In an action-packed day of cricket, the Halifax Cricket League Premier Division witnessed thrilling encounters on Saturday. The leader of the division, Thornton Cricket Club, maintained its dominance with a hard-fought victory over Bradshaw Cricket Club at the Thornton ground.
Opting to field first, Thornton made a dream start by dismissing two Bradshaw batsmen within the opening three overs. Despite their efforts to recover, Bradshaw struggled against the tight bowling of Ross Parr, who finished with impressive figures of 4 wickets for 28 runs from his 14 overs. Bradshaw’s skipper Si Collins provided some resistance with a score of 35, but the team eventually collapsed for a meagre 112 runs.
In response, Thornton also faced a shaky start, losing four wickets for just 30 runs on the board. The scoring rate remained slow, and at 80-7, the match could have gone either way. However, a determined partnership between Ross Parr (21 not out) and Joe Marshall (14 not out) guided Thornton to a hard-fought victory in the 41st over. Thornton finished on 115-7, securing their place at the top of the league standings.
Meanwhile, at the Triangle Cricket Club, Mytholmroyd Cricket Club aimed to redeem themselves after a disappointing performance last week when they were bowled out for just 63 runs. They managed to surpass that total in the 11th over, though they did lose an early wicket. Five players contributed more than 20 runs each to Mytholmroyd’s total of 257 all out. James Cowens played a crucial unbeaten knock of 68 runs, while Edward Denham took 4 wickets for 70 runs. In pursuit of the target, Triangle responded strongly, led by opener Hayden Bruce’s 97 runs. Supported by Kurtis Whippey (54), Carl Fletcher (48), and Joshua Graham (34 not out), Triangle achieved a comfortable victory with four wickets in hand, reaching 258-6 in 43.3 overs.
Luddendenfoot Cricket Club faced a challenging home match against SBCI Cricket Club. Struggling to find momentum, Luddendenfoot could only rely on Peter Ashton’s contribution of 43 runs. Ashton was the seventh wicket to fall, leaving Luddendenfoot reeling at 64 runs. The team managed to post a paltry total of 81 all out, with Lewis Firth delivering an exceptional bowling performance, taking 5 wickets for 26 runs from his 14 overs. SBCI easily chased down the target in the 13th over, with James Summerscales leading the charge with an unbeaten knock of 43 runs, guiding his team to 86-2.
Sowerby Bridge Cricket Club travelled to Copley Cricket Club, where they were asked to bat first. Sowerby Bridge displayed a collective effort, with seven players reaching double-digit scores, including Liam Turner, who remained unbeaten on 43 runs. Copley, despite recent good form, struggled to match the performance of their opponents, falling 26 runs short of the target at 156 all out. Alex Rowles (52) and Matthew Rowles (39) top-scored for Copley, but their middle and lower order collapsed, adding only 29 runs to the total. Jake Dixon stood out with his excellent bowling figures of 7 wickets for 24 runs, nearly equaling his career-best of 7-18.
Blackley Cricket Club’s first XI faced a severe setback as five players decided to leave the club earlier in the week. Their troubles were evident as they suffered a comprehensive defeat to Oxenhope Cricket Club by a margin of 159 runs. Lewis Hopkinson (58), Harris Rowlett (57 not out), and David Robinson (42 not out) capitalized on Blackley’s weakened lineup, guiding Oxenhope to a commanding total of 221-4. In response, Blackley’s batting lineup crumbled, with only Jonathan Stenson (26 not out) reaching double figures. Joel Fothergill (6-20) and Daniel Scott (4-41) were the architects of Blackley’s collapse, securing victory for Oxenhope in just 24.2 overs.
In another closely fought match, second-placed Illingworth St Mary’s Cricket Club managed to escape with a narrow victory over Booth Cricket Club. Booth batted first but struggled to build a substantial total, finishing on 169 runs. Rob Laycock (58) and Jon Midgley (43) were the only batsmen who could live up to their usual standards against tight St Mary’s bowling. In their chase, St Mary’s faced a similar challenge, with Matthew Smith (53) being the only significant contributor. At 143-9, defeat seemed inevitable for St Mary’s. However, a heroic effort by injured batsman Tom Watson, who returned to the crease and added 11 runs alongside Ben Robertshaw (31 not out), guided St Mary’s to a thrilling one-wicket victory, reaching 170-9.
These valuable 12 points earned by St Mary’s could prove vital as the season progresses towards September. Meanwhile, Blackley’s hopes of survival in the division appear to be hanging by a thread after suffering their ninth defeat of the season.
The Halifax Cricket League Premier Division continues to witness intense competition, promising more exciting matches in the upcoming weeks.