Bradford League: Teams '˜get out of jail' with initial use of DLS system

THREE NAMES came to the fore on a wet weekend of Bradford Premier League action '“ Duckworth Lewis and Stern (DLS).

Chris Brice (right), of Woodlands, is congratulated after getting the big wicket of New Farnley's Lee Goddard caught by keeper Greg Finn (left). PIC: Steve Riding
Chris Brice (right), of Woodlands, is congratulated after getting the big wicket of New Farnley's Lee Goddard caught by keeper Greg Finn (left). PIC: Steve Riding

The method for rain-affected first-team matches, introduced by league officials ahead of the 2017 season, was utilised in several fixtures, with two beneficiaries being Farsley and Pudsey St Lawrence.

With Townville’s game at Woodlands getting abandoned after just 2.2 overs of the second innings, the Red Laners cashed in by moving second.

Farsley were stuck at 156-3 in reply to New Farnley’s 194, but triumphed under DLS as they were 36 runs ahead of the par score of 120 in a game which saw captain James Price (78no) and James Wainman (6-38) produce classy contributions.

Alex Baldwin takes evasive action for New Farnley as Woodlands' Sam Frankland tries to run him out. PIC: Steve Riding

After opening with a strong 236-3 against East Bierley, which saw top-order man Adam Waite hit his maiden ton of the season with an eye-catching 111 and put on 118 for the second wicket with impressive close-season recruit Charlie Best (52), champions St Lawrence ended up triumphing by 18 runs under DLS.

Openers Mark Gill (78) and Adal Islam (68) were in good order for Bierley in a super partnership of 148, with the former passing the 13,000 league runs mark.

But the rain intervened with Bierley set a fresh target of 190 and the visitors finished short on 171-4 at Tofts Road following a disrupted second innings.

St Lawrence captain James Smith acknowledged: “We did well to get a game on, to be fair. For a lot of teams, it was a miserable day.

Alex Baldwin takes evasive action for New Farnley as Woodlands' Sam Frankland tries to run him out. PIC: Steve Riding

“It went in our favour, big time, towards the end of the day. We were massively behind it (in the game) and it took a bit of sorting out and it (DLS) helped us get out of jail.

“I can see why the league have done it with DLS. I just think it will take quite a while for people to get used to it in terms of people’s expectations of revised targets and the amount of time taken out of a game and how it works. It is taking a little bit of digesting.

“In all honesty, if it had been trialed in the cups for a season, it would’ve been better. But the cup is only every four or five weeks, so what chances are there of getting any rain...”

The rain proved to be no pain for title favourites Hanging Heaton with the Tewits opening up an 11-point lead after sinking Cleckheaton by eight wickets in express fashion.

David Stiff (4-38) and Muhammad Rameez (4-14) did the damage to dismiss the Moorenders for 130, with Andy Gorrod top-scoring with a morale-boosting 52 for Cleck.

Conscious of the elements, Heaton reached victory in 25.2 overs, with captain Gary Fellows (46) leading the way.

Dismissed for 27 on the previous weekend, Lightcliffe fared somewhat better in beating basement boys Batley by five runs under DLS.

Jonathan Wilson (87) and Matt Baxter (51) helped Lightcliffe to 228-4 before Muhammad Hafeez’s 61 gave Batley an inkling, but they were behind the par score of 152 when the rain came.

Lengthy second-innings rain ensured they were no definitive result between Bradford & Bingley and Pudsey Congs.

Wrenthorpe posted a keynote victory over old rivals Methley to leapfrog them into second in Championship One.

James Glynn (45) top scored in Wren’s 200-9 and then followed up with 3-48, well supported by Matt Holstein (3-17), to help dismiss Methley for a disappointing 132.

At the summit, there appears to be no stopping Scholes, who claimed their eighth successive win to move 28 points clear after an 88-run success over Morley.

Akbar Badshah’s match-winning total of 68 gave Scholes something to defend after they lost their last seven wickets for just 35 runs, with Morley captain Oliver Halliday (4-13) in masterly form.

Replying, Morley fluffed their lines badly and were all out for 102, with Gareth Lee (3-15) and Yassir Ali (3-32) making hay.

Heavy Woollen Cup

DEPLETED Heavy Woollen Cup holders New Farnley crashed out of the competition at the hands of 2015 winners Woodlands, who eased home by 78 runs in round three.

Batting first, Woodlands, who included last season’s finals man-of-the-match and ex-Farnley player Mark Lawson, opened with 201-9 and their total was never in peril.

Leading light with the bat was Alex Atkinson (39) with Dave Cummings taking 4-46 for Farnley, without four first-teamers.

Replying, Farnley suffered a big blow in losing Simon Lambert for a duck and despite the best efforts of Craig Russell (45no), they were always behind the eight-ball.

Applying the brakes in redoubtable fashion was slow left-armer Chris Brice, whose magnificent ten-over spell yielded figures of 2-4.

Liam Collins cashed in late on with 3-24 as Woodlands, dismissed the hosts for 123.

It was also a noteworthy occasion for Townville, who exacted a fair amount of revenge upon top-flight leaders Hanging Heaton in a sweet four-wicket triumph.

The Tewits had beaten Townville twice already this year and had also sent the Castleford outfit packing in the past two seasons in the Priestley Cup.

But the Bradford League Premier newboys made a real statement to underline their fine start to the season by inflicting a first defeat of the campaign upon Heaton.

The hero of the hour was Jack Hughes, who displayed his class with an outstanding innings of 101 not out as the visitors overhauled the hosts opening salvo of 207 to triumph with just over six overs left.

Hughes turned the game around after arriving at the crease with Townville in bother at 11-2. with his flamboyant innings featuring 16 fours.

Richie Bresnan also chipped in with a key unbeaten 42.

Earlier, the Tewits were dismissed with seven balls to go, with their main contributor being Joe Fraser, whop top-scored with 41.

Winners of the competition five times in a row from 2007-2012, Wrenthorpe (110) were no match for Huddersfield League outfit Kirkburton (183-9), who prevailed by 73 runs.