Weather plays intoWoodlands’ hands

THE dreadful summer weather continues to decimate the local cricket programme, with just five matches in Bradford League Divisions One and Two managing to start last weekend and none were completed.

Friday, 13th July 2012, 5:30 am

Cleckheaton came within a whisker of becoming the first side to defeat Division One leaders Woodlands last Saturday before rain ruined their chances.

Despite tricky batting conditions, Cleckheaton openers John Wood and Tim Jackson seized the initiative and shared a magnificent opening stand of 148 in 28.2 overs.

Wood stormed his way to a fine 82 from 78 balls, including eight sixes and four fours and he was particularly severe on Woodlands captain Pieter Swanepoel.

Jackson made a well-crafted 58 from 103 balls including a six and seven fours as Cleckheaton reached 229-9 from 42 overs.

Woodlands lost early wickets and were soon deep in trouble at 68-6. Yorkshire’s Iain Wardlaw, in-form Ian Wood and James Lee picked up two wickets each.

An interruption for rain didn’t help Cleckheaton’s bid to bowl Woodlands out, while Grant Soames followed up his 4-46 with the ball, by making 46 not out.

A second downpour brought an end to the game with Woodlands 126-8 and clinging on to their unbeaten record.

The 14 points Cleckheaton earned from the game saw them move up to fourth place, while Woodlands are 25 points clear of second placed Pudsey St Lawrence.

East Bierley’s home game with Pudsey Congs and Hanging Heaton’s trip to Undercliffe were both abandoned without a ball being bowled, along with all last Saturday’s Division Two programme.

Play was possible in just one of Sunday’s scheduled games and the second division has now seen 31 games abandoned and the total has risen to 104 in the first and second-team calendar.

Gomersal’s Richard Gould provided the highlight of another rain-hit day last Sunday as he struck a sparkling 130 and shared a brilliant opening stand of 231 with captain Adam Greenwood as Gomersal piled up 292-4 in their 50 overs.

Gould hit five sixes and 14 fours as he set about the Idle attack, while Greenwood was in sight of his first century of the season when he was dismissed for 97, which contained five sixes and six fours.

Gomersal looked set for a victory which would have strengthened their promotion challenge as James Russell (3-17) and Chris Rhodes (3-31) ripped out Idle’s top order.

Idle were reeling at 72-8 when rain brought play to an end with 26.1 overs remaining.

Gomersal claimed 14 points from the game and although they lie in sixth place, the Oxford Road men are just 11 behind second-placed Baildon in the table.