Great Horton among the favourites as First Division season gets underway in Halifax Cricket League
Cricketers from the First Division of the ENCO Halifax League join the rest of their colleagues, who started a week ago, and open up their fixtures on Saturday.
Predicting the champions in this very tight eight-team section is difficult, having to rely on form from the truncated short 2020 season for any indication.
Great Horton PC will be most people’s favourites but it can expect a challenge from Low Moor HT and Sowerby St Peter’s.
The two Bradford based teams both joined the League in the first decade of this millennium but have yet to reach the Premier Division, so the incentive is obvious.
In sharp contrast is Sowerby, its membership now spanning over 100 years, and it will be keen for quick return to the top flight after relegation in 2019.
A very small blanket can be thrown over the remaining teams with Clayton, Mount and Upper Hopton likely to be challenging the above three ahead of Luddendenfoot and Oxenhope.
The competitive nature is such however that some pundits have the latter marked for promotion.
The opening day’s fixture of note could be that between Upper Hopton and Low Moor HT.
The majority of last Saturday’s first day fixtures in the Premier and Second Divisions went to predicted form with one major exception.
Bradshaw, on its visit to Blackley, caused a major upset as it demolished the fancied Lindley Road team by 133 runs.
Batting first the visitors posted a very creditable 181-8, with Jonathan Lister (52) top scoring. However it was the combination of Aaron Buckley (5-10) and Anthony Langton (5-32) who scythed through the home team’s batting, needing only 15.1 overs to complete a shock win as five batsmen failed to score in a 48 all out total.
Triangle won the top match of the day against Booth whilst Thornton’s Josh Hutchinson was soon in top form hitting 167 runs in 97 balls, ensuring a victory at Sowerby Bridge.
On Saturday, following Bradshaw’s impressive start, all eyes will on its Premier home clash as Thornton make the short eight miles journey, whilst in the Second Division Bridgeholme, without a first day fixture will be more than pleased to be back playing at its restored flood ravaged Eastwood ground after an absence of 586 days.
Saturday’s Fixtures. Premier Division: Booth v Warley, Bradshaw v Thornton, Copley v Shelf Northowram HT, Illingworth St Mary’s v Blackley, Sowerby Bridge v Triangle, SBCI v Mytholmroyd. First Division: Luddendenfoot v Great Horton PC, Oxenhope v Mount, Sowerby St Peter’s v Clayton, Upper Hopton v Low Moor HT. Second Division: Bradley & Colnebridge v Old Town, Bridgeholme v Southowram, Greetland v Queensbury, Leymoor v Outlane, Stones v Augustinians, Free Date Cullingworth.