Armitage Bridge became the second club to be relegated from the Huddersfield Cricket League Premiership after they had rivals Broad Oak on the ropes at 10-4.
Bridge let slip a golden opportunity and slumped to defeat and relegation, joining Delph & Dobcross in ending their top flight stay.
Back-to-back wins on a double weekend left Golcar tied on 68 points with Almondbury Wesleyans with a tense final matchday ahead. Skelmanthorpe aren’t safe yet and still have work to do.
HERE ARE THE SUNDAY RESULTS
Armitage Bridge v Broad Oak
Life at the bottom can be cruel and Armitage Bridge must face the harsh reality of relegation after they let a golden opportunity to win slip from their grasp in a home match controlled by the bowlers. Broad Oak’s safety was assured following a victory, laced with unease, after they recovered sufficiently from a near fatal start when choosing to bat first.
Fletcher Coutts (41) reversed his team’s fortunes after they slumped to 10-4 with home bowlers Jack Hinchliffe (2-27) and Maahir Eksteen (2-23) dominating the opening exchanges. When Fletcher was out, the visitors began to subside once again and Oak stalwart Tom McCreadie’s stubborn 27no down the order proved invaluable.
Broad Oak’s lowly 121ao ought to have been adequately chased down on another day, but the pressure riding on the result of this match played a big part. The home side endured similar tribulations as they found themselves in early trouble at 11-3. Jaycub Curtling (24) desperately hung around but his departure extinguished any realistic hopes they may have had. Daniel Taylor thrived with 5-31 and Fletcher Coutts helped himself to three wickets and complete a satisfying day as Bridge were run through to finish 71ao.
Golcar v Honley
Steve Whitwam’s brilliant performance for Golcar handed them a shot at safety on the final day, although their rivals Almondbury Wesleyans still have the upper hand.
Second-placed Honley were brushed aside by a hungry home performance with league legend Whitwam applying a gloss finish to the result. The all-rounder took 5-26 and opening bowler Ryan Adams (2-36) to run through Honley’s tepid batting where Charlie Jakeman top scored with a gritty 45. Whitwam then scored a fine 60 to finish the job, with skipper Jack McNamara (30no) guiding his team home on 119-2.
Shepley v Almondbury Wesleyan
Skipper Danny Glover steered his Shepley side to the win which secured their top flight status for next season, but threw Almondbury Wesleyans’ future into doubt.
Shepley put in a commanding display as they forged a 228-7 first innings total that the home side couldn’t match. George Booth (42) Jake Lynn (41) and Oliver Davidson (49) all made vital contributions with the bat to frustrate the home bowlers.
The Wesleyan reply was an unmitigated disaster as they crashed to 29-7 with Danny Glover (3-19) presiding over the carnage. Matt Henshaw (37) and Daniel Moorhouse (34) dug in forlornly, but when they were both picked off in short space of one another, Shepley closed off the win as the hosts were bowled out for 117.
Skelmanthorpe v Barkisland
Skelmanthorpe were denied a victory which would nail down their place in the Premiership next season as Barkisland squeezed them out in a thrilling encounter. Several visiting batsmen built scores on the way to Barkisland’s 236-9, most notably Luke Bridges (47) and Cameron Van Rensburg (42no). Syed Rizvi took 3-37 for Skelmanthorpe who would curse their lack of ruthlessness by squandering a solid start to their reply.
Jack Newby (71) and Paul Cummins (68) put on 147 for the first wicket but a dreadful top order wobble knocked them off their stride. Numan Akbar (3-80) removed Matthew Smith (39) at a key moment but with the hosts needing just six to win from Akbar’s final over, they fell just two short of the win with Adam Rammell run out on the last ball to leave Skelmanthorpe 235-8.
Delph & Dobcross v Scholes
Lucas Selby’s enigmatic half-century helped Delph & Dobcross to their second win of the weekend at home to Scholes who chased a lofty total. The youngster hit a fluent 57 which set a platform for others in a match reduced to 30 overs per side. Adnan Ghani (22no) and Luke Hagreaves (30no) finished the innings in bullish mood as Delph set 221-6.
Scholes’ reply centred round Benji Birkhead’s well-made 70 and Josh Ankers hammered a belligerent 48 from 29 balls until he ran out of gas with Scholes restricted to 209-9 in reply. Nayyar Abbas (6-56) enjoyed his best return with the ball for Delph and his second 5+ wicket haul of the weekend.
Hoylandswaine v Kirkburton
Muhammad Azzharullah, Hoylandswaine’s leading wicket-taker returned in devastating fashion at Riley Lane to blast through hosts Kirkburton. The veteran fast bowler claimed 7-37, the eleventh time he’s taken over five wickets in a match this season, as Kirkburton were well beaten. Asif Iqbal (22) made sure of the win as Hoylandswaine replied to ‘Burton’s 71ao with 72-5.
Thongsbridge v Moorlands
Moorlands ended Thongsbridge’s winning streak by coming out on top in a high scoring encounter at Miry Lane. Visitors Moorlands, who had been fighting relegation for much of the season, are enjoying a purple patch of their own and their 289-7 was too much for Thongsbridge’s potent batting on the day.
Shoukat Ali (83), Eddie Walmsley (79) and Nadim Hussain (55) made winning contributions with the bat and the runs continued to flow in the reply. Promising youngster Patrick Armison made a pleasing 40 opening the batting for Thongsbridge and Pragam Sharma was out for 38.
