Author: Reg Nelson
The fourth club featured in the Club in Winter season is Championship One outfit East Bierley who have recruited a new team under new skipper Adam Brown (pictured above). The side had a tempestuous 2019 season when they were competitive for most of the season, but had a serious brush with relegation at the end.
Both Bierley’s captains, Adam Brown (1stXI) and Ross Monaghan (2ndXI), are working valiantly to bring the good times back to South View Road.
Monaghan admits that last year was an under-par season. He said: “All at East Bierley will agree 2019 was a disappointing year on the cricket front. After being relegated the previous year we wanted to be a team who competed in our first year in Championship One. We unfortunately didn’t show our true potential, and it was only a win over Keighley in the final match of the season which secured our status in this division for another year.
“Off the field, following the refurbishment of the club in October 2018, East Bierley is gradually on the up. We have an aspiring committee keen on stabilising the club and seeing it grow over the foreseeable future.
“We have a rapidly-increasing junior section which has seen us grow from `no juniors’ training on a Monday evening to over 50 on a regular basis. Speaking on behalf of the club, we are eternally grateful to a fantastic group of volunteers who put in a lot of time on training nights and match days. As secnd team captain I am hopeful we will soon start seeing some talented juniors making their way into senior cricket at East Bierley”.
Ross Monaghan bowling during last season's Priestley Cup final against New Farnley Picture: Ray Spencer
Monaghan concludes: “Ray Davis (our Cricket Chairman) works tirelessly off the field and has done so for many years. Following the season’s end, the opportunity came to speak to Adam Brown, who was recommended to the club. We are delighted to bring Adam to the club, and we are really looking forward to the impact he will bring on the field and off it too.”
Brown, who Bierley have signed from Spen Victoria, acknowledges the progress the club has made in recent times, “Following significant investment off the pitch with the recent club refurbishment, proposed tea room extension and artificial net refurbishment following a successful fundraising campaign in 2019, we think this year is going to be an exciting time for all involved with East Bierley.
“It is a great time to come on board for the project Ray (chairman) is building; the junior section is flourishing, the 2ndX1 has a strong nucleus of players who made it to the Priestley Shield final last year. Ray has asked me to make a fresh start with the 1st XI, and try and turn the fortunes of the previous couple of years.”
Brown is pleased with the players he has been able to recruit for the club, “We have made a number of exciting signings ahead of the season. We have signed top-order batsman Matthew West who is returning to the Bradford League following his fruitful stint in the Drakes Huddersfield League Premiership. In addition, we have an overseas Australian batsman in Timothy Hales who is currently averaging over 40 in the 1st Grade Premier competition in Perth.
“We have signed all-rounder Danny Cross from Hunslet Nelson, who has previous experience in the top division with Scholes, and seamer Alex Midgley from Cleckheaton who represented Yorkshire Under-15s last season”.
To further illustrate the quality of the signings, Brown is delighted to have lured four university cricketers to the club. He said: ”We have got four lads who were integral in Leeds Beckett University’s push to the BUCS national semi-finals last year. They will add some exciting young talent to the side with both bat and ball. Among them is left-arm seamer Jack Hebden who comes in from Honley, after formerly playing for Townville.”
Brown concludes, “We are building a group of players who are eager to work hard and further their game, and in doing so creating a healthy competition for places in both the 1st and 2nd XI. This also augurs well for their contribution to the club’s vibrant social scene in line with the chairman's aim for the coming year.”