In a dramatic display of disparate match scores, the Second XIs in the Halifax Cricket League experienced a significant variation in cumulative scores. While an impressive 639 runs were scored at Broad Fold Park, only 141 runs were registered at Boston Hill.
The Premier Division clash between hosts Booth and Bridgeholme proved to be a high-scoring affair, with Booth dominating the game. Booth’s Matthew Morgan shone with a spectacular knock of 120 runs off just 73 balls, securing his maiden century. He received valuable support from Andrew Truscott (70 not out) and Liam Laprell (60). In response, Bridgeholme displayed resilience, with Ibrahim Mahmood (87), Ahmed Hussain (72), and Numair Abbas (40 not out) leading their charge. However, time ran out for the visitors as they settled for a commendable 279-7, falling short of Booth’s imposing total of 360-7.
Mytholmroyd’s Aber Saghir also showcased his batting prowess, scoring a maiden century at Walton Street. Saghir’s remarkable innings of 141 runs may prove hard to surpass in the future. Supported by Hasan Jamil (66) and Fahd Hussain (51), Saghir’s efforts contributed to a colossal target of 326-5 against Sowerby Bridge. Noteworthy mention goes to Ali Rizwan, who stood out with his bowling figures of 4-75. Sowerby Bridge fought valiantly with the bat but couldn’t overcome the mammoth target. The team’s collective effort resulted in a total of 259 all out, with Paul Gledhill (47) and Saad Darr (41) being the top scorers.
Mark Fellows of SBCI delivered an exceptional performance at Bradshaw, hitting an unbeaten 107 runs. Alongside Chris Dalby’s 44 runs, Fellows powered his team to a target of 237-5. Bradshaw struggled in response, barring Dean Cotton’s 65 runs, as Tyson Illingworth’s impressive figures of 5-23 led to their dismissal for 143 all out.
While the Premier Division witnessed high-scoring encounters, the second set of matches in the league presented a contrasting scenario. Great Horton PC dismissed Greetland for a mere 130 all out, allowing Ryan Frankland-Martin (57) to lead his team to an easy victory at 134-4.
Surprisingly, third-placed Illingworth St Mary’s succumbed to the same score of 130 all out against second-placed Blackley. Matthew Watson’s resilient 45 was the only notable contribution from Illingworth St Mary’s. Andrew Eames impressed with bowling figures of 4-32, but it was Connor Greenwood’s determined 59 runs that propelled Blackley to a winning total of 132-7.
The lowest match score in this division came from Warley, where Sowerby St Peter’s bowled out the home team for a meager 117 runs. Jamie Moody’s 4-32 demonstrated excellent bowling skills. However, the tables turned during the second innings as Zeeshan Iqbal wreaked havoc, claiming figures of 7-24. Iqbal’s outstanding performance limited Sowerby St Peter’s to a paltry 42 runs, with only one batsman reaching double figures.
The First Division witnessed an excellent contest between leaders Copley and Thornton. Copley set a target of 235-9, thanks to valuable contributions from Nathan Riches (55) and Tim Shackleton (45). In a nail-biting finish, Copley chased down the total with three balls to spare. Woody Webster (61), Joseph Codling (48), and Rithvik Ramkumar (21 not out) were the key contributors to their team’s winning total of 239-6.
Bradley & Colnebridge emerged as the top scorers in the division, posting an impressive 265-8 against Shelf Northowram HT. Shahraiz Khan (59) and Muhammad Ikram (48) led a strong team effort. However, Shelf Northowram HT appeared to be on track for victory at 151-2. The game shifted momentum when Billy Sugden (61) and Dan Klemm (60) departed, causing a loss of momentum. Eventually, Shelf Northowram HT finished at 233 all out.
Queensbury hosted Outlane and secured a comprehensive seven-wicket victory. After inviting the visitors to bat first, Queensbury’s accurate bowling restricted Outlane to 176-9, with Neil Waddington’s 73 being the standout performance. Queensbury’s top five batsmen made valuable contributions, and an unbeaten partnership between Irfan Afzal (48 not out) and Zabir Ashraf (41 not out) guided their team to victory at 177-3.
In a closely fought match at Triangle, Mount’s Adnaan Rowett’s outstanding bowling figures of 7-65 restricted the home team to 182 all out. Peter Madden’s remarkable 6-42 proved crucial for Triangle. After a disastrous start at 5-3, Mount’s Muneeb Patel (47) provided some resistance, but the team eventually succumbed to 156 all out in the 38th over.
In the Second Division, Upper Hopton maintained their top position with a 56-run victory against Clayton. George Turton’s resilient knock of 49 runs contributed to Upper Hopton’s total of 150 all out, while Hamza Zahid’s bowling figures of 5-34 troubled Clayton’s batting lineup. Clayton struggled in their reply, and Hassan Khan’s 43 was the lone highlight in their final score of 94 all out, as John Stanger claimed figures of 5-47.
In the Leymoor clash with Luddendenfoot, Leymoor posted 190-9 as Andrew Raw impressed with 73 runs. Damien Cook’s 5-40 showcased his bowling skills for Luddendenfoot. The visitors’ response was nothing short of remarkable, with Michael Whittingham (57 not out), Peter Ashton (57), and Harry Denham (39 not out) leading the charge. Luddendenfoot emerged victorious with an impressive 194-1. Perhaps the Leymoor skipper should address the issue of conceding extras.
Low Moor HT set a challenging target of 276-7 for Southowram. Nick Thompson’s 91 runs stood out, supported by Ryan Williamson’s 56 runs. Akmal Hussain’s bowling figures of 4-59 were noteworthy for Southowram. The Rams fell behind the required run rate and finished at 174-7. Philip Veal’s obdurate knock of 49 runs off 107 balls frustrated Tom Jenkins (10-2-39-3) to the point of attempting to pull out his remaining follicles in frustration, as rumours suggest.
In the local derby at Oakworth, neighbours Oxenhope emerged victorious by five wickets. Opting to field first, Oxenhope’s accurate bowling restricted Oakworth to 189-7. Louis Stephens’ unbeaten 57 boosted the hosts’ score. However, Oxenhope’s captain Alex Baker stole the show with an exceptional century (106 not out). Despite losing four partners with only one run added to the total, Baker found support from Lewis Verdeyen (40). Oxenhope sealed the win at 187-5, with Tom Raby’s bowling figures of 4-29 being noteworthy.
Old Town experienced a nightmarish start in their home match against Cullingworth, losing five wickets for just six runs between 19-2 and 25-7. Michael Bright’s impressive figures of 5-22 caused the early damage for Cullingworth. A late rally from Chudry Ali, who scored 27 runs at number 9, proved vital for Old Town. Cullingworth’s batting lineup collapsed from 51-3 to 69 all out, with Dilawaer Khan contributing with 5-24.
Stones showcased their batting prowess with three batsmen in form. Sam Whitton’s unbeaten 58, combined with Adam Taylor’s 56 and Phil Robbins’ 46, helped their team reach a solid total of 239-5 against Augustinians. Whitton continued his impressive day by claiming figures of 5-33 with the ball, as Augustinians were bowled out for 153.
The Halifax Cricket League witnessed an eventful round of matches, featuring high scores, thrilling chases, and impressive individual performances. The league continues to provide thrilling cricket action as teams compete for glory in their respective divisions.