Gomersal 146-9

Keighley 150-4

KEIGHLEY celebrated their first home game of the season in the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League Championship One with a win against established Championship side Gomersal to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Gomersal captain and former Keighley player Richard Wear won the toss and elected to bat.

A steady start saw the Gomersal openers put on 27 for the first wicket until Jamie Wilmshurst (1-40) had Michael Hutchins trapped for five.

But fellow opener Liam Fletcher continued to push the score on until he was bowled by James Rogers (1-28) leaving the away team at 57-2.

All this dedicated work started to crumble, though, as skipper Paul Quinlan and overseas signing Alex Antoine tore through the Gomersal middle and lower order.

Despite a valiant rear-guard effort from Jonathan Boynton, who crashed 75 not out batting with the tail, the away team eventually succumbed on 146.

The ever-impressive Quinlan finished with 3-37, while Antoine finished with best of the day with 3-33.

Keighley’s previous two victories this season were forged from patient batting replies and so it proved again.

Despite the early loss of usual steady opening performer Luke Chapman for four, the Keighley batsmen carefully ground the runs out with keeper Adam Smith and the ever-improving Louis Horsfield both scoring 21.

However, the stage was set for Antoine, who has settled so well into the Keighley set-up since his arrival from St Lucia, to smash a fabulous 60 off just 61 deliveries including three maximums.

His efforts were followed up with not outs from vice-captain Max Davidson (22) and Johnny Wilkinson (14), which saw the Lawkholme Laners over the line by six wickets.

The win sees Keighley top of the Championship table; however, skipper Quinlan is not getting carried away and admits his side have much more to prove in what will be a very challenging season.

They travel to second-placed Morley this Saturday for what will be their toughest challenge yet.

Meanwhile, Keighley’s second string made the reverse journey to Gomersal last weekend with a much-weakened side and had to include four third-team players to make up the ranks.

Skipper Alex Towler won the toss and invited the home team to bat first on a wet wicket.

Veteran home skipper Matthew Barnes opened the batting decided to attack the Keighley opening bowlers early on and quickly compiled a smart 51 off just 35 deliveries.

However; he was eclipsed by young starlet Lewis Edmond, who carefully constructed a fabulous 100 not out as the home team posted a challenging 231-6 in their allotted 45 overs.

Pick of the Keighley bowlers was skipper Towler, taking 4-58 in challenging bowling conditions.

Despite the tall order ahead of them, Keighley started brightly, thanks in the main to vice-captain Jack Beetham, whose brilliant 80 nearly swung the advantage to the away team.

Owen Narey chipped in with a useful 26, but Keighley continued to lose wickets and once Beetham was out the away team eventually capitulated for 172, 59 runs short of victory.

The seconds hope for a quick turnaround in fortunes this coming weekend when they host Northowram.