KEIGHLEY’S first XI entertained Bankfoot on a glorious first weekend of the Bradford Premier League Championship Division down at sunny Lawkholme, but fell to a heavy 98-run defeat.

After a long winter and Covid-affected preparations, Keighley fielded a team minus three of its original intended starting 11, with the absence of overseas starlet Muhammed Ul-Haq keenly felt.

Keighley skipper Max Davidson won the toss and invited the opposition to bat first on a greenish tinged strip that might have offered something for the bowlers early on.

Sadly, despite beating the outside edge several times, Keighley’s opening bowlers could not get the early breakthroughs that they needed.

Bankfoot’s opening pair of James Lee (42) and Josh Marsden (49) gave the away team a solid foundation, putting on 84 for the first wicket.

This paved the way for Bankfoot’s middle order to play their shots with freedom, with Hamzah Iqbal (32) and Usman Shakir (57 not out from 49 deliveries) cashing in.

Bankfoot ended their innings on 240-8 after 50 overs.

The only Keighley bowler that seemed to have an impact was leg spinner James Massheder, who ended with figures of 4-40.

Keighley’s reply never really got going and even though six of the top seven made double figures, wickets fell at regular intervals.

Despite valiant knocks from vice-captain Louis Horsfield (47) and Davidson (27), Keighley crumbled to 142 all out, with Bankfoot’s spinner Seif Hussain taking an incredible 7-32.

Given some minor tweaks and further training, the team look forward to doing better this coming weekend, when they travel to face Pudsey Congs.

Keighley's second team also slid to defeat at Farsley.

They batted first, but found opening bowler Richard Sutcliffe in a mean mood.

He finished with figures of 6-12 to tear through the Keighley batting line up.

They could only manage 82-8 from their 45 overs, as Harry Barker top scored with 20 not out.

With Barker then taking 5-27 in Farsley's reply, they looked set for defeat at 48-7.

But the erstwhile Sutcliffe saved his team with a rapid 30 not out (being dropped twice in the process) to get the home side over the line by three wickets.

Finally, down in Division Three of the Premier League, new boys Crossflatts suffered a 24-run defeat at Crossbank Methodists in their opening game.

Replying to the home side’s score of 131, Crossflatts were bowled out for 107 as Imran Patel (5-51) and Mohammad Hassan (3-15) struck crucial blows.

The high spot for the newcomers was the performance of Mohammad Shahnawaz (4-27), while young Rizwan Abid (35) top scored for Crossbank.