NOT even the magic of Duckworth Lewis Stern could conjure a result in the Premier Division as rain proved to be the winner on the opening day of the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League season.
There wasn’t a ball bowled in the game between champions Pudsey St Lawrence and Methley at Tofts Road while the remaining five games were abandoned before the critical 20-over mark that enables DLS to determine the outcome.
It made for a frustrating afternoon but at least there were some fine bowling performances to cut through the gloom.
The best figures came from Hanging Heaton paceman David Stiff. He took 6-37 at Red Lane where his side restricted Farsley to 131-8 in a 29-over contest.
Ryan Cooper hits out for Farsley Picture: Richard Kosmala
Ryan Cooper, above, was the one Farsley batsman to establish himself as he struck three sixes and five fours in an enterprising 59.
Hanging Heaton were progressing nicely and had scored 80-1 from 16 overs when the heavens opened. Opener Nick Connolly was unbeaten on 35 when play was abandoned.
Much-fancied New Farnley looked in danger of defeat when play was finally washed out in their home match with Woodlands.
Their batting faltered against the spin of Chris Brice (5-36) as they stuttered to a disappointing 116-9 in 39 overs.
Liam Collins was going well on 39 not out when Woodlands’ hopes of a first day win were drowned out. Woodlands were 89-4 off 13.5 overs at the premature close with left-armer Alex Lilley (4-30) claiming all the wickets to fall.
Woodlands new overseas player Bradley Schmulian Picture: Ray Spencer
Another opening bowler to make an early impression was Bradford & Bingley’s Jack Hartley. He took 5-50 and was backed up by his new-ball partner Bailey Wightman (3-63) as his side dismissed Lightcliffe for 179. Wicketkeeper Matthew Duce took six catches.
The visitors looked to be deep in trouble when they were reduced to 68-6, but a seventh-wicket stand of 85 between new skipper Ian Philliskirk and Yassir Abbas revived Lightcliffe.
Philliskirk led the recovery with a fine 50 while Abbas made 40 against one of his former clubs. Only 5.4 overs were possible in the Bradford & Bingley innings before play was called off with their score on 26-0
Cleckheaton’s Andrew Deegan was another bowler to return a five-wicket haul. He took 5-35 and was supported by former Yorkshire slow bowler Azeem Rafiq (3-53) as Townville made 184-9 in 32 overs.
The Townville innings was built around a second-wicket stand of 100 between two of the club’s new signings, Harry Warwick (63) and Imran Rafique (54). Cleckheaton made steady progress to 36-1 in 11 overs before a cloud burst ended proceedings.
The battle of the two newly-promoted clubs also saw all possibility of a positive result drain away. Undercliffe’s 138 all out looked modest with the top score of 29 coming from opening bowler Zeeshan Qasim. James Glynn (3-33) was the pick of the bowlers for Wrenthorpe who had only made six in seven overs when the rain came.
Top picture: Chris Brice on his way to five wickets at New Farnley. Picture Ray Spencer
Just like the top flight one Championship One game had no play at all and the other five were abandoned after heavy rain early in the second innings.
While the players of Bankfoot and Keighley were left kicking their heels, Baildon at least had the encouragement of promising performances from two of their new recruits in the home clash with Ossett.
Wicketkeeper Louis Stronach, a close season recruit from Rodley, marked his debut at Jenny lane with a half-century. He hit three sixes and five fours in a breezy 55 which built on the earlier efforts of Simon Bailey (43) and fellow debutant Dwayne Heke (34) in a total of 223.
Ossett skipper Dan Busfield (4-60) and Mushy Rafique (3-31) posed the main threat with the ball. Blair Oakley claimed an early wicket for Baildon before play was abandoned with the visitors 13-1.
Another player to make an impressive start for his new club was Morley’s Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Akash Senarathna. He took 6-24 as Batley, despite a battling 64 from Sufyan Patel, were bowled out for 139.
Morley will have fancied their chances of a win but the weather had the final say when they were 79-4.
Scholes won’t mind if young Jade Roberts can continue in the form that saw him take 5-35 to restrict newly-promoted Wakefield St Michael’s to 156-8. Openers Ryan Wilby 35) and Mark Atkinson (34) top scored for Saints.
Muhammad Rafiq made 32 at the top of the order for Scholes as they progressed to 82-4 before the match was abandoned.
Callum Flynn, Gomersal’s new signing from Swinton Moorside, looked to be steering his side to victory until the weather intervened at East Bierley. Flynn was unbeaten on 71, an innings containing 15 fours, which saw his side score 110-3 in just 19 overs as they chased East Bierley’s 178. Richard Wear (3-24) and Paul Wookey (3-70) were the pick of the Gomersal bowlers.
Pudsey Congs were the side most relieved to see the rain. After being restricted to 107-9 by the tight bowling of Mohammed Zulfiqar (5-44) they saw their rivals cruise to 62-0 in 12 overs with Chris Wynd making 32 not out.
Championship Two was the place for the results with six teams recording wins and just one game being abandoned.
