Another week of self-isolation completed means another edition of Into the Archives with Jimmy Lee. With the Prime Minister due to make some significant announcements on Sunday, I am sure you all, like me, will have your fingers crossed that they have found a way for sport to be re-introduced to the nation in a safe way.
This week we are going back 15 years to the 25th June 2005, to Woodlands v Bankfoot at Albert Terrace. Woodlands were eventual champions that year in what was a real tussle to wrestle the Bradford League title out of the hands of Pudsey Congs who had won the league the previous five seasons.
This season also marked the start of a period of dominance for Woodlands as they would go on to win the title four times in a row and six times in eight seasons! The Priestley cup was however retained by Pudsey Congs in 2005 with an emphatic win by six wickets over Woodlands in the final.
I have spent a while looking at scorecards this week and I have picked this game as it really does stick firm in my memory and events from that day I have a clear recollection of, I think a reflection of how great a game it was.
I was 16 years old in 2005 and looking at the scorecards from that year I really must appreciate the opportunity Bankfoot gave me and the things that led cricket to present me with in the years after. I opened the bowling, bowling the first over in pretty much every single game, and often I was embarrassingly expensive.
However, Bankfoot never waivered in their backing of me, they often protected me by not bringing me back when the slog was on at the end, but the next game I would be there with the new ball again. Greg Colehan was instrumental in this happening and I cannot thank him and Bankfoot enough for it.
Woodlands were sat on top of the league table at the start of the day and welcomed Bankfoot who were rock bottom with only a four-point winning draw and five losing points to their name, the result appeared from the outset a foregone conclusions. The teams lined up as follows:
Woodlands: Russell Murray, Paul Winrow, Richard Pyrah, Tim Orrell, N Whitehill, Adam Goldthorpe, Keith Robson, Peiter Swanepoel, Safraz Ahmed, Richard Spittlehouse, John Metcalfe.
Bankfoot: Mally Nicholson, Gary Wainwright, Anthony McGrath, Ammir Sajjid, Ian Nicholson, Amar Rashid, Michael Hutchins, James Lee, Andrew Marshall, Greg Colehan, Andrew Stothart.
Anthonty McGrath was in the Bankfoot side for the Albert Terrace clash
Looking at the side we had out that day I think I was really lucky to be in it at that stage, obviously Anthony McGrthe, above, was a massive plus for us, and it was great that he made himself available for us a number of times that year.
From a personal perspective Anthony was not only hilarious but a lovely man who I felt would go out of his way to look after me at my time at Yorkshire, although, I generally had to pay for it by way of shower gel and aftershave as the guy never brought any to a game ever!
The wicket was a typical Woodlands wicket (I hope this won’t offend anyone at Woodlands given its recently been re-laid), it was a sticky dog, and chasing any sort of total was going to be a challenge. I cannot recollect who won the toss on that day, but Woodlands were batting first.
Richard Pyrah hit a half-century after Woodlands slipped to 15-2
Bankfoot got off to a good start and I managed to get Russell Murray and Paul Winrow caught in the slips by Gary Wainwright to reduce Woodlands to 15-2. However the quality of Richard Pyrah (51) and Tim Orrell (41) then built a partnership. From what I remember they were both really cautious innings, barely playing a shot in anger, just accumulating a score as they recognised how tricky the surface was.
Bankfoot kept it tight all the way through the innings and once they picked up the wickets of Pyrah and Orrell, managed to chip away at regular intervals. Andrew Marshall was the pick of the bowlers returning 6-48 off 15.2. For those of you that never saw Marshy bowl, it was amazing, he swung the ball as much as anyone I’ve ever seen, ran in from mid-off, and bowled at about 65mph with the keeper stood up.
Woodlands eventually finished with 160 all out and given the surface and the bowling attack Woodlands had, was certainly a defendable score.
Bankfoot got off to an ok start, losing Mally Nicholson (14) with the score on 28 before Gary Wainwright put on a strong partnership with Anthony McGrath (21) before the latter was bowled by Richard Spittlehouse with the score on 87.
With 73 required with 8end eight wickets in the tent, you would think Bankfoot would walk home from there, however that was not to be the case. With only Michael Hutchins reaching double figures (13) and myself Andrew Marshall and Greg Colehan all being run out by Gary Wainwright; the wheels very nearly fell off!
However, Bankfoot always have their ace card at number 11, Andrew Stothart, hasn’t hit a ball with a cricket bat that hasn’t been in the middle during a match as long as I’ve known him, just does not practice his batting.
Therefore, his ability to pat the ball back and offer a truly sound forward defence time and again is truly remarkable. The 25th June 2005 was no exception, he gave Sppittlehouse, Winrow, Swanepoel and Saffy the six-stud treatment to allow the hero of the day Gary Wainwright to carry his bat and Bankfoot to victory with 87 not out with the final blow a sixover long on off Swanepoel.
A fantastic victory for the Red Boar of Bankfoot and a game that has lived long in my memory, as I hope this recollection will bring back memories for others that were there. Until next week, Stay safe.
Top picture: Bankfoot's match-winning batsman Gary Wainwrigfht