SHELF Northowram Hedge Top were the sole first team winners in the Spenser Wilson Halifax League yesterday.
They climbed to fourth place in the Premier Division with a five-wicket home win over SBCI on another rain-hit Saturday.
The weather gods are clearly taking retribution after the memorable sun-kissed summer of 2018. After another wet week, they provided a tantalising window of opportunity for cricketers with a short dry spell yesterday before opening the heavens again around 4pm.
Hedge Top had bowled out SBCI for 119 by that time with Chaitanya Deshpande (3-29, Aamir Rashid (3-36) and Jack Hemblys (4-32) all among the wickets. Bradley Holt top scored with 23 for the lowly visitors.
They may have been singing in the rain at nearby Brodstock but the Hedge Top players must have been more inclined to hold their breath in the hope of a clearer sky.
The rain clouds eventually disappeared, the covers had done their job and, faced with a revised target of 57 runs from 25 overs, opener Dan Cole (26 not out) helped secure victory for Hedge Top in 10 overs while losing five partners at the other end.
Batting averages took a hit at other venues with no sign yet of any firm, straw-coloured pitches. There were other low totals and a further spell of rain curtailed some matches which had restarted.
Leaders Illingworth St Mary’s were unable to start their reply after Luke Brooksby (4-22) had spearheaded a strong bowling effort which had dismissed visitors Warley for 89.
They might even have squeezed in the quickest of wins but for Greg Keywood, who made 51 not out with the extras (11) providing the only other double-figure contribution to Warley’s total. The Parish Cup holders were 13-5 at one stage.
Joshua Wood performed a similar role to Keywood for Sowerby Bridge in the derby game up the hill at Sowerby St Peter’s.
Wood made 49 in a total of 111-9 in a 36 overs per-side match with slow bowler Martin Schofield (5-39) finding form after a quiet start to the season by his standards.
The game was nicely poised, with the St Peter’s club 56-4 in the 16th over, when the weather had the final say.
Thornton were wobbling at 13-3 in reply to Copley’s 147-5 off 37 overs at The Arches, Oliver Thorpe having made 53 for the hosts.
Triangle were 78-7 at home to Booth before George Palin (41 not out) and Mark Uttley (37 not out) performed a rescue act and lifted the score to 160-7 off 31 overs. Champions Booth were 20-1 when play was washed out.
Tom Earle had a bat in his hand for the first time in a few weeks for Mytholmroyd and was on 65 not out in a score of 111-1 when play was ended against Oxenhope at Moderna Way.
Scores: *Copley 147-5 (Thorpe 53), Thornton 13-3 - abandoned rain: pts 4-3. Warley 89 (Keywood 51no, Brooksby 4-22) v *Illingworth St Mary’s dnb - abandoned rain: pts 2-5. *Mytholmroyd 111-1 (Earle 65no) v Oxenhope dnb - abandoned rain: pts 3-2. SBCI 119 (red to 57), ] Hemblys 4-32), *Shelf Northowram HT 61-5: pts 2-12. Sowerby Bridge 111-9 (Wood 49,
Schofield 5-39), *Sowerby St Peter’s 58-4 - abandoned rain: pts 4-4. *Triangle 160-7 (Palin 42no, Hoyle 4-57), Booth 20-1 - abandoned rain: pts 4-4.
Points (after 9 matches): Illingworth SM 77, Booth 69, Copley 67, Shelf Northowram Hedge Top 64, Oxenhope 60, Warley 60, Thornton 54, Mytholmroyd 51, Sowerby St Peters 51, Triangle 50, Sowerby Bridge 49, SBCI 47.
There were a few hard luck stories in the First Division, notably for leaders Blackley in their home game against another of the leading lights, Great Horton PC.
Jacob Linsel (5-16) found conditions to his liking to help dismiss the visitors for 138
Blackley had raced to 70-1 in 11.1 overs, only 22 runs short of a revised target, when play was ended with Adam Turner (34 off 23 balls) in full flow.
John Hartley (62 not out) scored the majority of runs in Clayton’s 101-4 off 29.1 overs at home to Bradshaw, who made 58-2 off 11 overs in reply.
Mount had made 132-4 when play was ended on their lengthy trip to Bridgeholme.
Jordan France’s 6-12 sent Southowram sliding to 93 all out, his victims including visiting skipper Ian Gledhill for 40, but Upper Hopton were unable to start their reply.
Scores: Great Horton PC 130 (rev to 92, Linsel 5-16), *Blackley 70-1 - abandoned rain: pts 3-5. Mount 132-4, *Bridgeholme dnb - abandoned rain: pts 3-3. *Clayton 101-4 (Hartley 62), Bradshaw 58-2 - abandoned rain: pts 3-3. Southowram 93 (Gledhill 40, France 6-12), *Upper Hopton dnb - abandoned rain: pts 5-2.
Points (after 8 games): Blackley 70, Clayton 61, Great Horton PC 59, Bradshaw 49, Mount 45, Upper Hopton 30, Bridgeholme 30, Southowram 25.
Only 10 overs of the second innings were possible at lofty venues Outlane and Queensbury in the Second Division, spoiling the prospect of good finishes,
Struggling Augustinians must have been satisfied with 207-6 off 38 overs up by the M62, Usman Ali (72) and Naveed Afzal (37 not out) ensuring maximum batting points for the Rastrick side.
Outlane were 65-2, Adam Davies having just departed for 39, when more rain arrived.
Daniel Reynolds (65) and Paul Quarmby (65) helped Greetland to 162-6 off 28 overs at Queensbury. The home reply was halted at 59-2.
Luddenden Foot had been the only first team to win the previous week, when the weather was also poor. They were hot on the trail of another success, this time in a top of the table contest against Low Moor Holy Trinity, when the weather intervened.
They had sped to 48-0 off six overs in reply to visitors Low Moor’s 107-6 off 29 overs, which included 48 from Mark Stokes.
There was even less action in the other two games with Cullingworth reaching 46-6 at home to Leymoor and Old Town managing 83-5 against visitors Bradley & Colnebridge.
Scores: *Cullingworth 46-6 v Leymoor dnb - abandoned rain: pts 2-3. Low Moor HT 107-6 (Stokes 48), *Luddenden Foot 48-0 - abandoned rain: pts 3-3. *Old Town 83-5 v Bradley & Colnebridge dnb - abandoned rain: pts 2-3. Augustinians 207-6 (U Ali 72), *Outlane 65-2 -abandoned rain: pts 3-5. Greetland 151-6 (Reynolds 65, Quarmby 43), *Queensbury 59-2 -abandoned rain: pts 3-4.
Points (played 8 unless stated): Low Moor HT (9) 80, Luddenden Foot (9) 72, Greetland 59, Old Town 58, Outlane 55, Queensbury 45, Leymoor 41, Cullingworth 39, Stones 37, Bradley & Colnebridge 34, Augustinians 32.