CAPTAINS at Woodlands tend to stick around.
Since 1997, just two have led the crack Bradford League outfit with both making a name for themselves in Tim Orrell and Pieter Swanepoel.
Their achievements have placed a fair bit of pressure on the club’s marquee close-season recruit and new captain in the shape of Tim Jackson, with the prolific run-maker arriving from rivals Cleckheaton.
But the early signs are good with Jackson leading by example alongside Sam Frankland and another top-order man in new signing Alex Atkinson as Woodlands (236-3) signalled their intent with a comprehensive win over neighbours and divisional newcomers Scholes (110) in the new-look ECB Bradford Premier League.
Among the wickets were newcomer Kez Ahmed (4-52) and the inimitable Chris Brice, who took 4-2.
On a good day and start for Jackson, secretary Brian Pearson said: “Tim coming sets us up for the future as, from the club’s perspective, the captain is an important conduit for the future and he brings stability to the top of the order as well.
“What was pleasing was that after endeavouring to strengthen the top four with Jackson and Atkinson, there was evidence on Saturday that is going to work and they set the innings up on a difficult pitch.
“The other thing we are trying to achieve is a spin attack with our pitch being relaid. In the first couple of years, it will probably suit the spinners rather than the quickies.
“So we have brought in Kez and the spinners got eight out of 10 wickets on Saturday, while the rest of the team looks balanced.”
A familiar source of runs in Mark Robertshaw (60) helped champions Pudsey St Lawrence (173) start their title defence with a 26-run win over New Farnley (147).
Newcomer Simon Lambert (50) hit an encouraging half-century, while Richie Lamb took 4-47) for Saints. Muhammad Bilal took 4-37 for Farnley.
Batting performance of the day arrived from Pudsey Congs’ opener Callum Geldart, who hit a majestic 149 as his side posted a 135-run demolition of Bradford and Bingley (171).
Geldart’s innings contained 24 fours and three sixes, with newcomer Dylan Budge, who put on 118 for the third wicket with Geldart, weighing in with 89 not out in Congs’ daunting 306-6.
Off-spinner Josh Wheatley (5-41) then got to work on his Congs bow.
Newcomer Henry Rush (4-9) and openers James McNichol (54) and captain Matt Baxter (52) excelled as Morley (159) overcame East Bierley (108).
Off-season recruit Tom Chippendale took a cracking 6-47 as Hanging Heaton (235-9) overcame Farsley (208), despite Ryan Cooper’s 46. Gary Fellows (82) and James Keen (50) took the honours for the Tewits.
Captain John Wood (74) put on 112 for the first wicket with Andy Gorrod (46) and Mohammad Zaman (50) helped Cleckheaton to 267-7 after Lightcliffe made 264-5.
A stunning return of 5-6 from Hunslet Nelson’s Suleman Hussain could not prevent his side losing at Yeadon in the new-look Championship A.
Sixteen wickets fell for 107 runs with Yeadon winning by four wickets after slumping to 14-6 in reply to 53 – Oliver Halliday (28no) seeing the hosts home.
Mark Hydes (68) and Steve Lane (4-26) were the main men for Liversedge (146-4), who beat Ossett (145) by six wickets, despite the best efforts of opener Harvey Anderson (61).
Batley (143-4) took the derby honours, beating Birstall (139) by six wickets with the efforts of Danny Broadbent (50) in vain.
In Championship B, Wrenthorpe made 318-5 declared in a 178-run drubbing of Brighouse.
Luke Patel hit an unbeaten 101 on his return to his former club, sharing a second-wicket partnership of 113 with overseas man Darrell Hendricks (91).
Brighouse, who slumped to 48-8, saw their tail wag before being dismissed for 140 – Jonathan Rudge bagging 5-15.
Townville’s 302-4 was too much for Gomersal (155-9).
Jonathan Hughes stole the limelight, hitting 106, putting on 159 for the third wicket with overseas man Matthew Bremner (83) and taking 3-25.
Tim Walton also weighed in with a brisk half-century.
Much-fancied Methley (119) were handed a few scares before claiming a 26-win at Hartshead Moor (90).
Methley were in trouble at 66-8, Nasseer Saudegar (5-38) and captain Danny Squire (4-36) excelling for Moor. But Edward Walmsley’s unbeaten 30 gave the visitors something to bowl at and Moor fell to defeat, Joshhua Sullivan taking 4-0 in an unplayable stint, supported by Marcus Walmsley (3-25).
Carlton (264-6) just fell short by 29 runs in their game with Bowling Old Lane (293-7).
Farrukh Alam (66), Richard Sykes (54) and Gary Close (45) were in the runs for Carlton, Ismail Patel taking 4-58.
Kiwi Matthew Holstein (4-29 and 56) and Matthew Richardson (55) helped Altofts (201-5) beat Spen Victoria (200-8), despite Nick Montgomery’s 72.
Richard Foster (128no) and Thomas Chippendale (7-40) starred as Hanging Heaton (294-2) crushed Doncaster (109) by 185 runs in the first round of the National Knockout Cup.