MOST local cricketers have done little more than curse the weather so far this season but Bradshaw skipper Dean Cotton was grateful for a few extra drops of rain during last week’s Towergate Halifax League Premier Division game at Triangle.
The visitors were under the cosh against the champions with useful batsmen Steve Senior and Christian Silkstone in full flow for the home side on a good wicket with seemingly little in it for the bowlers.
However, the heavens opened at 150 for one midway through Triangle’s innings and it was a different story when the players returned after a stoppage which reduced the match by 10 overs.
Cotton brought back opening bowlers Chris Shannon and Aaron Buckley and they ripped through the home ranks with five wickets apiece, Shannon completing a hat-trick by trapping Richard Cole leg before as the hosts folded for 218.
And a few hours later Bradshaw were heading up the hill out of the Grassy Bottom ground with an unexpected victory in the bag after Richard Moore’s patient 44 had helped them complete two-wicket win.
“I can’t imagine many sides will be coming away from there with 12 points this season,” said Cotton, who feared Triangle had been on course for a score of 400 before the weather intervened.
Cotton said there had been some life in the wicket when play had resumed and Shannon and Buckley had put the ball in the right areas and the batsmen had come unstuck going for some big shots.
He said Bradshaw had then “done the necessary” with the bat, aided by Moore’s solid contribution and 21 off one Carl Fletcher over from Lee Broadbent.
Broadbent is one of several young players in the team and Cotton, who helped see his side to the winning post with 29 not out, said last week’s victory was a major fillip in the early stages of the season.
Shannon’s brother Steve - another opening bowler - has switched to Sowerby Bridge but Elliot Mercer has joined from nearby Illingworth and he, Mark Chambers and Josh Dougall are other up-and-coming players Cotton hopes will continue to improve.
Last year’s runners-up Booth are next up tomorrow for Bradshaw and Cotton said: “They have got Jim Mosley back and they are a good, young side, quite athletic in the field and well led by Robert Laycock.”
Bradshaw’s best player in recent years, all-rounder Simon Collins, is back in their ranks for the home game and Cotton is hoping his men can continue to mirror last season’s bright start but keep it going this time.
“We were top after the first six matches last year but we burned out a bit,” he said.
”We will see how it goes this time but I am quite optimistic and we may be able to surprise a few people.
“Hopefully we can finish in the top half, give the kids some experience and push on from there.”