There were high scores and thrilling finishes as the season got off to a belated start with the first matches in the Gordon Rigg League Cup competitions.
It proved to be a day for the batsmen with six players launching the campaign with centuries, while Division One side Carlton made the day’s highest score of 335-3 as they defeated Birstall by 196-8.
Two of the centuries came in the Premier League Cup clash between Hanging Heaton and Townville which lived up to its billing of the game of the day.
Townville won a high-scoring encounter thanks to the day’s highest individual score of 143 not out from opener Jonathan Booth.
He struck 10 sixes and 10 fours as Townville chased down Hanging Heaton’s score of 271-5 with five balls to spare to win by three wickets.
Booth was aided by big-hitting Conor Harvey who smashed 70 from just 37 balls as they added 117 for the fourth wicket. Harvey hit six sixes and five fours to provide the late thrust to the Townville reply.
The tone for the high-scoring match was set when Hanging Heaton’s openers Nick Connolly and Gary Fellows shared a stand a stan of 120.
Fellows was first to go for 54, but Connolly continued to impress as he went on to make a fine 107 which included two sixes and 15 fours.
Joe Fraser (55) added 97 for the second wicket with Connolly, while Callum Geldart made an unbeaten 35 in the later stages of the innings.#
Jonathan Booth played a magnificent match-winning innings for Townville Picture: Ray Spencer
Hanging Heaton opener Nick Connolly on his way to a finbe century. Picture: Ray Spencer
View Ray Spencer's Hanging Heaton v Townville picture gallery
Wrenthorpe recovered from 42-5 to secure a one-wicket win over Methley. Mohammed Suleman hit 55 from 39 balls to turn the game in his side’s favour as they edged past their opponents’ score of 174-8.
Opener Marcus Walmsley (62) and Alex Cree (40) put on 105 for Methley’s first wicket and when Jordan Laban weighed in with 40 a bigger score than their eventual 174-8 looked in prospect. Jonathan Donnelly (3-26) was the bowler who did most to keep them in check.
New Farnley opened their campaign with a hard-earned five-wicket win over Cleckheaton. Skipper Lee Goddard (97) and Steve Bullen (55no) added 141 for the second wicket as their side chased down the visitors’ score of 194-6.
New boys Toby Booth (65) and Kris Ward (50) impressed on their debuts for Cleckheaton and helped their side post a challenging score of 194-6.
The battle of the two sides promoted from Division One last season resulted in a comfortable seven wicket win for Batley at Morley. Mohammad Shahnawaz (3-19) and Tariq Hussain (3-28) helped their side dismiss Morley for just 92.
Pudsey St Lawrence skipper Chris Marsden (78no) and Barry Frankland (44no) helped their side to chase down Bradford & Bingley’s 253-7 to record a six-wicket win. They put on an unbroken 119 for the fifth wicket as the home side were made to pay dearly for the 50 extras they conceded. Opener Mark Robertshaw made 43 at the top of the order.
Bradford & Bingley’s new captain Ed Brown had earlier hit an unbeaten 92 as he shared in a fourth-wicket stand of 100 with Yasir Abbas (49). Young Josh Priestley was the pick of the St Lawrence bowlers with 5-60.
Carlton's talented young batsman Daniel Ford and big-hitting Farrouk Alam gave the Birstall bowlers a real pounding in the Division One League Cup.
They shared a mammoth third wicket stand of 231 and both posted centuries. Ford struck six sixes and 16 fours while making an unbeaten 134, while Alam – a winter recruit from Undercliffe – blasted nine sixes and 13 fours while marking his debut with a score of 134. With Daniel White chipping in with 40, Carlton’s 335-8 was easily the biggest score of the day.
Birstall, who were promoted from Division Two with Carlton last season, replied with 196-8. Charlie Orme made a breezy 65 and Josh Haynes (40).
Another player to mark his debut with a century was East Bierley opener Matthew West. His 113 contained 10 sixes and seven fours as he helped East Bierley to overhaul a challenging Ossett score of 274-7 to record a six-wicket win.
Fellow new boy Danny Cross (72no) and Paul Martin (45) helped ensure a winning start for East Bierley despite the efforts of Joe Finnigan (3-58)
Ossett’s innings contained half centuries from Chris Hosley (87) and Finnigan (64) but their total wasn’t sufficient to keep youthful East Bierley at bay.
