Words by Jamie Harrison, media secretary, Huddersfield Cricket League: Pictures from Thongsbridge v Golcar by Sean Doyle

Champions Hoylandswaine were dealt a bombshell by newly-promoted Mirfield Parish Cavaliers on a remarkable afternoon of Premiership Cricket; where three title hopefuls all suffered damaging defeats.

Moorlands, buoyed by their previous week’s opening day victory, were left frustrated by a stubborn rearguard action by Honley’s Charlie Jakeman.

Shepley came unstuck away at Broad Oak after superb slow bowling by Dan Taylor. Elsewhere two more teams – Delph & Dobcross and Barkisland – opened their accounts for the season whereas Armitage Bridge and Thongsbridge made it two wins from two to lead the table in its infancy.

Champions Face The Sharp End Of Parish Revival

Nazar Hussain enjoyed match-winning day with bat and ball as Parish rocked the champions.

Any notion of Mirfield Parish Cavaliers being in the Premiership to make up the numbers will be swiftly recalculated following Hoylandswaine’s humbling defeat at Parish’s self-titled ‘pig pen’ home.

Dan Broadbent and Nick Sharp put together an incredible performance after what looked on paper to be a routine chase for visiting Swaine, rapidly unravelled in a 20-run defeat.

The home team’s industrial 185-7 first innings total was underpinned by 47 from dependable overseas man Nazar Hussain but was topped up by Jonathan Hellings (34), Nick Sharp (22) and skipper Dan Broadbent (29).

Swaine openers Muhammad Azharullah (2-39) and Adnan Ghani (3-31) seemed on their mettle but the visitors were below their usual high standards elsewhere with the ball as the home side were allowed to put a defendable total on the board.

Despite the return of Leicestershire’s Arron Lilley who scored a typically fluent 70, the rest of the Swaine’s distinguished batting lineup were kept in check by a tenacious bowling performance by Sharp (3-40) and Broadbent (3-45). Hussain (2-34) first set the tone by removing destructive opener Chris Holliday on the fourth ball of the reply but Swaine were guilty of squandering victory by perishing from 118-4 to 165ao. Ben Potter (32no) making a return to his club following a year away at Shepley was ultimately helpless to avoid the collapse.

Thongsbridge v Golcar by Sean Doyle

Jakeman’s Heroics For Honley Hinder Moorlands 

The dogged efforts of Charlie Jakeman with the bat secured a hard-fought win away at Moorlands. Charlie Jakeman earned Honley a brilliant one-wicket victory away at much-fancied Moorlands in a topsy-turvy affair as the visitors made it two narrow wins from their opening two matches.

Youngster Jakeman emerged to forge his own name from a successful line of his renowned cricketing family by registering his highest ever first team total that eventually proved to be crucial when helping Honley sneak to an outstanding victory.

Earlier in the day, Moorlands assembled a workmanlike first innings total of 178-6 as five batsmen made decent contributions. New signing James Rawlingson from Lancashire League side Walsden (26) put in a measured performance in contrast to another new face, Nadim Hussain (34), who pushed the score along.

Chris Stott (39), Eddie Walmsley (28) and James Stansfield (23) all contributed with Honley bowlers Eddie Kaye (2-23) and Sam Denton (2-55) keeping tabs on their hosts. Had it not been a half-century from Honley’s Simon Kelly (50) the visitors would have had no base to launch their bid for victory from.

Captain Timmy Taylor (22) continued his teammate’s good work before Stansfield (3-52) and Siraj Sajid (4-20) began to assert control. Honley desperately required someone to hold firm with wickets slipping away and Jakeman (39no) obliged by teaming up with Denton (10) before hitting a three in the penultimate over to squeeze over the line on 179-9.

Shepley Hampered By Stoic Spin Display Performance At Oak

Dan Taylor’s right arm spin was too much of a match for Shepley as they fell to a third consecutive defeat at Broad Oak

Shepley’s title credentials were harmed as they slumped to their second consecutive league defeat away at a revitalised Broad Oak who themselves bounced back from a first day defeat.

Opener Dom Finn (55) and skipper Charlie Roebuck (66) both scored notable half-centuries as they set Shepley a challenging 186-3 batting first. Shepley’s bowlers had contrasting afternoons as Jamal Nasir (1.42 runs an over) and Numan Akbar (6.67 runs an over) remained wicketless.

The away side were in a promising position at 115-2 thanks to the efforts of Luke Patel (25) and main man Greg Wood (63) before Oak turned the tide despite the blow of Alex Slack pulling up with an injury mid-over. Dan Taylor is always a handful, particularly on home soil and he turned the screw after Jack Hargreaves (2-52) removed Wood.

Despite the efforts of the experienced Max Joice (22), Taylor (4-38) dismissed him and then ran through the remaining batsman to leave the visitors short by 26 runs on 160ao.

