1st XI vs Brook Walton CC

Saturday saw the first team travel to play Brook Walton – a club that entered the Bradford League this year. With them finishing strong in the Pontefract league last year but having a shaky start to life in the Bradford Cricket League we were unsure what to expect. The weather forecast was poor for the day and with the option to bowl first taken Ardsley took to the field looking for early wickets. A slow but tight start got Brook Walton off as Ardsley looked for wickets. After 30 minutes we had the first rain delay seeing play suspended for around 2 hours. As per the rules, this meant that overs were lost from the second innings unless they decided to declare to even the overs and make a match. Play was resumed but again was suspended shortly after for more rain and tea was taken. After tea Ardsley came back with regular wickets to stop the runs and on a difficult wicket and ensured they never got away.

Mark Heald was the pick of the bowlers 15-3-33-6 and with most of the other bowlers going under 2 an over Brook Walton were eventually all out on the last ball when a run out from overseas player Kevon Beckles got Ardsley the full 5 bowling points. After a quick change around we had 25 overs in which to chase down 125. This was the only way to force a result unless we were bowled out or the match would have ended 3 points each plus bonus points. Ardsley struggled to adapt to conditions on now a wet sticky wicket (not very West Indian) and we found ourselves at 47-3 losing McTernan, Hamid and Beckles. To add to this we were also falling behind the rate. Hurley (23) and Bash (28) got us back in the chase but losing both of these and Jake left us in trouble. Needing 22 off the last 2 overs Ash Pearson and Tom Daniels moved the ball around and managed to scamper 2s. Needing 11 off the last it looked unlikely until Tom hit the ball into the trees for a big six. Even with Ash Pearson running the captain out Ardsley got home with a ball to spare to bring a fantastic chase and a much needed win to get us a 14 point lead at the top of the table.

1st XI vs Hartshead Moor CC

On Sunday we welcomed top of the league Championship 2 side Hartshead Moor to Jeffrey field in what the Bradford league website titled game of the day. With both sides unbeaten so far this season and with some obvious money getting put into the Hartshead Moor team it was sure to be the biggest test of the season. After winning the toss Ardsley elected to bat first facing the once opening Scottish international bowler Ian Wardlaw (not sure you would be able to tell that from his gear or BTC attitude) and the Hartshead skipper. Ardsley struggled to adapt to some good opening bowling with the ball moving around and were in trouble at 39-4 when we lost another wicket to LBW. Ash Pearson and Bash regained some sort of stability with the help of the top scorer, extras (38) Ardsley recovered slightly but still ended up on a well below par score of 133 in 40 overs.

Ardsley came out to bowl with some fire in the belly and got amongst the wickets early on with a brilliant opening bowling partnership between Adam Pearson and Scott Mullins. When they both completed their spells after 16 overs Hartshead were 42-3. This included the wicket of the international superstar who was stumped off the fast bowling of Adam Pearson with the keeper stood back. I can only assume creases were not used when playing in international cricket(credit D McTernan for that). The change bowlers didn’t let them off either picking up wickets consistently and Ardsley were well on top when the 9th wicket fell at 105 needing another 29 for victory. However, it wasn’t to be for Ardsley as a last wicket stand with some big hits got them over the line and when an LBW was turned down with 2 overs to go it wasn’t to be our day.

On reflection a super fielding and bowling performance showing that if we achieve our target of promotion this year we can mix it with the top of the league above which is a great sign for us going forward.

We wish Hartshead Moor all the best in the next round.

U15’s vs Methley CC

Credit – David Appleyard
Sunshine greeted the lads for a visit to the junior giants that are Methley. With their team containing at least 6 Yorkshire players, it was going to be tricky.

The toss was won by Oliver who bravely put the opposition in to bat. That decision looked even braver when one of their openers (who opens for Methley’s first team!) cut loose immediately with some aggressive shots. Some tight bowling from Will Kinder restricted this run rate somewhat but the score soon got to 30 in only a few overs. Harvey Winn came on and stemmed the flow well with some good line and length bowling and eventually got the opener out with probably his worst ball, a full toss being spooned up to Will at cover who took a good catch. In came another Yorkshire player who at first found it difficult to score due to good bowling from Tom Heald and the fit again, Ben Richardson. However, he also found his range eventually and retired on more than a run a ball. Their other opener retired soon after with a more sedate innings of 35 and the new batters found it difficult to score quickly. Great catches from Ben Smith off Olly and Jonathan Dodds off Will and a sharp run out from one of our two under 13’s Domonic Kinder resulted in the score being only 140 (after looking like it could be 200 earlier). A mention to Will who bravely bowled on after being hit on the chin by a powerful drive.

We started our innings without Will who went for an X-Ray, expectedly cautiously, having to face a Yorkshire pace bowler. Ben Smith was bowled and Harvey (8), after a couple of classy looking square cuts gave an easy catch, trying to push the scoring along. Oliver meanwhile was looking to be aggressive and was scoring quickly and picking up ones and twos well. Ben Richardson looked good until he was brilliantly run out by a kid half his size for 13. Edward Hutchinson faced up well to the quick bowling but was bowled for 2. Ryan Mistry (29 not out) came in and after a calm start, cut loose with some big shots including a massive six into the adjacent road. Oliver retired with a run a ball 38 and Tom Heald hit some good shots before being bowled for 6. Dominic came in and batted solidly for 6 not out but 20 an over at that stage was a tough ask! The final score was 122. 18 runs adrift.

A very pleasing performance with some good batting, bowling and fielding to take away from the game. It promises a lot for the rest of the season and a win is surely just around the corner.