Kai Greig’s half century kept the home side in the hunt but they eventually ran out of track on 244ao with Eddie Walmsley and James Stanfield both claiming three wickets apiece for Moorlands.
HERE ARE SATURDAY’S MATCHES
Broad Oak v Golcar
Ryan Adams celebrated a crucial all-round performance with a vital win for Golcar away at Colne Valley neighbours Broad Oak. A tetchy, low-scoring affair saw young Australian Adams, opening the batting and reach 41 before a Broad Oak fightback put them back in control.
Spinners Dan Taylor (3-53) and Ben Lowden (5-19) had a firm grip on the visitors who were bowled out for a benign-looking 122. However Oak, well in control on 63-3, suffered a catastrophic collapse to let the gate open for Golcar who battled hard to regain advantage.
Adams claimed 4-16 and Steve Whitwam enjoyed an equally impressive return of 4-24 as self-doubt started to creep through Oak’s batting. Opener Dom Finn hung around gamely and was the final wicket to fall on 46, bowled by Adams, but Broad Oak fell agonisingly short of a second bonus point on 106ao.
Armitage Bridge v Kirkburton
Chris Dennison and Jaycub Curtling helped haul Armitage Bridge to victory at home to Kirkburton.
Dennison (49) and Curtling (48) both just missed out on half-centuries. Alex Blagborough also chipped in with 29 as Bridge set 206-9 from a reduced 40 overs match. ‘Burton openers Andrew Smith and Jonny Butterfield both hit thirties as the visitors tentatively embarked on the chase but they were kept in check by skipper Curtling who took 3-47. Dennison (2-2) was unleashed to help mop up the tail as Kirkburton were dismissed for 165.
Moorlands v Almondbury Wesleyan
Nadim Hussain took six wickets to snub Almondbury Wesleyan who may yet again go down on a record points tally after their loss away at Moorlands.
Wesleyans went down on 64 points in 2019 and two teams will go down this season on an even loftier total with Bryn Jenkins’ side hoping they’re not one of them.
Shoukat Ali’s 59 was the bedrock of Moorlands’ 190ao, with included Eddie Walmsley’s 34 and Declan Jackson’s 24. The visitors’ opener Matthew West batted through the whole innings for 55no but he was unable to prevent his team from suffering a damaging loss.
Hussain (6-22) was a persistent thorn as Moorlands asserted control and the visitors were eventually castled for 147, albeit gaining a potentially precious bonus point. They have two home matches left and one win will suffice.
Hoylandswaine v Delph & Dobcross
T20 specialists Delph & Dobcross made a mockery of their league placings by dismantling Premiership champions Hoylandswaine.
Delph’s frail batting was unusually robust as they thrived in a shorter 30-over match with overseas man Nayyar Abbas standing out with 96 from 65 balls. Delph’s cause was helped by the absences of Swaine’s deadly opening bowling pair Junaid Khan and Muhammad Azzharullah but they played with freedom having already been relegated the week before.
The visitors reached a meaty 221-6 but with Hoylandswaine fresh from a huge total the week before, needed to be on their guard in the reply.
Asif Iqbal was removed on 49 and crucially, dangerous former Delph player Arron Lilley was dismissed for just 2. Abbas (5-38) then ran through the middle order to bowl out Hoylandswaine for 147 and earn Delph a morale-boosting victory.
Barkisland v Thongsbridge
A 265-run second wicket partnership saw rampant visitors Thongsbridge cruise to victory at Barkisland and maintained their impressive end-of-season form.
Ben Raven-Hill and Pragam Sharma both hammered colossal centuries in a run-filled match as Thongsbridge set 350-7.
Opening bat Raven-Hill enjoyed his biggest score of the season with 139 from 134 balls (21 fours, 2 sixes) and Sharma, a clear candidate for overseas and all-rounder of the season, hit his biggest score of 154 to close in on 1,000 league runs for the season.
His 138-ball innings contained 24 fours and 3 sixes to dominate the Barkisland bowlers. Eight Thongsbridge bowlers earned a run out as Barkisland clawed back some respectability.
Current skipper Ben Heritage made 70no and next season’s captain Jake Finch (44) as Barkisland replied with 283-9.
Scholes v Skelmanthorpe
Skelmanthorpe edged closer to safety with a win at Scholes. Yaasir Imtiaz top scored for the home side with 40 but Scholes’ 102ao was underwhelming as Skelmanthorpe bowlers Dev Pradhan (5-25) and Paul Cummins (4-26) controlled the innings.
The visitors dramatically subsided from 32-1 to 70-8 thanks to Imtiaz’s 6-34 as Scholes threw the match back into the balance despite Jack Newby’s 31. Adam Rammell (16no) and Sam Tyas (24no) held their nerve to land a precious win.
Honley v Shepley
The Honley top four batsmen all made hay to put away visitors Shepley at Far End Lane.
Simon Kelly (51) and Lewis Evans (91) put on 79 runs for the first wicket, piled on by Timmy Taylor’s 39 and Eddie Wilson’s 42.
Danny Glover’s five wickets for Shepley made little impression on the run flow as Honley set a large 253ao. Honley’s Jeremy Hackett (3-22) and Lewis Kenworthy (3-35) shared six wickets as Shepley were easily defeated, eventually being dismissed for just 83.