Thongsbridge Deny Golcar To Remain Unbeaten  

Something had to give at Miry Lane as Thongsbridge emerged victorious to condemn Golcar to their first defeat thanks to a half-century from opener Rory France. 

The hosts were hampered by the loss of Ben Raven-Hill after the prolific opening batsman sat out the match with his second child due imminently.

It wasn’t to cost them as France underpinned a winning performance by the hosts who patiently pursued Golcar’s 198ao total. You could argue that the visitors were wasteful when batting first as no less than seven batsmen got themselves into double figures before departing back to the sidelines.

Craig Ruscoe (48) and skipper Jack McNamara (26) top scored but were kept in check by persistent bowling from Zafar Iqbal (2-39), Ben Balmforth (2-59) and finally Ben Howitt (3-3) taking three wickets in eight balls as Golcar failed to bat out their overs.

The hosts were indebted to the hard work of France (56) and Harry Franklin (31). Probing Golcar bowling by Steve Whitwam (2-49) and Jack McNamara (2-48) couldn’t ruffle Thongsbridge’s feathers as first Balmforth (29) and then Tom Raven-Hill (26) and captain Alex Kemp (29) guided them home with seven balls remaining.

Hussain Back To His Best As Delph Scupper Scholes

Mosun Hussain’s first ton of the season set Delph up for a first win of the season at Scholes. Hussain was back to his clinical best as his classy century was key to a mature Delph performance to get their season off and running at Chapelgate.

Xander Selby’s young visitors showed an abundance of promise as they closed Scholes out thanks to an accomplished showing. Opener Hussain (106) scored his ninth hundred in a virtually chanceless 129-ball innings that contained 12 fours and 3 sixes. His efforts required support to put a challenging total on the board and Harry Partington obliged by adding a pleasing-on-the-eye 25 before holing out which gave youngster Zak Pemberton a base to add 20 quick runs off just 6 balls at the death to total 190-6.

Both teams were short on experience, not least Scholes who also had to plug holes with second-team players. Openers Nico Georgiou-Nicola (46) and Yaasir Imtiaz (20) kept the game held in the balance as they put on 53 runs for the first wicket.

However, 18-year old skipper Xander Selby marshalled his bowlers expertly. His brother, Lucas Selby (2-21), was introduced and helped swing the match dramatically by removing Tom Brook for a first ball duck with his sharp seam bowling as Scholes lost three important wickets within eight balls.

Nathan Jones (3-41) blunted Scholes by taking out both openers along with captain Brad Birkhead (11) which set the stage for left-arm off-spinner Selby (2-23) and Umer Yaqoob (2-35) to ruthlessly eliminate the tail as Scholes stuttered to 152ao.

Thongsbridge v Golcar by Sean Doyle

Barkisland Bounce Back To Squeeze Out Slaithwaite

Alex Walker’s battling 43 wasn’t enough for Slaithwaite to get off the mark at Barkisland. Slaithwaite put in a heartening performance away at Barkisland but it didn’t earn them their first Premiership win as Barkisland gave a stubborn showing with the bat to ease to their first victory instead.

Points are valuable for both teams, even at this early stage and Slaithwaite were left frustrated to return potless despite their efforts. New signing Raheel Ahmed (72) from Wrenthorpe distinguished himself opening the batting but Benn Thornton’s visitors needed to rebuild as they lost four wickets for 12 runs.

Alex Walker (43) reinforced things along with Sohail Butt as Slaithwaite batted through to set 199-9 with Adam Scott (3-53) and Cameron Van Rensburg (3-42) sharing the wickets for the hosts.

Barkisland, in the absence of batsman Luke Bridges, recovered themselves from a fairly precarious 34-3 as Slaithwaite’s former Honley bowler Tommy Woodhead (3-56) took out the opening three batsmen. Seth Oddy (39) and Jack Finch (31) stabilised the ship before Van Rensburg (38no) and fifty from young wicketkeeper Jasper Male (51no) claimed a welcome home win to frustrate the visitors by replying with 200-5 and three overs to play.

Armitage Bridge Slay Kirkburton At Riley Lane

Alex Blagborough top scored for Armitage Bridge as they made it two wins from two at Kirkburton. An accomplished day with the bat by Armitage Bridge denied Kirkburton as they were left with two much to do following the visitors’ earlier efforts batting first.

A half-century by Alex Blagborough (59) and a near-fifty by Chris Dennison (49) set the tempo with consistent opening batsman Jaycub Curtling (32) laying a strong platform.

Five more Bridge batsmen got into double-figures with Andy Gledhill (18) leading the pack as the hosts toiled with the ball with Tom Burkinshaw (3-59) faring best as the visitors totalled 226-8. Jonny Butterfield’s fifty was as good as it got for the home team as they were dismissed for around 170 in reply with Jack Hinchliffe (5-46) taking the plaudits for the visitors.

READ MORE: Look back at the Huddersfield Cricket League’s opening day results