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Player ratings vs Rastrick

C.Earnshaw – Everyone’s favourite cat ‘Garfield’, turned up on time as per. Very little participation in warm even though he was changed. Extreme crying in club house, left in disgust. First one to leave 2/10

C. Field – Always late, great contribution in stingies however took the full force of the ball on his arse cheeks twice in the pouring rain. 7/10

J. Wallis – Great performance, always involved, scored a Ronaldo esc penalty and a Rio Ferdinand header. Started the match report, but unable to complete as unable to spell. Hair looks like it’s been cut with a knife and fork. 6/10

B. Boothroyd – Turned up dressed up as stormzy. Just a general pig. Didn’t bring his bird. Keeping his traditional year 3 haircut, but his mum told him he looked handsome. 4/10

K Cooper – Great save of a penalty when called upon in stings and slotted away the ball into the bottom corner to punish C Bird. Great head bobbing and dancing in the dressing room, feeling the beat. On for the perfect 10 until he wore a Netherton FC shirt after game. 9/10

W Parker – Some neat conversions, and sprints into the car park. Caught doing his hair in the mirror after game abandoned. Good instagramming @williamparker6. 5/10

D Dyson – The teams most disliked player turned up late. His contribution in stingies was like he still hadn’t turned up. Didn’t score, didn’t do anything, apart from sliding on his arse in his terrible grey jogging pants. Changed into his sheep shearing attire. Needs to work on his legs. 4/10

B Cockshaw – turned up late. Had an attitude worse than Oliver Clegg. Clawed it back in stingies hitting senor pig 3/3 times much to the sell-out crowd’s amusement. Rocked a juniors jaw in stingies. Still kicking off in the clubhouse, had to be restrained. 4/10

C Mcgrath – Last to arrive.  Got stuck in straight away with the cover, and took a viscous slap to the face from the sheet. Still standing good effort 8/10

R Moulson – Fresh trim, Barber: ‘what do you want mate’, Rob: ‘Just f**k it up mate’. Some typical rob moo finishing. Owned up to his fines 7/10

J Rawlinson – Turns up when he wants, says he works on Ferrari’s. Didn’t help out with sheet. Nearly got knocked out in stingies by a fierce Cockshaw slap. Refused to pay full fines. 2/10

Ground Rating – tad soggy, wicket without sheet drier than one with sheet. Outfield perfect for sliding. Ground remained firm even after several rounds of stingies.

Tea Rating – no tea available, players disappointed especially B.Boothroyd but we live to fight another day. 


Meltham v Cawthorne


Weather conditions: Overcast, windy, cold but warm in the middle

Meltham lost the toss and were sent in to bat. But the bird knew this was a good toss to lose and was happy to get first use out of the low bouncing deck. With the team wondering where the runs were going to come from and even who was going to open the batting, man like Ben Holmes, put his man bag and his dooby down to open with veteran Garfield. After 22 overs Meltham were 71-1 with Holmes was still at the crease having scored 17, with much of the crowd now nodding off. It took another 7 overs for our David to bring up his 50 with 86-3 on the board. Holmes (17), Parker (0) the men departing. Dyson left the field scoring 53, bringing M. Whitworth to the crease. In typical fashion he hit the first ball he faced for a 6 and the 3rd for a 4 before swiftly departing not long after. This spelled a small collapse and saw Meltham go from 97-4 to 130-7 which meant skipper Field would join Jimmy Sunderland at the crease. The pair battled hard against the low bounce and typical second team like bowling to bring the score to 168 before both men went not long after each other and saw Meltham all out for 171.

Cawthorne came out to bat facing some high quality bowling. With 30/57 of the runs scored probably down to third man coming off the outside edge/ guided edge. Meltham were solid in the field and made it hard work for the batsmen. Never really looked in trouble and the team spirit and noise in the field was great to see from the young side.

Player Ratings

Ben Holmes – When called upon opened the batting with a classy 17 off 22 overs. Not a crowd pleaser but an innings that set up the team total. Dig in trophy winner, sometimes like watching paint dry but did the job. Not much to do in the field. 6/10

Chris Earnshaw – Typical Garfield batting, meant scoring not a lot of runs off a lot of balls. A few wafts early on meant the square leg umpire had to swap after 10 overs. Stood at slip, nothing to do apart from give advice to the young skipper. 4/10

David Dyson – After going out Saturday evening and not arriving home until 6 am Sunday morning the all-rounder was expected to be absolutely useless. But the wee man delivered the goods with 53 with the bat and bowling figures of 4-2. Nothing to do in the field. An outstanding performance, but an explicit snapchat sent to team captain at 6am and refusing to pay fines means the poo boy scores 2/10

Will Parker – Another team member who had too much alcohol this weekend and this showed in his performance. An ugly 0, out lbw to a ball which got no higher than his bootlace. Opened the bowling and was unlucky not to get more wickets. Must try harder. 4/10

Cameron McGrath – Good performance from the youngster. Promoted up the order and scored double figures. Bowling looked dangerous after not bowling since last season and saw the ball nipping around causing the batsmen trouble. Still the second best Cam in the team 7/10

