Season over for Yorkshire Academy but Woodlands’ Muhammad Bilal shows all-round quality

YORKSHIRE’S Academy team will play no more matches this season in Yorkshire Premier League North.

By William Marshall
Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 12:09 pm
LEADING MAN: Muhammad Bilal recovered from injury to take 6-19 off 12 overs as Woodlands overcame Pudsey St Lawrence. Picture: Steve Riding.
LEADING MAN: Muhammad Bilal recovered from injury to take 6-19 off 12 overs as Woodlands overcame Pudsey St Lawrence. Picture: Steve Riding.

Unable to play six of their last eight games in the league, including Saturday’s fixture at Sheriff Hutton Bridge, due to complications arising from the pandemic, the Academy have found it increasingly difficult to field a representative side due to their players moving between the respective bubbles within Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

The Academy’s results will be expunged from the 2021 table, but the individual performances in the Academy’s matches this season – both for and against – will still count for a player’s record.

As a result of the Academy being taken out of the table, only one team will be relegated.

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RAIN STOPPED PLAY: The covers come on after eight overs and that proved the end of play for the day between Aire Wharfe League rivals Horsforth Hall Park and Follifoot. Picture: Steve Riding.

Struggling Driffield Town were the only winners in the league on a rain-hit Saturday, scoring a healthy 151-4 in a 20-over thrash at home to Clifton Alliance, with captain Sam Drury (67) and Noah Kelly (51) adding 96 for the second wicket.

Drury hit nine fours and two sixes in his 41-ball stay, while Kelly’s innings lasted 55 balls and contained four fours.

Andrew Whaits scored an unbeaten run-a-ball 50 in Clifton’s reply, but they could only total 129-6.

The team with most reason to curse the weather were York, who made 275-7 at home to Dunnington, although Duncan Snell made it a day to remember as his 111 meant that he had scored a century in each of the league’s five full seasons.

His 10th hundred in the league came off 135 balls and included 12 fours and three sixes, and he added 160 for the second wicket with captain Ryan McKendry, who continued his late-season flurry of runs with 74.

The three contenders for the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League Premier Division title all won, but Townville had their nerves tested the most.

Hosts Morley, whose openers Jack Rowett (29) and James McNichol (34) added 69, then lost eight wickets for 50 as they ended up on 132-8 off 44 overs, which was largely down to Jack Hughes taking 5-30 in his 15 overs.

Set a revised target of 137 from 41 overs, Townville went from 41-0 to 47-3 and 82-3 to 89-6 but found the right man for the job in Ritchie Bresnan, who saw them to a four-wicket victory in the 24th over with 37 not out.

Performance of the day, however, came from Woodlands’ Muhammad Bilal, who recovered quickly from the severely swollen left ankle suffered in last weekend’s Heavy Woollen Cup final to take 6-19 to help skittle under-strength Pudsey St Lawrence for 64.

The all-rounder then blasted 54 not out in 14 deliveries as the Bradford club won by 10 wickets, reaching their target in just 3.4 overs.

Half of the balls that Bilal faced disappeared for six, and he also hit two fours as Woodlands took the weather out of the equation.

New Farnley, who are at Townville next Saturday, won by six wickets at Batley after dismissing the home side for 82, with Alex Lilley taking 5-39 and Mark Lawson 3-22.

Lee Goddard (24) and Steve Bullen (33) completed a successful chase in the 19th over.

Only one other match in the four first-team divisions was completed.

Treeton were the only winners in the Yorkshire Southern Premier League, picking a good day to face already-relegated Wickersley Old Village.

The visitors, sent in, could only muster 92 as Will Street took 5-20 before Stephen Foster led the hosts to a nine-wicket with 50 not out.

In the Huddersfield League Premiership, Golcar were the only victors, racking up 162-5 in their 20 overs at Mirfield Parish Cavaliers, buoyed by Steven Whitwam (64) and wicketkeeper Muhammad Ali (47).

The strugglers were then restricted to 76-4, with Jack McNamara taking 2-14.

A heavy storm in early afternoon meant that no matches were completed in the Airedale & Wharfedale top flight.