Joe Fraser drives.
If we can beat Lightcliffe this coming Tuesday in the Dyson Energy Services T/20 cup, we will meet Heaton again in the semi-final of that competition, so we may yet have the chance to revenge today’s defeat, but that will not take the gloss off a fine victory today.
The uncleared scoreboard reminds the Woodlands openers of the task ahead.
Simon Mason edged Stiff to slip and we were 34-2 when Logan Weston joined Duncan Snell and these two set about to repair the early damage. The partnership became more dominant as Heaton rang the bowling changes but it was not until skipper Fellows threw his last dice in introducing part-time left-arm slow-bowler Nick Connelly as his seventh bowler that the stand was broken with Duncan being adjudged to be lbw sweeping for a stylish 84.
We were still well on course for a win with the scoring rate somewhere between 7 and 8 an over and the Woodlands supporters were delighted to see Sarfraz Ahmed marching to the wicket and he was soon into his stride, taking 22 from one John Carruthers over and the scoring rate quickly reduced to 6. Stiff was brought back and he promptly had Saffy caught behind and when Pieter Swanepoel joined Logan we needed 31 runs from 5 overs. Logan went, for a fine 83, trying to drive Connelly as the pressure mounted. Connelly then had Swanny caught behind and Usman Salim stumped as Stiff and then Busfield tied up the other end, aided by some magnificent fielding, as the runs dried up and Adam Goldthorpe, scorer of a quick-fire 21 last week, was left to face the last ball with the game lost.
At 184-3 with 8 overs left, final score estimates were running at anything between 224 and 250 but fed with some untidy Woodlands bowling, Paynter and Ben Elvidge rode their luck to take the total to 262 without further loss. All the six bowlers used suffered (even Saffy was hit for two 6s), except Scott Richardson who was not brought back and Sam Frankland who was not brought on, to the dismay of many of the Woodlands faithful.
Joe Fraser joined Connelly and these two looked comfortable in adding 80 for the second wicket before Saffy struck again when he had Connelly caught behind for 60. David Paynter joined Fraser and the scoring tempo started to increase but when the stand was worth 62, Fraser was well caught in the deep by Simon Mason going for what would have been a well-deserved half century.
JCT600 BRADFORD CRICKET LEAGUE 1st DIVISION
SATURDAY 12th JULY 2014
Report by Stuart Tordoff
The victory celebrations of the Heaton players reflected how much a victory against Woodlands means to them and it has to be said that they never stopped trying to defend their total and their will-to-win seemed greater than ours. When the season’s fixtures were announced, our first three games were against Hanging Heaton, Cleckheaton and Lightcliffe – all three genuine contenders for the league title. We won two and tied the other to get the season off to a fine start. In the same three fixtures in the second half of the season we’ve won only one, against a much-weakened Lightcliffe side.
Our loss today was mitigated by a surprising loss by Cleckheaton to Pudsey Congs which may have just left us with a hope of still challenging for the title, but we will have to greatly improve on recent showings if we are to be in contention at the end of the season.
So as a side who do not seem to be good run chasers, this was a formidable total for Woodlands but one which was by no means impossible if only our big guns could start firing. The unpredictable David Stiff opened the bowling with Dan Busfield and both bowled well with Sam Frankland getting an edge to Stiff to be caught behind.
1000 wickets & still planning more.
Woodlands travelled to Hanging Heaton hoping to get back to winning ways after last week’s disappointing defeat to league leaders Cleckheaton. Heaton, with former skipper John Carruthers celebrating his recent fine achievement in taking 1000 Bradford League wickets, won the toss and had no hesitation about batting first on a fine sunny day on a wicket that looked to be full of runs. Gary Fellows and Nick Connelly were watchful against Sarfraz Ahmed and Pieter Swanepoel but when the total had reached 42 Saffy tempted the dangerous Fellows into a pull which was mistimed into the hands of Logan Weston.