Ben Boothroyd – The notorious PIG started off the 2016 campaign with some brute force with his batting. Not required to bowl but was evident in the field with some textbook fielding. Solid start to build on 6/10

Myles Whitworth – The crowd pleaser delivered after a boring start smashing a 6 off his first ball but this didn’t last long after the 12 year old bowler took revenge and sent him back to the pavilion. Not required to bowling his speciality second team wicket takers. Some extremely unnecessary diving in the field but took a catch to make it 2 in 2 weeks.. Changed man. 5/10

James Sunderland – Great knock bringing the runs at the end of the innings with 29. Harsh decision not to call the ball a no ball which he got out to. Had a few nibbles at Jordan steeples comments but kept his attitude together. Unlucky not to get any wickets with the ball. Looked sharp in his fresh creps swinging it both ways. 8/10

Cameron Field – First game in charge for the new second team skipper. Brought the safety at the end of the innings with some guaranteed runs. Should have batted himself higher up and if done so would have probably tonned up against some loose bowling. Lost his head and took a big swipe at a full toss. Superb behind the sticks on a pitch the ball didn’t carry. Unlucky to not take a catch standing up to the seamer C McGrath, not even MS Dhoni would have taken it. 10/10

Jordan Steeples – The key man in Melthams 2010/11 bowling attack returned after a few years off and it was like he had never been missing. Required to bat late on and scored a solid 1. Cat like in the field and a deadly accurate arm. Got into the batsmen who struggled to handle his chat. Won the raffle, unbelievable scenes which pleased the dressing room. 10/10

Kyrone Cooper – Came in at number 11 and didn’t face many balls. Finished with a red inker, one of the hardest men to get out in the league. Not required to bowl on a pitch that was perfect for seam bowling. Caught a catch in typical form, allowing it to roll down his arms and into his lap. Solid in the field as always, throwing looks more accurate and sharper than last year. 8/10

Teas – outstanding, setting the standard in the drakes cricket league. More on offer than at Meltham morrisons. 11/10

Ground – beautiful setting. Deck tad soft bearing in mind they have some fancy covers. Scorebox broken which wouldn’t have pleased beef if present. But overall one of the nicest grounds to attend 8/10.



Meltham 111ao vs. Clayton West 115

As we all know Clayton West isn't the biggest of grounds and it seems that the size of the pitch is reflected in the score box. First of all it is the size of a matchbox, barely tall enough for me, Beef, to stand in, you walk in through the door which covers the whole of one of the "walls" and has to be slammed shut or it won't close properly. Speaking of the walls they look like they had been built by an eight year-old with poor eyesight and barely the ability to lift a brick, never mind the four that went into building the box, which probably took a whole 40 minutes to construct. As you walk in you are greeted by an antique bar stool which you are expected to sit on for 45 overs, so it was a good job the game was over quick otherwise it's possible I would have lost the will to live by the 90th over. The score book has to be rested on a dilapidated, maybe once kitchen work surface, which is filthy and also covered in burn marks from the fires of hell which is the Clayton West score box. The score box couldn't be in a much worse place, either. It is right in the corner of the postage stamp pitch right by the entrance to the ground so every time someone enters (at their peril) or leaves the ground there is a spectator walking straight in front of your view. The score is put up outside the score box on hooks, which suspend the numbers for the players to see, unfortunately as three "1's" were needed for the dismal score of the first innings when the 11 overs mark was reached the umpires didn't seem to like the fact that the amount of overs bowled wasn't shown so after roughly half an hour of telling them that their weren't any more one's i had to walk out and take them from the bottom which showed Meltham's score. In the score box behind your head are about 50 cobwebs waiting to take the next sorry victim of this horrible structure which somehow still stands. The second the last runs were scored I felt like a starting gun had just been let off to see how fast I could run as far away from the matchbox as I could and if Meltham don't get promoted I hope to God Clayton West do, I never want to go their again. Oh, Meltham lost by the way, Jack Hinch once again got a large percentage of the runs.  


Meltham 92ao vs. Golcar 94-4 

We lost. Again. 

Batting was apalling. Again.

Fielding was apalling. Again.

Scoring was perfect. Again.


Almondbury Wes. 196 vs. Meltham 185 

What was expected to be a rained off if not shortened game turned out to be a 90 over thriller which would see both teams score highly with a total score of 381. Unfortunately, though, the captain's ambition for an unbeaten season was abolished after just the second game by an Almondbury Wes side that scraped promotion from the conference last year.  

