to Buttershaw and Mount

Lightcliffe Under-15s, again weakened by absentees, were comfortably beaten by Buttershaw St Paul’s in another good natured game.

Lightcliffe’s opening bowlers for once struggled, although it was a number of catches that went to hand but weren’t held that allowed all Buttershaw’s top three batsmen to retire in the 30s. A catch for captain Joshua Booth off the bowling of off-spinner Anthony Ellwood eventually gave the visitors reward.

A run out, followed by an Owen Thomas catch that gave the ever-enthusiastic Bradley Atkinson his first wicket at this level, at least gave Lightcliffe some cheer but the hosts had scored 147-3.

The dusty low-bouncing Buttershaw pitch was not to Lightcliffe’s liking. Ben Whitley was unluckily stumped off the wicketkeeper’s pads and it was only the fast bat of Thomas that posed any serious threat with his first 30 retirement of the season .

While the game was not a contest in terms of outcome, it was nevertheless pleasing to see Ed Wardle hit a couple of lusty blows for 11 on a ground he seems to thrive on and Ellwood hit a cultured 13 – his best total at this level- as Lightcliffe closed on 82-6.

The sterling efforts of Lightcliffe groundsman Rod Heyhoe in managing to get a game underway on Sunday morning were much appreciated by both teams, but unfortunately Lightcliffe Under-15s – asked to bat on the green damp pitch– couldn’t do justice for his efforts, as they were skittled out for a season-low 42 by Mount CC.

It was never easy to score on a greasy surface, and Lightcliffe found themselves again struggling at 26-3. Matthew Denman played a bright innings with some punchy back-foot drives for a top score of 13 and even Lightcliffe were surprised at how quick the demise occurred as they were 4-2 following a hat-trick fromZaid Seedal, who took 5-4 for Mount.

No fewer than three batsmen were unfortunately back in the pavilion having faced only a single delivery.

The prospect of success in the circumstances was slim, but Lightcliffe gave it their best shot.

Deprived of opening bowler Thomas due to a bizarre finger injury when fielding a return throw, it took a fine running catch on the boundary from Denman to give Harry Stobart a wicket and a foothold.

Joshua Booth again hit off stump and further catches for Thomas (with bandaged digit) and Anthony Ellwood gave the flight of Robbie Heath reward with two wickets.

The counter-attack proved to be in vain however as – short of a decent total to defend –, Mount saw out the match, leaving the Under-15s still searching for their second win of the season.