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Positivity despite Priestley Shield defeat

Steve Midgley once again provides a superb and in-depth match report this time from Sunday’s Priestley Shield contest against Pudsey St Lawrence

Cleckheaton’s Seconds put up a good fight at home but lost out to St Lawrence in the quarter final of the Priestly Shield.

Lawrence won the toss and decided to bat on the same deck that had seen the 2nd XI narrowly defeated in the league the day before to East Ardsley. Several questionable decisions played a key part in the league defeat and sadly, the same could be argued in the Priestly Shield. It just doesn't seem to have been the 2nd XI’s weekend!

The home side started strong with the first Lawrence scalp taken in the fifth over, with a beautiful ball from Atta Rehman. A missed opportunity in the sixth over saw young Alex Midgley reply with exactly the same ball, taking exactly the same edge, but this time taken behind, reducing the visitors to 9-2.

After their opening spell of six overs each, Atta and Alex had restricted the visitors to 38-2, Lawrence looking uncomfortable, with the ball regularly beating the bat and some ugly looking strokes resulting in thick edges that on each occasion could only be described as “got away with that one”.

A change of bowling brought Elliott Hallas and left arm Sam Bailey into the attack. As the batsmen began to settle, a change of pace saw Ethan Lee join the attack. At 25 overs, the visitors had been restricted to 94-2 but it would take another 10 overs and another change before a further breakthrough was made when Antony Lee, bowling from the scorebox end halted the growing partnership with the score 148-3.

The next wicket fell in the 42nd over, again from Antony with a diving catch taken by Alex and the scoreboard now read 179-4. Whilst a further wicket fell and Lawrence pushed on, helped by some very favourable decisions to post a final score of 241-5.

After tea, Cleck’ set about the run chase with an unseen this year opening partnership of Richard Noble and Craig ‘Blacky’ Blackburn and ‘Blacky’ was in no mood to hang about. Positive and aggressive batting saw Cleck’ with 27 on the board after the first three overs. Whilst the aggression was halted momentarily, with the unfortunate dismissals in relative short succession of Richard and Ethan, ‘Blacky’ punished the Lawrence attack, striking a swift 51 from 32 balls before a good ball managed to make its way past the bat and to take the off stump.

A great knock that provided Cleck’ with breathing space to play through the overs. At 59-3 there was still plenty to do but with skipper Elliott Hallas at the middle, in fine form following his knock of 108 the day before, there was plenty of optimism in the Cleck’ camp.

Elliott Hallas has had a busy weekend both with the bat and ball!

Following the dismissal of Shahid Rehman younger brother Atta supported well for a period before his dismissal on 18, attacking the leg spinner. At 96-6, Alex joined Elliott out on the square with Cleck’ needing a repeat of the previous days 104 partnership from the pair. With strike rotating well the pair looked confident and a repeat very plausible, but sadly it wasn't to be with Alex dismissed taking on the spinner unnecessarily.

Russ Noble’s experience showed and added a very helpful 17 to the total. But it wasn’t to be Cleck’s day, with an LBW decision, when the ball had clearly been flicked down to fine leg and a caught behind given, when a coach and horses could have been driven through the gap between bat and ball halted Cleck’s progression in the Shield.

The result could have been very different and at times it was clear that Lawrence thought so too. Cleck’ provided some stubborn opposition but luck and fortune was definitively with Lawrence and helped to swing the result. Heads can definitely be held high in the Cleck’ Seconds’ changing room.

Alex Midgley was in the thick of the action against PSL Seconds

Cleck’ defeat St Lawrence ‘fair and square’

Cleck’s 81 runs win against Title challengers Pudsey St Lawrence on Saturday was as emphatic as the scores suggests.

After having work done on their square pre-season St Lawrence have witnessed quite a few low scoring games at Tofts Road this term but on Saturday July 14th they were put to the sword by Cleck’ who made 274-6 and then dismissed the hosts for 193 with no evidence of problems with the wicket.

The turning point was arguably Tayyab Tahir’s brilliant and perfectly legitimate catch on the boundary edge to dismiss the ever dangerous James Smith who was looking to get in his stride but from then on Cleck’ regained control that led to the home side’s batting to capitulate. Earlier, Tyabb scored 63 runs without ever getting in to his normal free flowing style but Nick Walker made up for that with a superb knock of 98 from 69 balls that proved crucial.

There was good backing from John Wood who notched 24 runs and Nick Lindley who made 37 runs. Toby Thorpe is finding his feet after a slow start to the season and his steady knock of 29 was important to the innings.

Tayyab Tahir scored a vital 63 runs at St Lawrence and took a game changing catch

Cleck’s bowling was excellent and even though Josh Thurwell didn’t take a wicket and Johnny Whiteoak had figures of 1-32 from his eight overs their opening bowling partnership is blossoming. Woody was economical and effective with a brilliant spell of 12 overs taking 3-40 and two of his wickets were from catches taken by Mally Nicholson who has now reached the fabulous landmark of 500 Bradford League victims and he was roundly applauded by both sets of supporters who acknowledged his feat even though there were a few ‘rumblings’ that one of his catches didn’t carry. After the game Mally was puzzled as to why one of his catches was even questioned by some but in true and sportsmanship fashion he shrugged off the suggestion to confirm he took the catch cleanly.

