Low Moor show their strength in depth

Keighley News: Steve Welch batted through 45 overs to finish on 101 not out for Cullingworth Steve Welch batted through 45 overs to finish on 101 not out for Cullingworth

After a rain-affected start to the season, Low Moor felt their position near the bottom of the Foster's Halifax League Roy Smith First Division was slightly false.

And they backed that up via the depth of their squad, which allowed them to collect all 12 points against Luddendenfoot.

Richard Speight’s men took the field in the afternoon heat but 16-year-old pace bowler Shazaib Waheed chipped away at Foot’s top order, taking 4-31 in a blistering spell.

He was ably supported by man of the match Nick Wood, who took 4-39 before his batting partnership with Andy Croasdell crushed Luddendenfoot.

Wood scored 58 not out and Croasdell 70 not out as Low Moor knocked off the 154 target for the loss of just one wicket.

Oxenhope have moved to the top after a convincing victory over visitors SBCI.

The hosts got the scoreboard moving but lost wickets just as they looked to cash in.

Darren Hopkinson (19), Craig Bartlett (28), Liam Dyson (29) and Lewis Hopkinson (19) all made starts but failed to capitalise.

However, Joe Ousey (38) and  Josh Tetley (72no) produced a match-winning stand before Graham Ellis (21) and Duncan Tetley (20no) put on a final flourish to push the score up to 262 (Tom Wood 4-85).

Then Oxenhope’s trio of fast bowlers – Ben Addison, Dyson and Adam Bailey – each took three wickets each as SBCI were dismissed for just 89, with only Jamie Sykes (19) making any impact.

Third-placed Northowram HT were beaten at home by Outlane, despite piling up a big score, the visitors showing their strength in depth in the batting department to snatch an unlikely win.

Clayton are the only side in the section still seeking a win after they lost at home to Queensbury.

Tom Watson’s unbeaten 82 helped Queensbury to 197-7 and Clayton mustered only 99 in reply, Joel Metcalfe and Amjad Ali picking up three inexpensive wickets each.

Cullingworth beat Denholme Clough by 61 runs in the battle of the early pacesetters in the Terry Wynne Second Division.

Opener Steve Welch batted through the 45 overs for the league newcomers and just made it to three figures, finishing unbeaten on 101 in a total of 206-7.

Graham Rankin had dismissed Clough’s top three by the time there was 31 on the board and a good all-round bowling effort from Cullingworth helped dismiss the visitors for 145, with No 5 Zhaid Yousaf left unbeaten on 44.

Wibsey Park Chapel inflicted further misery on struggling Shelf with a 116-run defeat at Bradford Park Avenue.

Runs from the middle to late order helped Wibsey amass 217-8, and Shelf managed only 101 in reply.

In the Premier Division, the margin of victory was two wickets at Copley, where champions Jer Lane were given their sternest test so far.

That was down mainly to two outstanding performances from Copley players.

Former Bradford League player James Clarke made 97 in the home side’s 195-9, Sam Wilson adding another four wickets to his tally.

Chris Goulden, back from the Huddersfield League, made 26 with the bat and then found form with the ball, dismissing five of Lane’s top eight.

However, Andrew Pinfield stood firm with 82 at the top of the Lane order and his side just gained the upper hand.

Mytholmroyd maintained their impressive start with a seven-wicket home win over useful Thornton.

The visitors took the early honours with a 125-run stand from openers Chris Ramsden (71) and Wayne Cotton (57).

No 3 Nick Hutchinson made an unbeaten 55 but a succession of partners departed to Adie Gawthorpe (4-49) and Thornton had to settle for 227-7.

That proved inadequate as ‘Royd knocked off the runs in 31 overs with another fine knock from Steve Senior, who finished unbeaten on 104.

* In Sunday's Parish Cup, Shelf entertain Low Moor in what turned out to be a tougher game than expected for the visitors, who play a division above.

Low Moor batted first but things didn’t go according to plan as they lost Mark Mills and Richard Payne cheaply to find themselves at 14-2 within four overs.

Carl Harrison, supported by the regular No 11 Martin Jenkins, began to steady the ship and accelerated their score before Harrison fell for 33.

Jenkins reached his first Low Moor half-century with an 11-boundary 53 to take his side to 104-4 before Andy Croasdell (80no) and Bradley Williamson (35) punished the Shelf bowlers in the heat, taking their innings to 269-9.

Shelf were in no mood to hang about and they set off at breakneck speed, with Bill Sugden and Craig Green dispatching a series of full deliveries.

Sugden was in fine form and his knock of 92 was little consolation for Shelf as they struggled to keep the run rate above four per over, ending with 175-6 in a well contested cup tie.

In their first-round Crossley Shield tie, Wibsey Park Chapel visited Premier Division Thornton, who had won all three of their encounters last season.

Wibsey skiper Andy Oldroyd won the toss and invited the home team to bat first on what looked an excellent wicket.

But Wibsey kept things tight for the first ten overs and managed to sneak a couple of early wickets to leave the home team at 14-2.

However, a partnership of 168 saw Thornton exert some authority on the game before some brutal late hitting saw them extend their total to what looked like a daunting 322-5 from their 45 overs.

Wibsey let themselves down in the field on too many occasions but both Ben King (118) and Chris Ransom (85no) batted very well.

Park Chapel's reply did not get off to the best of starts as they slipped to 35-3, which became 80-4 when Waqar Ilyas was caught on the bounday for 43.

What happened next was nothing short of astonishing as Andrew Preston joined Daniel Gill at the crease.

They put on 232 for the fifth wicket with controlled boundary-hitting very rarely seen at this level.

Both batsmen appeared to be hitting four and sixes at will as they smashed whatever Thornton could throw at them to all parts of the ground.

Gill went on to hit the winning runs (fittingly a six ack over the bowler's head) to finish on a career- best 155 not out, and it was his first century, whilst Preston fell for 94 when only 11 more were needed for victory.

A shell-shocked Thornton could only watch as a game they surely felt they had in the bag was ripped away from them, the winning runs coming with a full nine overs to spare.

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