Life so frustrating in Bradford League for New Farnley

Striking form: 'Steve Bullen, of New Farnley, goes on the attack against Cleckheaton. Picture: Steve Riding
Striking form: 'Steve Bullen, of New Farnley, goes on the attack against Cleckheaton. Picture: Steve Riding
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IT NEVER rains, but it pours – just ask New Farnley.

Well placed to kick-start an inconsistent Bradford Premier League season which has been stymied by some untimely injury problems, the Lawns Lane outfit were annoyingly thwarted by the rain against Cleckheaton in Saturday’s rain-affected programme.

It has been hugely frustrating. Not only with the weather, but the injuries we have suffered and it does not feel like we have properly started yet.

New Farnley captain, Lee Goddard

It was another piece of ill-fortune to conspire against Farnley, whose bowling options in particular have been hit in recent times.

Already without the services of Ajmal Shahzad and Andrew Brewster – with the latter on the rehabilitation trail after a back injury – the West Leeds outfit suffered another a potential issue regarding Alex Lilley, who had to be taken to hospital on Saturday.

With Max Law unavailable for this weekend’s game with Farsley, Farnley are aiming to bring in some cover before the top-flight encounter.

Opening bowler Brewster is set to see a specialist today regarding the back issue which has prevented his involvement so far in 2019.

On a frustrating season, captain Lee Goddard said: “We have potentially got more injuries and are looking at some permanent cover as we are going to have to bring someone in to strengthen our team. The player will be a good signing.

“We had an incident with Alex on Saturday where he had to be taken to hospital. Thankfully, he is all right, but we will have to manage him.

“Max Law, the overseas lad, has got a bit of a side-strain and he is missing this weekend.

“Brewster had another scan last week and has got to see a specialist on Wednesday and that will give him the diagnosis whether he can bowl or not. He is working himself up to fitness, but if he cannot bowl, we have got to go by the specialist.”

Goddard, whose side were at 38-3 in reply after dismissing Cleckheaton for 93 on Saturday before the heavens opened – Luke Jarvis taking a magic 6-15 – added: “Unfortunately, the rain curtailed things, just when we could have done with finishing that game.

“I would have backed our lads to get over the line, needing fifty-odd runs to win.

“It has been hugely frustrating. Not only with the weather, but the injuries we have suffered and it does not feel like we have properly started yet.”

Despite more inclement weather, leaders Woodlands managed to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 33 points following Saturday’s action against Undercliffe.

Opening, the Albert Terrace outfit struck a confident 256-2 and reduced Undercliffe to 10-2 before the rains came.

Opener Sam Frankland and overseas man Brad Schmulian shared an excellent second-wicket stand of 136 as Woodlands’ top-order continued to fire.

Hanging Heaton, in second, had Bradford and Bingley in bother at 25-4 but B&B rallied to reach 172-9, mainly thanks to a fifth-wicket partnership worth 120 between Ed Brown (59) and Kyme Tahirkeli (55).

Townville were left stranded at 83-7 after champions Pudsey St Lawrence opened with 113 all out.

Steve Watts (4-22) and Richie Lamb (3-34) were in the wickets for Lawrence, with only Harry Warwick (43) showing defiance with the bat for Townville.

Earlier, Jack Hughes had taken a fine 6-23 for Townville, with Archie Scott (40) in good nick for Lawrence.

Ryan Cooper and James Logan both top-scored with 41 in Farsley’s below-par 131-9 against rock-bottom Methley, for whom captain Grant Soames caught the eye with a stingy 4-19.

Alex Stead (52), Yasir Abbas (47) and Christian Silkstone (47no) batted sturdily to help Lightcliffe reach 224-5 against Wrenthorpe before the rain arrived.

In Championship One, Morley struck a confident 235-6 against lowly Scholes ahead of the match being abandoned.

Openers James McNichol (75) and Matt Baxter (56) shared in a cracking stand worth 139.

Gomersal’s Jonathan Boynton fell two runs short of a century in their rain-hit encounter with Pudsey Congs as the Spen side reached 160-9.

Hartshead Moor were left to curse the elements after being left stranded on 38-1 after dismissing Ossett for just 86, ex-Yorkshire man Iain Wardlaw taking 4-30.

Leaders Keighley had second-placed Baildon deep in trouble at 58-8 before the rain intervened.