Reflecting on a typically frustrating rain-lashed Bradford League launch day

New Farnley's 'Steve Bullen watches the ball clear his stumps in a game against Woodlands that was eventually abandoned. PIC: Steve Riding
New Farnley's 'Steve Bullen watches the ball clear his stumps in a game against Woodlands that was eventually abandoned. PIC: Steve Riding
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HANGING HEATON were frustratingly left stymied by the elements against Farsley on a weather-affected opening day of the Bradford Premier League.

The Tewits, ranked as the pre-season title favourites alongside New Farnley, were progressing nicely at 80-1 after 16 overs before the rains came –with opener Nick Connolly left stranded on 35 not out.

Woodlands bowler 'Elliot Richardson makes an unsuccessful appeal at New Farnley. PIC: Steve Riding

Woodlands bowler 'Elliot Richardson makes an unsuccessful appeal at New Farnley. PIC: Steve Riding

Opening, Farsley hobbled to 131-8 at Red Lane, with David Stiff starting the season with aplomb with an excellent 6-37.

The only home player who looked in top order was Ryan Cooper, who scored an impressive 59 – hitting three sixes and five fours.

Meanwhile, Farnley will have been thankful for the weather intervention after struggling to 116-9 against visiting Woodlands – with Chris Brice (5-39) making significant inroads.

In reply, Woodlands were 89-4, with Liam Collins unbeaten on 39, before the elements intervened.

A familier first-day-of-the-season scene as the players head for cover and the covers come on at New Farnley. PIC: Steve Riding

A familier first-day-of-the-season scene as the players head for cover and the covers come on at New Farnley. PIC: Steve Riding

Alex Lilley took 4-30 for Farnley.

A ball was not bowled in the game between Pudsey St Lawrence and Methley at Tofts Road.

Cleckheaton were left at 36-1 after Townville opened with 184-9, with Andrew Deegan taking 5-35 for the Moorenders.

Wrenthorpe reached six without reply in their encounter with fellow promoted side Undercliffe, who had opened with 138.

James Glynn took 3-33 for Wrens.

A flying start saw Jack Hartley take an excellent 5-50, well backed by new-ball partner Bailey Wightman, who took 3-63 as Bradford and Bingley dismissed Lightcliffe for 179.

Matthew Duce took six catches for B&B.

In reply, Lightcliffe were struggling at 68-6, only for a partnership of 85 between new captain Ian Philliskirk (50) and Yassir Abbas (40) to inspire a fair recovery.

B&B reached 26 in reply before the rains unfortunately came.

The second tier was also ravaged by the weather, but sides fared better on Sunday with a full programme of games in Championship One.

Morley are the early pacesetters after seamer Matthew Dowse produced a marvellous 8-20 as the Scatcherd Lane outfit blitzed Wakefield St Michael’s for just 50 en route to a 10-wicket romp.

Captain Matthew Baxter then hit 40 not out to see Morley over the line at a canter.

Gomersal are just two points behind Morley after a 66-run victory over Ossett.

Opening, the Oxford Road outfit made 179, with Liam Thomas top scoring with an unbeaten 44.

Batting second, Ossett were all out for 113, with Richard Wear (4-12), Paul Wooley (3-19) and Chris Rhodes (3-40) in the wickets – Joe Finnigan (36) top scoring, having earlier taken 4-34.

A virtuoso showing from newcomer Yasir Ali (5-26 and 95) saw Pudsey Congs beat East Bierley by three wickets.

A fine unbeaten 103 from Sami Ullah helped Batley prevail by two wickets against Baildon.

Hartshead Moor disappointingly lost out by eight wickets to promoted Keighley.

Saturday had seen five second-tier matches abandoned early in the second innings and a single ball not bowled in one game.