Scholes Cricket Club: Teams
First XI (A) v Almondbury Second XI (H) Holmfirth
Alsop Boorman M
Khan A Bryson H
Holmes Wimpenny M
Weston T Hinchliffe Joe
Smith Brook Josh
Khan S Sykes L
Clayton J Hertzberg
Brook T Jagger
Wimpenny R Boorman Tom
SUNDAY 29-6-08 Second XI (A) v Honley ADD
Tom Brook Jack Bryson Joe Wood
First XI (H) v Barkisland Second XI (A) v Barkisland
Weston D Load
Pamment Brook D
Ahmed Hinchliffe John
Joe Hinchliffe Boorman M
Jaffer Brook Josh
Hutchison Sykes J
Res Booth M
(H) v Scholes!!!! (CYL)
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It was I’m sure a thoroughly enjoyable season for the Weston sibling who isn’t (as yet) folically challenged. Although always on hand to give fledging skipper Ash some friendly advice, how he must have relished the freedom to concentrate solely on his batting, instead of worrying about who Coddy is upsetting on the boundaries edge. Perennially unlucky, he’d easily have topped 1,000 runs, had he not suffered a rash of shocking decisions, with the Sykes Cup semi howler particularly unfortunate.
But 960 runs at 44 adds up to a fine season, and I doubt whether he’s ever batted better than on that June weekend when he made back to back tons against Honley and Holmfirth. He hits the ball much harder these days, with straight sixes a speciality, and is strong through point (see above). The arrival of the Weston clan at our club heralded the beginnings of what have been a fantastic few years, and we all hope to see those bandy legs striding out to the Chapelgate wicket for a few more years to come yet.
Make no mistake, ‘Cobbers’ arrival at the club could prove to be as important as the day Westy heard Simon Parkinson was back in the area and looking for a game, all those years ago. Steve should be one of the best all-rounders in the League very quickly. Fact. He overcame a sticky first half of the season with the bat to eventually total a highly impressive 915 runs at 38.1 He must have learned so much batting at the other end to Wasim, and their partnership produced six century opening stands. Strong through the off-side a la Gower, he is also a sweet timer off his legs, with many of his 17 sixes sailing over the bottom wall at midwicket. His bowling impresses nearly as much, spinning his off breaks sharply at a very good pace, and rarely sending down anything loose. 89* and 5 for 49 in the crucial victory over Kirkburton was the all-round performance of our season, and his century against Holmfirth will be the first of many for Scholes.
It was June ’98, and the mighty Spen Victoria of the Bradford League arrived at Chapelgate for a Heavy Woollen Cup game. There was a certain edge to this tie for some of us, as we had played them away in the same competition the previous year, in front of a big crowd in a game we narrowly lost. You split gate money 50-50 in this the oldest cup competiton in the world, and at the end of the game Spen’s esteemed and venerable Chairman presented us with the princely sum of, er, £9-50…… Needless to say, our very own “ Chairman Crowbar” took great delight in presenting the same Chairman precisely the same share of the gate after the return at Chapelgate on this fateful day.
Anyway, Spen beat us again (will we ever have the self-belief to beat a big Bradford team?), and a very young Indian named Wasim Jaffer stroked a fine ton. I remember with amazing clarity Coddy shrugging his mighty shoulders after his first three deliveries went for 4, and loudly announcing “sorry lads, this lads too f*****g good for me!” The truth is that the “Stout yeoman” served up three juicy full tosses to Wasim, but my how he made an impression that day. We soon discovered that all was not well at Spen – he was so young, homesick and hardly at the friendliest or more home-spun clubs in Yorkshire. Even though he went on to make a superlative 180 in the Final to win it for Spen, they were willing to let him go at the end of the season, so we pushed the boat out farther than ever before, and snapped him up quicker than Bob Pell grabs “yer pound raffle money” out of your hand every weekend.
Chetan Sharma had been a fantastic pro for us, but was coming to the end of his illustrious career, and was ready to move on. Wasim was of course just beginning his, already the youngest ever triple-century maker in First-class cricket, a possible future test player, and of course we thought he could lead us to greater things. Thus Spen’s loss was our gain, for as far as I know they haven’t won “sweet f a” since, and we’ve just gone from strength to strength.