Hartshead Moor were guided to an eight-wicket win over Baildon by new signing Joe Wood (47no) and Adam Greenwood (38) as they cruised past Baildon’s disappointing total of 136-8. Will Kelly (36) top scored for the Jenny Laners as Daniel Squire picked up 3-36.
Bankfoot skipper James Lee was in the thick of the action as his side secured a 45-run win at Gomersal. Lee top scored with 59 in Bankfoot’s 209-6 and took 3-36 as Gomersal were bowled out for 164. Usman Shakir (54) and young Daniel Colehan (42) were the other main scorers for Bankfoot.
There was a tense finish at Pudsey Congs where the home side scrambled to a one-wicket win over Keighley in a low-scoring encounter.
An unbeaten 48 from Paul Quinlan was the main feature of 'Keighley’s 125-9, an innings kept in check by young spinner Sam Wasniewski (3-21). Vinit Patel, batting ay number nine, top scored with 28 not out as Congs just edged home.
Matthew Westwood hit an impressive 127 as Sandal scored a comfortable 120-run win over Hunslet nelson in the Division Two League Gup.
Westwood hit a six and 21 fours and shared a second wicket stand of 159 with Danny Riley (57) as last season’s Conference champions scored 247-6.
Hunslet Nelson never looked like challenging the Sandal score and were dismissed for 127. Patrick Hinchliffe top scored with 36 as Sam Noden picked up 3-29.
New signing Rahat Shah took 4-20 as Spen Victoria bowled out Northowram Fields for 80 to set up a six-wicket win.
Jer Lane claimed the local bragging rights as they defeated Buttershaw St Paul’s by six wickets. Tahir Khan made 70not out and Asad Mahmood (31no) as the St Paul’s score of 195-9 was surpassed.
Wicketkeeper Jack Seddon (77) top scored in the St Paul’s innings while Mohammed Jamal (3-33) was Jer Lane’s best bowler.
Bowling Old Lane recorded a comfortable five-wicket win over Scholes after bowling out their opponents for 104 with Adam Zahid taking 3-52. Zeeshan Haider was unbeaten on 36 when Old Lane reached their total.
Ismail Patel took 4-39 as East Ardsley bowled out Hopton Mills for 125 to set up a five-wicket victory. Tom Daniels was unbeaten on 39 when the target was reached.
An unbroken seventh wicket stand of 81 between Qamar Shahzad (97no) and Tom Clarke (42no) enabled Altofts to snatch a four-wicket win by chasing down Gildersome & Farnley Hill’s score of 237-8 with five balls to spare in the Division Three League Cup.
Jack Irwin (63) and Harrison Kelly (45) added 108 for the second wicket in the Gildersome & Farnley Hill innings.
There was a piece of Bradford League history made at Adwalton where Tony and Emma Lawson became the first father and daughter pairing to umpire. They took charge of a match which saw Brighouse defeat their hosts by four wickets.
Parais Khan (60) and Sohail Hussain (32) helped their side past Adwalton’s score of 158 despite the efforts of Adam Holroyd (4-50). Shoaib Rehman (57) and Matthew Donohoe (30) were Adwalton’s main contributors.
East Leeds had Zahid Tarvas (78) and Ben Wilkinson (69no) in good form as they scored 241 on their way to a 35-run success against Heckmondwike & Carlinghow.
Abdullah Qureshi (50) and Usman Qureshi (40) led the spirited Heckmondwike & Carlinghow response of 206-9.
Oulton kicked off their final season in the league with a comfortable 125-run win over Great Preston. Ryan Healy top scored with 59 as they made 222-9 despite Stuart Ruddick taking 5-55. Great Preston stumbled to 97 all out with Benjamin Child taking 3-0 to wrap the innings up.
Opener Luke Cosford made an unbeaten 70 and was supported by Gary Sagar (34) as Rodley eased past Crossbank Methodists’ total of 136 to win by seven wickets. Bailey Wilson took 4-38 for Rodley.
A big thank you
The Management Board would like to thank all scorers and clubs for the efficient way they have submitted live scores and results on the opening day of the season. It is never easy coping with a new system but it is fair to say that everybody has coped magnificently. Let's keep up the good work in the weeks ahead.