There were mixed fortunes for the division’s new boys with Jer Lane winning and Adwalton losing. Spen Victoria, Hopton Mills, Hunslet Nelson, Carlton and Buttershaw St Paul’s were the other winners.
An unbeaten 69 from Tom Watson enabled Jer Lane to chase down a Northowram Fields score of 150-9. He hit two sixes and eight fours to help his side to a 19-point haul.
Opening bowler Hazrat Shah (3-29) was the pick of a tidy Jer Lane attack as only Dean Crossley (34) made an impression.
An unbeaten 56 from James Crossland enabled Buttershaw St Paul’s to overhaul Adwalton’s 128-9 and record a six-wicket victory.
Opener Josh Bennett (66no) was the man who held the Adwalton innings together as his colleagues faltered against the left-arm spin of Ben Platt (4-26).
Without doubt the tensest finish of the day came at Hunslet Nelson where the home side scraped home by one wicket against Altofts.
Such a close outcome seemed unlikely when Dan Cross (3-13), Glen Thompson (3-18) and Patrick Hinchliffe (3-20) bowled out Altofts for 82, Liam Webb top scoring with 32, but the visitors had other ideas.
Jamie Hopper (4-27) and Myles Robinson (3-16) exposed the fragility of Nelson’s batting and they only just got over the line with nine wickets down.
The battle between last season’s basement duo saw Spen Victoria pick up a maximum 20 points as they defeated Liversedge by nine wickets.
New signing Adil Ladak from Hartshead Moor took 3-23 as Spen bowled out Liversedge for 115 and fellow debutant Sam Gatenby made an unbeaten 55 as he and the returning Bilal Ejaz (35no) sealed victory.
Carlton came out on top in the battle with fellow promotion hopefuls Yeadon as they secured a four-wicket win.
Last season Jonathan Rudge was the league’s leading wicket-taker for Wrenthorpe, and he made a good start on his return to Carlton, taking 4-25 as they bowled out Yeadon for 124. Andrew Robinson (32 was top scorer for the visitors.
An unbeaten 37 from Scott Douglas ensured that Carlton reached their target after slipping to 63-4 following two run outs.
Hopton Mills made the division’s highest total of 267-6 on their way to a 153-run win over East Ardsley which earned them the full 20 points.
Ashley Mackereth set the tone for his side’s innings with 84 from 55 balls – an innings laced with seven sixes and seven fours.
Umar Abbas (45) and Gary Senior (44) continued the good work as the weakened East Ardsley attack was made to suffer.
Abbas followed up with some good new-ball bowling to claim 5-29. Mackereth followed suit with 3-21, while Jake Alleston (42) and Louis Hurley (30) provided the bulk of East Ardsley’s 114.
Birstall were unable to capitalise on an unbeaten 100 from Ashley Burton as their game with Bowling Old Lane was the only one in Championship Two to fall foul of the weather.
Burton struck three sixes and 11 fours in his 90-ball knock and shared a second-wicket stand of 98 with veteran opener Eric Austin who made 59.
Their efforts enabled Birstall to declare after 38 overs on 218-3 as they looked to give themselves enough time to force victory. Sadly, that was curtailed by rain with Old Lane on 79-3.
Reece Thompson of Gildersome & Farnley Hill had the distinction of scoring the season's first century as he hit 133 against Rodley.
His captain Richard Bedford also got in on the act with an unbeaten 101 as their side made the day's biggest total of 308-6.
Thompson, who has previously played with New Farnley and Hartshead Moor, smashed five sixes and 16 fours in his 86-ball innings.
He shared a second-wicket stand of 105 with Adam Campion (35) and put on 161 for the third wicket with Bedford, who hit three sixes and 11 fours.
Gildersome's hopes of a resounding opening-day win were shattered when play was abandoned with Rodley tottering on 90-4.
Sandal were the only winners in the Conference as they defeated Heckmondwike & Carlinghow by six wickets. Matthew Westwood led the successful run chase with 92 while Danny Riley hit 42 as Heckmondwike's total of 183 was surpassed in 34.2 overs.
Ryan Bishop-Perrett took the bowling honours with 5-54 while Adnaan Rawat (38) and Umar Qureshi (34) were the pick of the Heckmondwike batsmen.
Oulton's Matthew Boucher narrowly missed out on being the division's third centurion after making 96 in his side's abandoned game at Great Preston.
Boucher hit a six and 12 fours and gained his best support from Ryan Healey (32) as Tyson Freeman (5-78) tried to deliver knockout blows for Great Preston. Cullum Jordan gave him good support with 4-51.
That man Freeman was unbeaten on 33 when rain halted the Great Preston reply at 83-4 after 23 overs.
Tabby Bhatti marked his first game for Windhill & Daisy Hill by taking 4-43 and scoring an unbeaten 52 in his side's abandoned match with East Leeds.
Tom Chapman's unbeaten 53 helped East Leeds to post 172-8, but despite wickets falling around him, Bhatti stood firm as rain came to his side's aid when they were 86-5.