Wasim settled in nicely in his first season with 1350 runs at around 60, and we were very competitive on all fronts. He went home and made shedfuls of runs that winter, and after Christmas made his debut for India. To his eternal misfortune they were playing South Africa, and he was opening up to Donald and Pollock in their pomp. He played two tests with a highest score of 22 (when he hit Donald for five 4’s), and then was brutally discarded. He is currently totally out of favour (which may or may not be connected to his “faith” being of the wrong type), but he remains a top-class act. Were he English, there can be little doubt that he would be at the very least high in the selectors minds, if not already well established. His technique is without doubt superior to any young Englishman’s, and equips him perfectly for opening the batting, as does his unflappable temperament. His talent is sublime, and I’m sorry Matthew (Wood – of Honley, Yorkshire and maybe soon England), he’s a better batter than you’ll ever be.
Wasim has adapted to the demands of the 50 over game over the past four years, and when in the mood can take attacks apart – just ask Bevis Moynan (Wasim hit him for seven successive 6’s in a league game in August). 2000 saw Wasim’s sheer weight of runs propel Scholes towards their first ever Huddersfield League title, with 1600 runs at precisely 100, a League record. As Scholes retained the title in 2001, he all but repeated the feat with 1626 runs at 91.
Unfailingly polite and courteous, popular with team-mates and supporters alike, Wasim is just a thoroughly nice chap who happens to be a fantastic cricketer. We love him, and he must think of a lot of our club to be coming back next season to torment bowlers throughout Yorkshire once more. He was last seen on Championship winning night perched on a stool with the rest of the clubhouse singing “Sunshine Mountain” – something of an Initiation Ceremony before you can claim to be a true “Scholeser”. Wasim’s passed alright.
Pod timed his return to Scholes from Thongsbridge impeccably. Two championship medals now adorn his mantelpiece, and his aggressive batting and under-rated bowling have been important factors. Has excellent technique, and hits it high, straight and hard, as at Kexborough, where he made a scintillating 90 in no time at all. Is often in at the death, where the quest for quick runs rarely sees him clocking up an average boosting ‘red-inker’, hence the unflattering average of 24.2 and 435 runs. I love watching Ian bat, and my how we missed him when he understandably shipped off to the bottom of the Valley for a couple of years. Pod and Maxine make a fine and rumbustuous couple, and have entertained us all at times this season, hence a certain award made to them tonight…….
Some indifferent early season form with the bat must have worried Thomas the Gentle, for over his shoulder was lurking James Noble, smashing tons of runs for the Seconds. He responded well though with a fluent 57 against the Kelptossers, displaying his trademark off side timing, and his place was never really in doubt thereafter. He takes his perennial lack of opportunity with the blade with a stoic sense of humour, knowing that if he’s not getting much of a chance, it means Wasim and Co are flaying the opposition to all corners, and we’re almost certainly winning. I like Tom’s sense of humour, and particularly enjoyed his “Look, it’s Hugh Hefner” barb at me in front of the Western Terrace early on in the season. 256 runs at 20 of course don’t truly reflect his true worth to his team mates, but his cameo 23 at Elland including a huge 6 over midwicket off the massive honey monster Lambert, and the brilliant catch to get rid of the dangerous Thornton in the same match, do.
Surely the only geologist playing in the Huddersfield League, Bis is the Mr Consistency of our middle order. Although he’ll never be the most fluent keeper, he stops and catches almost everything, and is easily the best batting keeper in our league. 567 runs at 28.4 and a high score of 60 isn’t especially flattering, but he very rarely fails and so often chips in with 30 or 40 when we really need it. When he really opens his shoulders, the ball fairly crunches off his heavy bat, especially through the off side. Will he ever make a deserved ton for Scholes? I think we tend to forget how hard it must be to keep and bat high in the order. (Even) bandier legged than Westy, looks uncannily like Ian Gray when at the crease these days, and his dad is a true and loyal supporter of Nick and the club. Let’s hope the ‘Donny Double Team’ hang around a lot longer.
T’was indeed a mighty feat for ‘Wood’ to skipper Scholes to back to back Section A titles in his very first season as
Captain. Yes, Scholes were once again the best side on paper, but they knew every team they played would want to put one over the Champions, and that it would be far harder to retain the Byrom Shield than to win it for the first time as in 2000. You only need to read the ‘Captain’s Log’ elsewhere in this tome to see how professionally Ash marshalled the troops and meticulously planned the campaign.
I for one don’t believe that we lost that infamous Cup semi-final at Lascelles Hall because of over confidence or complacency – it was just fate. Of course Ash’s pre-occupation with the demands of Captaincy saw his form with the blade dip, but he’ll bounce back. He also had to cope with the unique demands of the arrival of Ellie May in the middle of the season – the sight of the normally infallible Ash spilling several ‘gobbers’ through the year was a real testiment to the stresses he was enduring. He still won the club catching prize (of course), and an average of nearly 18 ain’t so bad. Well done skipper!!
