By Jamie Harrison
The champagne flowed at the Memorial Park as Moorlands, new Premiership champions, destroyed Barkisland to inflict revenge on the only team to defeat them in the league this season.
Thongsbridge’s cursed season took on a new dimension after they crashed to defeat at Mirfield Parish to confirm their relegation. Brilliant centuries were scored at Scholes by Benji Birkhead and Hoylandswaine by Asif Iqbal to lift their teams to victory and Kirkburton crushed a waning Skelmanthorpe whose season looks to be petering out. Shepley succumbed to their fourth straight loss at Almondbury Wesleyans who delved deep to leapfrog them in the table.
Moorlands v Barkisland
Marcus Walmsley capped a brilliant first season for Moorlands with a glorious century as they marked their first match since being officially crowned champions with a 203-run demolition of Barkisland.
The former Methley man played the entire 50 overs to finish 129no, an epic 159-ball watch which contained 20 fours. His lengthy stay witnessed a fluent 40 from Moorlands’ top run scorer Shoukat Ali (only three runs ahead of Walmsley) and 67 from Siraj Sajid in his final match before relocating to London.
Their 315-6 wasn’t likely to be tested, particularly with the wealth of bowling talent Eddie Walmsley has at his disposal. Nadim Hussain’s 4-36 took him over the 50 wicket mark and Sajid balanced out his batting by taking 4-18 with the ball.
Matty Weston scored virtually half of Barkisland’s 112ao by making 57 in the reply. The style of victory here – Moorlands’ 16th in total – has been the hallmark of a memorable season for all concerned with hefty totals and overwhelming bowling being their formula for success.
Mirfield Parish Cavaliers v Thongsbridge
Relegation was finalised for Thongsbridge whose wretched season took another turn for the worst as Mirfield Parish Cavaliers, bottom for most of the campaign, inflicted defeat on them to climb off the bottom.
The ten point gap before play meant two victories and assistance from elsewhere was required but Thongsbridge must now seek inspiration from two teams who went down last season, with Delph and Golcar both achieving promotion at the first time of asking.
The early return to South Africa by Jack Lees left them short-handed and Parish bowler Brayden Brehaut took advantage of weaknesses at the top of the order to claim 3-40.
Tom Raven-Hill smashed 43 to finish as the visitors’ top scorer, but their 204ao felt light at Parish’s compact ‘Pig Pen’. An excellent – and brutal – 98 from just 48 balls by opener Dave Bolt saw 14 sixes fly beyond the ropes to seize the initiative and Dan Broadbent’s 62 made sure of a welcome Parish victory. A 208-5 reply, their second success on the spin, means Parish are ending the season in the right way.
Scholes v Honley
Scholes captain Benji Birkhead flayed Honley with a destructive batting display at Chapelgate. The former Yorkshire man crashed 136 from 147 balls, an innings that contained 15 fours and 4 sixes and was the last man out for the home side.
Overseas man Mitchell Slattery scored 46 to take his debut season tally to over 800 as Scholes rounded on 232ao. Lewis Kenworthy claimed 4-51 and Simon Kelly’s slow deliveries yielded 5-67 for the visitors who almost sneaked home in a compelling chase.
Honley stalwart Kelly scored 33 and Eddie Wilson’s excellent end to the season continued with 71. Scholes managed to snare two run outs as Honley chased runs that weren’t there and the visitors ultimately finished six runs short on 226ao.
Hoylandswaine v Broad Oak
A run-a-ball 101 from reliable opening batsman Asif Iqbal saw Hoylandswaine bounce back with a dominating performance at home to Broad Oak. The visitors had set a testing 242-8 from a 40 over innings as Dom Finn (39), Connor Dimech (39) and Dan Rushworth (34) all contributed similar scores.
Sean Mee’s 72 gave Oak impetus with spinner Max Morley bagging 5-52 for Swaine. However Broad Oak were served a harsh reminder of the class of their opposition as Iqbal’s calm unbeaten century reinforced Hoylandswaine’s reply. Pragam Sharma added a breezy 77 as Hoylandswaine reached 243-3 with six overs remaining.
Skelmanthorpe v Kirkburton
Skelmanthorpe’s feeble end to a strong season was made worse by neighbours Kirkburton who dismantled their hosts which were forced to field semi-retired cricketers and youngsters due to the absence of some of their regular players.
Jack Kelly made 61 for Burton which gave room for Saif Bhojani (40) and Sri Lankan Roscoe Tahttil who made most of the limelight with an aggressive 83. Captain Jonny Butterfield’s eloquent 50 rounded off a fine first innings total of 296-5 with South African Kian Schwartz, elevated to opening the bowling, claiming 4-84.
Kai Greig’s 54 was a rare highlight on a disappointing day for Skelmanthorpe who may even lose grip of second place with the gap to third placed Kirkburton now just two points after this loss. Andrew Smith and John Keeling equally shared eight wickets as Skelmanthorpe were dismissed for 152.
Shepley v Almondbury Wesleyans
Former Denby skipper Tom Sanders’ best return for new club Shepley was unable to prevent them from sliding to their fourth successive defeat at Almondbury Wesleyans who moved above them in the table.
Sanders carved a mature 61 but meek upper order batting let him down as the visitors stuttered to 76-6. Ozzie Davidson’s 38 and Jake Lynn scored 29 to put up a healthier first innings total of 202ao but the hosts were up to the challenge.
Jack Atkinson picked up 4-42 to finish as the Wesleyans’ most effective bowler with Chris Abbey taking 3-61. Skipper Bryn Jenkins saw his team subside to 21-3 after Craig Glover made inroads for Shepley to finish with 3-31.
Matt Schubert’s 45 arrested the slide and the lower order pulled the Wesleyans through in an ebb and flow tussle. Jenkins’ stoic 35no ensured another victory for Wesleyans and denied Shepley captain Danny Glover a welcome victory as their opponents responded with 204-8.