CYCL puts start date back due to bad weather

The Central Yorkshire League is believed to be the first in the region to react to the current big freeze by delaying the start of its season.

Matches were due to begin on Saturday, April 13 - a week before the Foster’s Halifax League - when Calderdale side Northowram Fields were set to travel to Birstall.

However, the opening programme has been postponed to give groundsmen more time to prepare grounds.

Northowram Fields spokesman Chris Thompson said league officials had sounded out clubs about the chances of their grounds being fit for April 13.

“We could possibly have been ready but we suggested it would probably be prudent to call games off,” he said.

“The league has said it will re-arrange the games due to take place on the 13th but will not extend the season.”

It means Northowram’s overseas player Jeremy Smith will get an extra week to acclimatise prior to the opener, which is now at home to Wakefield Thornes on April 20.

Smith, a batting all-rounder from Doug Bollinger’s Fairfield Liverpool club in Sydney, is due to arrive on April 9.

Northowram are likely to be in opposition to last year’s skipper Tom Marsden, who has switched to Thornes, on the 20th.

The Rams have lost two more batsmen - the prolific Mark Gilliver to Horsforth in the Aire/Wharfe League and promising Jacob Waterson, they believe to Sheffield United in the Yorkshire League.

Paceman Paul Bower may not play this season due to commitments with Barnsley FC.

Chris Metcalf has joined from over-the-wall neighbours Northowram Hedge Top, after winning the Halifax League’s middle-section batting averages last season.

There are also a couple more potential recruits in the pipeline for a team which will have long-serving Robert Larner back at the helm.

Experienced former Halifax League bowler Gideon Foster has rejoined Todmorden.

Seam bowler Foster played for the Centre Vale Park club in the 1990s and since then has won trophies with Mytholmroyd in the Halifax League and for the last few years has played for Hall Bower in the Huddersfield League.

Foster is bringing his bowler son Sam, who will be playing regularly in the seconds.

Skipper Andrew Sutcliffe expects Foster senior to slot into the gap vacated by the retired James Morgan and bowl 10 to 14 overs per game.

Sutcliffe said: “Gideon will be a welcome addition to the first team as he will give our young seam attack lots of guidance and I am very confident that he will be a success.”

Tod are further boosted by the return of bowling all-rounder Oliver Wood fromWalsden and the decisions of Chris Barker and Darren Walters to come out of retirement.