Nick Walker was Man-of-the-Match against St Lawrence

The bowling and fielding was first class from Cleck’ who continue to improve and Andrew Deegan made it tough for the home team and his 4.5 overs saw Deegs capture an impressive 2-17 but the star of the show was once more Mr Walker who went on to take 4-51 from his eight overs that followed a fruitful afternoon with the bat – and after the game what did the tired but effervescent man do? He cycled home!

Cleck’ can be proud of their efforts as a team - defeating a very good side who will be up there come the end of the season but on the day it was the Moorenders who were the better side.

Mally's landmark of capturing 500 Bradford League victims is testimony to his consistency - and behind the stumps he's both brilliant and brave and the bravery bit must not be forgotten. Well done Mally.

Mally's three victims at St Lawrence took him to the 500 landmark

Brilliant exert from St Lawrence website

Below are part of the words on the opponents website that were advocated following Cleck’s win against Pudsey St Lawrence on Saturday – well worth a read!!

Saint Lawrence simply couldn’t match the efforts and application of today’s visitors. The Knights in White Satin were blunted by amusing umpiring but the middle order never got to grips with John Wood (3-40) and Man of the Match Nick Walker (4-51) who between them served up a succession of banana skins for the Saint Lawrence batters to skid and slide on. Some hope was offered by Saint Lawrence’s very own bull dog Churchillian Jim Smith whose innings of growing momentum was only controversially cut short by Tayyab Tahir’s catch on the deep mid wicket boundary. According to Smith’s father, the outspoken Dales Council and Bradford League chief run gangster Keith, Tahir had both feet firmly in the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore when he took the catch that effectively ended Lawrence’s hopes of victory today. Winston Churchill’s 44 included three fours and two sixes in an innings which ultimately only provided temporary hope to the Toft’s Road faithful. After that it was one way traffic as Lawrence skidded and slipped to 193 all out. Cleckheaton ran out well deserved winners on a day Saint Lawrence will quickly want consigned to the dust heap of history.

Cleck’s Seconds miss out after a narrow defeat at home to East Ardsley report from Steve Midgley

Cleck’ lost the toss and were asked to bat by the visitors, under the searing sun, on a dry but good looking wicket.

The visitors wasted no time in applying pressure and with the score 3-3, Cleck’ looked in big trouble. Steve Noble provided some resistance for Cleck’ but with his wicket falling for 21, at 42-4 it looked like an early tea might be on the cards! Cleck’ were in desperate need of a partnership to stabilize the scoreboard and provide the home side with some breathing space.

Skipper Elliott Hallas in the absence of Chris Dobson came in at number five and batted sensibly and looked like he could provide the anchor which at this point was desperately needed.

However, Elliott needed someone to keep up the other end. With the wickets of Atta Rehman and Craig Blackburn falling quickly, Cleck’ were certainly on the back foot at 54-6 and that desperately needed partnership looked unlikely. Young Alex Midgley joined Elliott out in the middle and with the Skipper taking senior player responsibility and batting with surety, the pair began to rotate strike well and a much needed partnership began to build.

The pair played Cleckheaton back into the game producing a partnership of 104 before Alex was dismissed after a great supporting knock of 26. Elliott went on to make a fabulous Captain's innings of 108 and with a useful nine from Antony Lee and 15 from Brandam Balme at the tail and Cleck’ posted a very respectable 198

After tea the opening pair Atta and Alex set about the attack.

Cleck’ saw off eight overs before the first scalp (at 34-1) was claimed by a beautiful ball from Alex taking off stump out of the ground. The very same over should have seen the scoreboard move on to 34-2 but a fumble behind the stumps meant it wasn't to be. A change of bowling brought Elliott and Shahid Rehman into the attack but the visitors continued to show their defiance with the bat and slowly continued to chip away at the run chase.

At the second drinks break with only 15 overs remaining at 130-1 the visitors looked set but debutant Ishvir Singh changed that taking Cleck’s second scalp. The scoreboard slowly moved forwards and try as they might the home side struggled to make further breakthroughs. Opportunities were created but not taken and the visitors were helped by some very forgiving decisions. A couple of LBW shouts that to the whole ground looked plum, a run out that looked out by a yard or more and a caught behind that a blind man on a horse would have given....but umpires decision is final as they say!. Cleck’ continued to fight to the end and whilst wickets hadn’t fallen, runs were restricted, producing an exciting finish. However, as hard as the Cleck’ boys tried East Ardsley claimed the winning runs with eight balls to spare.

Cleck's Seconds made a 'fist' of it against East Ardsley but lost to Pudsey St Lawrence in the Shield on Sunday

For news on the All Rounder ECB Bradford Premier L'ge; www.bradfordcl.com

For further news on Cleckheaton CC visit www.cleckheatoncricketclub.com

Bob Speight has made sure that for many years there are updated facts, figures and some brilliant photographs and history surrounding Cleckheaton CC.

Bob Speight continues sterling work at Cleck'

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