What can you say about the ‘Legend’. There is little doubt that as middle age
steadily encroaches, injuries are beginning to occur with far more regularity as his massive frame takes longer to recover from each mighty effort. Yet those who have questioned ‘The Stout Yeoman’s’ heart in the past have surely been answered this season. Take the Sykes Cup semi-final. We’d batted like ‘pot dogs’ on the day it really mattered, and he knew that at 130 for 7, another ‘breakfast trip’ to the final for us alcoholic monkeys was a long way off. Tim Cox was for once really putting it in, and on his way for a 7 wicket haul. No matter, the Antipodean was despatched into the surrounding fields four times in five balls, the big crowd saluted his swashbuckling 44, and knew he’d at least given Scholes a shout. And then there was Elland at ‘orrible ‘Ullen Edge on the penultimate weekend of the season. Our bloody graveyard. One win in the league in 10 years, and a ten wicket drubbing last year. And Parki was in feckin’ America again. Coddy steamed in for 17 overs to collect a magnificent 5 for 41, and the Byrom Shield was virtually retained. What a talent. What a gob.
And truly a ‘Legend’ in our peculiarly parochial Scholes cricketing world.
The Quiet Man of the First XI – but his arrival from Shat has been a crucial element of the success of the last 2 years. As quick and deadly as anyone in our league on his day, and certain, should he continue to develop apace, to become one of the leading strike bowlers in the area in the next few years. 34 wickets at 24 each was a great effort. Statistically, his 5 for 25 at Broad Oak was his best effort, but I felt his 20 overs in the absence of Parki against Shepley in the first round of the Sykes Cup for 2 for 77 really marked his arrival as a key player at the club. Very safe catcher, and take on his monstrous arm at your peril. Allegedly used to be one of the best young batters in the area – these days an effective number 9 – immaculate defence and crucifys anything on leg stump for useful runs. Coped manfully with absence of Katey for half of season – as did his colleagues….
Following Juliette’s very serious illness over the winter, Simon understandably played a lot less cricket this year. Juliette has recovered brilliantly, but episodes like this inevitably put our beloved game of cricket into a proper perspective. So Simon only played the one Sunday game all year, that fateful day at Lascelles Hall. But how well the boys responded to the loss of the Languid Long One. He is still the best English bowler in our league, and 41 wickets at 18.3 at a miserly 2.8 an over is proof of his quality. Despite his regular absences he still bowled more overs than anyone else, proof of his importance to Ashley when he did play. Statistically his 6 for 66 in the last game of the season at Hall Bower was his best performance, but his best spell may have been in the very first game against Kirkburton, when he sent down 23 overs to collect 3 for 44. He reckons to be the best number 10 in the league, and has a great pair of hands rarely dropping a catch. We all hope that his new short run will extend his Scholes career for many years to come.
Hutch has had a lot of stick over the years from us so-called Chapelgate experts. In the bad old days, there always seemed to be a four ball – but not any more. These days he’s knows exactly where it’s going, and week after week get’s rid of the oppositon’s danger man, with some beautiful swing bowling. His speciality is one that swings away and then cuts back to just clip the off-stump – virtually unplayable as East Bierley’s Bairstow (son of Bluey) discovered in the Heavy Woollen. 2001 saw his shin-splints flaring up every weekend, and he was never without pain when bowling. So he responded heroically to the regular absences of Parki, winning the bowling averages with 38 wickets at 17.6, and bowling more overs than ever before, with his 5 for 32 against Elland in the league probably his finest spell for the club. Getting rid of Scott Richardson and Ryan Robinson in two deliveries at Kirkburton wasn’t half bad either. Ever debonair, never without a fag in hand, attends at least two ‘Balls’ a week, often is seen dashing off to the Lord Lieutenants banquet tuxedo clad straight after a game. Be warned, should he ever offer you a lift, think long and hard, you may be putting your life at risk. ‘James’ drives insanely fast.
James blazed on to the Chapelgate scene with a superb 72 against Slaithwaite. On that day everything hit the middle and he looked made for the first team. He found it a bit tougher subsequently, with his very high backlift falling victim to some of the quicker bowlers in Section A, but he’s only 17 after all. He hits it very hard all round the wicket, and a six he hit over extra cover at Honley in the mini cricket was a massive blow that sticks in my mind. He averaged well over 50 for the Seconds, and will surely become one of the best locally produced batters in the years to come. The lucky blighter is spending the winter in Oz, where I believe the plan is for him to wear the gloves and develop his already accomplished wicket-keeping. He should come back some player, pushing hard for the first team.