Kiwi overseas all-rounder Brad Schmulian proving he’s the real deal at Bradford League leaders Woodlands
EARLY season it may still be, but the signing of Kiwi overseas all-rounder Brad Schmulian already has all the makings of being a very astute piece of business on the part of current leaders Woodlands.
The New Zealander’s impact at Albert Terrace has seen him lead the way at the top of the ECB Bradford League run-scoring list alongside Tim Jackson – with a top score of 153 not out on a history-making day against Methley – and his leg-spin is proving useful as well.
Schmulian’s influence with the bat is providing confidence in a battling line-up who have lacked consistency at times during the past few seasons, much to the delight of secretary Brian Pearson.
He said: “The overseas has added another dimension. He can bat and he can bowl and his spin-bowling is effective and he is a good fielder. He is also a great lad and it is an all-round good addition which has added balance to us with his leg spin.
“He has enhanced our bowling, which has always been our ‘powerhouse’.
“As a result of Brad’s addition, he has given more confidence to our batting, which is working nicely all the way down with him and Tim Jackson being the two top scorers in the league.”
The season may only be just over a month old, but further encouragement for Woodlands is provided by the number of people putting their hand up with contributions so far this term.
On Monday, it was the turn of Kez Ahmed to step up with 6-34, ably supported by Chris Brice (3-23) as they skittled Lightcliffe for just 60 en route to a seven-wicket victory, their fifth league win on the spin.
Two days earlier, Sam Frankland, who top-scored with 53, Schmulian, Brice and Elliot Richardson helped Woodlands see off Wrenthorpe by 70 runs, with Cieran Garner’s side holding a 21-point lead at the summit after six matches.
Pearson added: “Sam also got a nice fifty on Saturday and it is going well. When you are winning, confidence becomes a lot higher and that is showing to be the case.
“On the one or two occasions when the top order has not fired, the middle or bottom has. Elliot Richardson has had a couple of good innings and he is also bowling with a lot more confidence as well, opening the bowling. Then there’s the evergreen Chris Brice and Kez also came good on Monday after not having the quickest of starts and, all round, it is all working at the moment.
“We are also pleased with second team who are undefeated and also top of the league. The whole club is buzzing at the moment.”
Level pegging behind Woodlands are champions Pudsey St Lawrence, who visit Albert Terrace on Saturday and Hanging Heaton.
It proved a mixed weekend for Lawrence, who cast aside Saturday’s painful loss to Farsley with a 14-run triumph over New Farnley, whose inconsistent opening to the season continued.
Farnley were undone by a super show from Yorkshire all-rounder Jordan Thompson, who hit a fine 82 and shared in a key fourth-wicket stand of 103 with Harry Cullingford (44) to help Lawrence reach 207-5, with James Smith chipping in with an unbeaten 44.
Captain Lee Goddard (73) impressed in reply for Farnley, but was one of four victims to Thompson (4-23) as the visitors fell short in the 38-over contest.
Lawrence did not fare so well against Farsley, with the returning James Logan (6-26) coming to the party in a big way as the Red Laners dismissed their near-neighbours for 113.
Another returnee in Pat Kruger (38) also contributed for the hosts in their much-needed three-wicket win.
Meanwhile, Heaton are nicely positioned after Monday’s seven-wicket triumph over Wrenthorpe.
Callum Geldart (60no), Ben Kohler-Cadmore (41no) and Joe Fraser (52) contributed alongside Tom Chippendale (4-51).
IT was a Bank Holiday weekend to savour for rejuvenated Farsley.
Fresh from Saturday’s uplifting win over Pudsey St Lawrence, the Red Laners backed up with a 13-run victory over Bradford and Bingley to move up to fourth place after their third straight win.
James Logan was again instrumental, taking 6-48 as B&B reached 158-7 in reply to Farsley’s 171-4 – with Dan Revis hitting 68 for the hosts.
Farsley’s main men with the bat were Ben Morley (88) and Ryan Cooper (46), who put on 127 for the second wicket.
In contrast, it was a grim weekend for Methley, who prop up the rest after losses to Townville and Undercliffe.
Townville triumphed by 64 runs on Monday after dismissing Methley for 128 after opening with 192, with Conor Harvey (51) top scoring.
Adam Patel (53) hit a brave knock for Methley, with Imran Rafique (4-26) and Jack Hughes (3-24) in the wickets for Townville.
Earlier, Methley had lost by seven wickets to Undercliffe, with Simon Lambert taking 5-47.
Undercliffe also had a good day on Monday in beating Cleckheaton via DLS.
Townville’s victory over Methley helped cast aside Saturday’s big 172-run loss to Hanging Heaton, who were indebted to some sparkling batting from Ben Kohler-Cadmore and David Stiff in their hefty total of 272-7.
Kohler-Cadmore top-scored with 106, while Stiff smashed a stunning 68 from just 32 balls.
Townville were then dismissed for 100, with Josh Holling (5-44) and Tom Chippendale (4-36) being on song.
Lightcliffe are second from bottom after two holiday losses, with the first coming at the hands of New Farnley, who won by nine runs under DLS.
Dan Hodgson (51) and Alex Lilley (5-44) were their chief contributors.
In Championship One on Saturday, Morley crashed by eight wickets to Gomersal, for whom Richard Wear (5-20 and 98no) truly excelled.
Pudsey Congs are within three points of third-placed Batley after an emphatic 124-run win, with Yasir Ali (107) hitting a fabulous ton and Sam Wisniewski (4-12) and Chris Doey (3-10) in the wickets.
Baildon are the new leaders after defeating Wakefield St Michael’s by six wickets, cashing in on Keighley’s first defeat of the season – against Ossett.