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Club histories
Updated: Monday, December 19, 2016 22:48
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BROOK WALTON
 
by Reg Nelson

 

 

The origin of the name Brook Walton can be explained by their current location in the village of Walton, and their future move to a new ground nearby on the old Brook Farm site.

Brook-Walton CC, who formed in 2013, was the result of an ambitious project by former Streethouse and Wrenthorpe cricketer Richard Vigars. Helped in no small measure by Chairman Allan Briggs who, on the 8th July 2013, officially put in the new club’s application to join the Pontefract and District Cricket league.

Vigars had been part of the Streethouse halcyon days as skipper as they dominated the top division’s title for many years, and also reached the National Village Cup Final at Lords. He was a prolific cricketer who transferred to Wrenthorpe in 2014.

Playing on the old Wakefield City CC Ground at Sandal Hall Close, Brook Walton took the field for the first time in competitive cricket on 19th April 2014. They were away to Brodsworth Main in the 3rd Division of the Pontefract & District Cricket League.  

Amongst their ranks were two players with distinguished records who would turn out to be a major influence. The veteran Kevin Watson, who had been one of the most successful seamers in the Central Yorkshire League, and had also, figured in the successful Wrenthorpe era, was recruited.

He had a reputation for spells of great accuracy and had the ability to wear the batsmen down. Another valuable acquisition was former Northants seamer Richard Wild, who also had a spell at Wrenthorpe. He played one First Class game in 1996 against Oxford University, taking 1-62.

However, it was skipper Vigars who shone on the club’s league debut fixture taking 4 wickets for 16 runs as his team won comfortably by 5 wickets.

The line-up that historic day was: Richard Vigars (Capt), Gary Proudley, Richard Wild, Stephen Batty, Liam Geddis, Jordan Harvey, Oliver Lightfoot, Philip Howell, Allan Briggs, Robert Williams, Kevin Watson.

It was clear that the club paid no heed to steady consolidation as they were front runners for most of the season.Vigars excelled with that bat scoring 533 runs at 59.11, while Watson strangled most of the opposition batsmen with a season’s analysis of 49 wickets at 5.61.

Performers of such calibre dominated the 3rd division and it was little surprise that the title was won with a healthy margin of 17 points on Glasshoughton.

The momentum was carried forward into the second season as Brook Walton’s class told again in the higher 2nd division. This time their main rivals for the title were Sandal, but they prevailed by the margin of 19 points. Vigars again succeeded with the bat w ith 688 runs at 47.71, but he was more than matched on this occasion by Mark Robinson who scored 767 runs at 47.94.

Watson was again the best bowler with 46 wickets at 9.76 with a best return of 6-9. Alwyn Dyke supported him well with 48 wickets at 12.81.2nd August 2015 was a special day for Brook Walton as they made their first ever appearance in the Dyson & Skidmore Trophy final.

The task in hand was to be as difficult as it possibly could be, as, despite beating previous cup winners Ackworth and Streethouse in the quarter and semi finals respectively, waiting in the final were the Pontefract Champions and current Cup holders South Kirkby CC, having completed a famous double the previous season.

On a difficult Ackworth wicket with a slow outfield, Brook made a steady start and at 47-0 was making good progress. However, wickets began to fall and despite grinding innings by Robinson (25 runs) and Vigars (25 runs) they had to settle for a modest 145.

Seamers Max Mumford and Richard Wild put Kirby back on their heels at 23-2, but the target was always in reach.  Brook took wickets at regular intervals as the score crept past the 100-mark. Kirby entered the last over from Kevin Watson needing thirteen to win with 8 wickets down.

The pressure was taken off the batting side when a six was hit first ball, but Watson tightened up with a few well executed yorkers, and limited the opposition to 142-9 and took his side to a 3-run victory.This confirmed a unique league & double as Watson took the man of the match award with 3-16 from 8 overs.    

The 2015 Cup-winning line-up was: Richard Vigars (Capt), Gary Proudley, Richard Wild,  Liam Geddis, Jordan Harvey, Oliver Lightfoot, Kevin Watson, Ryan Lethbridge, Alwyn Dyke, Alex Mumford, Mark Robinson.Brook Walton had reached the pinnacle of the Pontefract League when they began the 2016 season in the top division.

There was no doubt that they would seek a treble of title wins, but their greatest opponent was the weather as they endured nine cancellations or abandonments.  They finished in second place nine points behind Sandal with the gods certainly not smiling on them.

Connor Fisher and Jordan Harvey both topped 500-runs despite the weather, with Vigars on 457.Dyke was the most effective bowler with 54 wickets at 14.31, backed by Watson’s 44 wickets at 54. The Dyson & Skidmore Trophy gave them ample consolation as they retained the cup in 2016, beating Ackworth in some comfort by 62 runs.

Batting first, Brook Walton registered a competitive 202-7, before bowling Ackworth out for 140.The two stars were not to be denied again with Vigars top scoring with 68, and Watson taking 4-13 from 13 overs. Dyke was the other effective bowler with 3-35.

There were other cup heroics during the season when they reached the last sixteen of the National Davidstow Village Cup, losing to the eventual winners Sessay. The ambition of Brook Walton was clearly seen when they submitted a resignation from the league in June 2016. They felt their future was in the Bradford Premier League, and it was obvious that their future target would be well above the conference division.

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