Welsford beats fever

SIX months of hard work and determination from Australian Chris Welsford paid off last Saturday as he guided Hartshead Moor to their first win of the season in Bradford League Division Two.

Welsford hit a superb century to ensure Moor reached their target of 169 to spark jubilant scenes among players and supporters alike.

"Although we haven't been winning the vibe here has been really good and the boys have kept turning up," Welsford said.

"It is always good to get a ton, but winning was the main thing and lets hope the success snowballs," he added

Welsford scored at a run-a-ball and hit 13 fours and two sixes on his way to 114 not out.

That Welsford has stayed in England and looks set to complete the season is remarkable as he contracted glandular fever while on holiday earlier in the year.

"I've been working all week, then playing cricket and it has been taking a full day's sleep for me to recover," Welsford added.

Moor have been delighted with Welsford, who lives to the west of Melbourne, and are negotiating terms for him to return next season.

Several times during the campaign, Moor have come close to recording that elusive first win, but last week it finally happened.

Dave Baldwin, who is currently out injured with a broken finger, said: "The club was really buzzing on Saturday night, and I think there were a few sore heads on Sunday morning.

"To beat a side like Salts proves we have talent here," he added.

Moor almost won the game by default after a car full of Salts players were late arriving at Highmoor Lane.

By the scheduled start of 1pm only six Salts players had arrived and by 1.28pm umpire Derek Shuttleworth was just two minutes away from awarding Hartshead the game when the rest of the Salts side arrived.

The umpires immediately walked out to the middle for Salts to commence their innings.

Aleem Ladak, a highly rated youngster at Moor, tore through the Salts batting line up, taking 6-32 from 13 overs as they were bowled out for 169.

Welsford and Chris Parkin (26) put on 58 for the first wicket, with Danny Squire (7) supporting Welsford in a 28 runs stand.

Hartshead slipped to 105-3, but this time there was to be no collapse as 15-year old Kenny Sewell (16) steadied the ship and added a 64 run partnership with Welsford.

By the time Sewell was out, the scores were level and all that was left was for Welsford to hit the winning four to complete a famous win.