Illingworth’s new Aussie Dan Murfet was quick to make a mark as his side started their final season in the Aire/Wharfe League with a 106-run home win over Skipton.
Lacking three regulars, the Halifax League-bound hosts elected to bat, only to hit trouble at 44 for three and 75 for five.
However, Murfet was looking in little difficulty and he and Steve Cook added 131 in 22 overs to change the complexion of the game.
Cook played some lovely shots in his 52 and there was no stopping debutant Murfet, who showed maturity beyond his years as he powered to an undefeated 115 with 13 fours and two sixes.
Jamie Moorhouse’s 33 off 23 balls helped lift the total to 280.
Skipton raced to 98 for one off 16 overs before South African Pieter Coetzer fell for 56 to a good catch by Ben Robertshaw.
Murfet chipped in with two wickets but at 138 for five the visitors were still in front of the clock. However, Robertshaw who produced a five for eight spell to polish off the visitors.
It was a mixed weekend for Todmorden and their new Australian professional Ashton Turner, who plays for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash.
Turner hit a match winning 76 in Todmorden’s five wicket win over Haslingden at Centre Vale on Saturday.
He backed up the good work of skipper Andrew Sutcliffe, whose career-best six for 49 as the visitors slumped from 107 without loss to 187 all out.
However, Tod came unstuck at Rishton yesterday after home professional Shaun von Berg had taken six for 36 to help dismiss the visitors for 105. Turner was out for a duck and opener Ben Pearson’s 20 was the top score.
Rishton were 43 for four in reply but Bradley Boddie (37 no) and Ben Bridson (36 no) clinched a six wicket win for the hosts.
Lightcliffe and Brighouse were beaten in their Bradford League openers while bad weather appeared to save Northowram Fields at home to fellow former Central Yorkshire League side Azaad.
Lightcliffe must have been happy at tea, having scored 264 for five against visitors Cleckheaton.
Chris Taylor marked his return with 50 and he and skipper Alex Stead (46) figured in an opening stand of 94.
Cleckheaton hit back but an unbroken century stand between Rob Burton (68 no) and Jonathan Wilson (36 no) left the visitors with a mountain to climb.
They proved up to the task, winning by three wickets after an opening stand of 112 between skipper John Wood (74) and Andy Gorrod (46).
Brighouse were thrashed by Wrenthorpe in Championship B, losing by 178 runs.
Luke Patel (101 no) and overseas player Darrell Hendricks (91) helped the visitors pile up 318 for five declared in 44 overs.
Brighouse were 48 for eight before Aleem Ladak (46 no) and Daanyaal Ahmed (31) helped the hosts to a more respectable 140.
Northowram were 80 for eight before Jason Smith (35 no) and last man Zafar Khan (47) lifted the total to 185.
Azaad had reached 154 for four, after a rain stoppage, when play was halted in the gloom.
Ben Birkhead’s unbeaten 86 was the highlight for Elland in a 48-run defeat against Skelmanthorpe in the Huddersfield League’s top section.
He ran out of partners with the total on 183 after Skelmanthorpe had posted 231 for nine.
Barkisland were also beaten. Alex Kaye’s 25 was their top score in a total of 138 against Scholes, who scrambled a two-wicket win after Matthew Steers and Rijner Coetzer had each claimed three victims.