Plenty of grounds for optimism as Lightcliffe target 2016

Rob Burton bowling'' for Lighthouse.
Rob Burton bowling'' for Lighthouse.

Lightcliffe Cricket Club held their annual prize and presentation dinner last Friday evening at Crow Nest Golf Club with chairman Steve Hartley presiding over its smooth running ably assisted by first-team batsman Rhys Jowett.

Chairman Hartley embraced all sections in his welcoming speech and said the family village club continues to grow each season and progress in the various junior and senior leagues it plays in.

He referred to arriving one day at the ground with almost the whole outfield covered with youngsters and asked what was going and was told it was a junior coaching session which pleased him immensely.

First-team captain Alex Stead revealed in his speech, covering all that went on in the season, that the club was losing for a second time veteran spinner Chris Greenwood, who it is understood is rejoining his village club, Sowerby St Peters, in the Halifax League.

He also revealed that the club is losing medium pace bowler and batsman Josh Wheatley, who is joining arch rivals Pudsey Congs, who Lightcliffe dumped out of the Sovereign Healthcare Priestley Cup at the semi-final stage this year.

However, on the plus side, Stead said the club had signed the much-travelled batsman and bowler Ian Philiskirk from Hanging Heaton. It is understood that Philiskirk has had five clubs in the past eight years but he is always in demand because he scores the runs and takes the wickets. For the Dewsbury club last season he scored 750 runs and took 30 wickets and Stead said he would be a major player for them.

The captain did not mention if director of cricket Chris Taylor, the former Yorkshire and Derbyshire opening batsman was going to play in 2016, but a good majority in the room felt if he was confident over his back problem then he would be resuming at Wakefield Road which would be another plus.

Second X1 skipper Michael Brooke also ran through the past season, and that cudgel was also taking up by third-team skipper Bruce Lunn and Ladies player-manager Angela Monaghan.

Awards - 1st X1 Batting: Alex Stead; Bowling: Rob Burton; Fielding: Jonathan Woodcock. 2ndX1 Batting: Michael Brooke. Bowling: Alex Kennedy, Fielding: Regan Broadbent. 3rd X1 batting: Jake Broadbent, Bowling: Shoaib Hassan. Fielding: Jack Booth. Women’s X1 batting: Ellis Lil, Bowling: Hannah Codling. Fielding: Sue Godden.

Under-9s Batting: Joe Pyrah. Bowling: Finlay Hill. Fielding: Thomas Priestley. Most Improved: Ben Horne. Under-11s Batting: Joel Holmes. Bowling: Toby Morley. Fielding: Bradley Atkinson. All-rounder: Dylan Hill. Under13s - Batting: Joshua Booth. Bowling: Joshua Booth Fielding: Matthew Denman. All-rounder: Owen Thomas. Under-15: Batting: Alex Kennedy. Bowling: Robbie Heath. Fielding: Ed Wardle. All rounder: Shoaib Hassan. Under-17s Batting: Regan Broadbent. Bowling: Daanyaal Ahmed, Fielding: Liam Holmes.

ProCoach Junior Player of the Season: Alex Kennedy.

n It was also announced that Lightcliffe’s long serving groundsman and representative on the JCT600 Bradford Cricket League committee, Rod Heyhoe, had won the Bradford League Pitch of the Year award.

Heyhoe has long been praised for his wickets by home team captains, visiting skippers and the match umpires.

The evening closed with the Alternative Awards presented by Michael Brooke and fellow second team player James Horne, which, as usual, had the audience in stitches.