DC won the toss and chose to bowl which set Meltham off in their attempt to quickly bowl the batting team out and knock off the runs the following innings and get a swift 6 points. Will Parker and Jack Hench opened the bowling and everything seemed to be going to plan after just the second over when the home team's opener T. Hinks was dispatched for 0 after a catch from Ben 'agility' Cockshaw. Sadly Parker's first two overs were arguably his best and captain Martin Shaw hit 8 past the boundary the following over and after a spell of just four overs, having been hit for 24 from them, it was decided the opener should take a break from bowling. In his first game back Jason Boyd marked his run up as Meltham's third bowler and bowled a good first 3 overs and could have had a wicket from one of them had there not been a dropped catch near the boundary, not naming any names... (it was Will Parker). After Jack Hinch's good spell of 6 overs on came Moulson Jnr. Jnr. who had a wobbly first couple of overs but sorted himself out and took the second wicket of the match, although it has to be said there have been better wickets. Following a meager 4th and 5th over from Delphinium which went for a combined score of 17 it prompted the decision to bring on Hinchliffe Snr. Snr. who made the breakthrough to get team high scorer M. Shaw out, Sidebottom with the catch. So it was 79 for 3 after 19 overs and it was only one over later when S. Fisher was given LBW after an R. Moulson bowl - leading to Meltham's second of two wicket maidens. The visiting side then had to wait 11 more overs to see another wicket though which was courtesy of Milhouse parker succeeding his second attempt at a caught and bowled wicket. 5 overs later Jack Hinchliffe obtained his second wicket with the help of a brilliant diving catch from A. Vickerman who, as well as holding record for best catch of the season so far, also holds the record for longest time to get changed at 3 hours 15 minutes, the batsman out Coe Byrne with a score of 46. The seventh wicket fell in the 41st over which saw Parker get his second dismissing D. Russell for 10. It was only 5 minutes later when J. Hinchliffe got his third in his penultimate over, I. Saboor (4) the victim. So after a mixed performance from both sides the Almondbury Wes score on the board finished at 196 for 8.              

Having eaten a very good, warm tea Ben Cockshaw and Darren Hinchliffe hobbled on to the pitch in the interest of knocking off the required runs and got off to a good start after hitting 6 from the first over, only from one bowl, mind. M. Saleem saw his first over go for no runs but the Meltham openers put up a steady partnership of 50 from 15 overs before Daz Hinch was caught by the home captain following a bowl from I. Saboor - Almondbury Wes's's's overseas from Newsome. The first wicket had fallen and unfortunately the score would only go up by 13 and only 4 overs would pass before Cockshaw was bowled out by again I. Saboor, who set his own world record - first person to simultaneously run a marathon and play cricket. On strode Jack Hinchliffe this time as a batter who had a slow start but definitely picked it up towards the death. After a collective score between the batsman of 23 Boyd was bowled out by leading wicket taker Z. Stanger with an impressive 29. Next on was Alex Vickerman who didn't have to wait long to go back to the changing rooms when he was bowled out for a golden duck by Z. Stanger. It was just a 7 minute wait for J. Sidebottom when number 6 Simon Holmes was bowled out for 0 by, guess who, Z. Stanger. So on came Sidebottom who himself only lasted 11 minutes and 4 overs before getting bowled out by Z. f****** Stanger. Meanwhile at the other end Jack hench had scored himself 14 whilst watching 4 fellow Meltham batters get out. The next better on was Will Parker who seemed to forget his bowling performance and dealt almost entirely in boundaries with 92 required from just 11 overs. The pair put on a very good partnership with high scores from both players and it wasn't until the 44th over that one of them got out, Will Parker in fact, with a score of 29, was caught out by wicket keeper L. Jackson. Number 9 was Cam Field who had to go for the slog from the start with 27 the required score from the remaining 2 overs. Unfortunately though Field couldn't seem to connect bat and ball and the efforts of him and Jack Hinch weren't enough in the end and the Meltham score finished up at 185. A special mention has to go to Jack Hinchliffe who scored and impressive 60 not out with 8 four's and 2 six's and 97 minutes at the crease.  

Next week a better performance is required if the team want to gain promotion. We are at Home to Shelley on both Saturday and Sunday with the latter in the Paddock Shield   


Meltham 248 vs. Thongsbridge 72ao

A comparably overcast start in relation to the previous days set Meltham off in their attempt to finish the season unbeaten and a short, straw coloured wicket was what most were expecting, instead something that would make the Royal Horticultural Society blush was presented to the teams. After Thongsbridge won the toss and elected to bowl the Meltham openers put on their pads and wasted no time to put runs on the board. First out were Cockshaw and ginger Armitage and neither of them would return to the clubhouse for another 37 overs putting on a total partnership of 182. The one and only MCG saw Armitage put 50 on the board having faced just 62 balls and being on the pitch for a mere 61 minutes, after that she would go on to score a total of 92. After the first Meltham casualty, though, 3 more quickly followed with the team not losing one man for 37 overs but losing 3 more just 8 overs later. Cockshaw (77) seemed to struggle against 78 year old R. Kirk, with him conceding just 2 runs from 4 consecutive overs, his next 5 however went for 25 more. After both openers fell to bowler Alexander James having being caught out and scoring 182 runs collectively, in came Daz and Jack Hinchliffe, with Darren not willing to score less than 30 from just 18 balls, eventually getting dismissed by A. James and getting caught by J.Thompson with a score of 36 with six 4's and a 6. Jack hench (15) and Darren were followed by Jack Moulson and Ryan Sidebottom James Rawlinson who scored 4* and 0* respectively, the final score on the board was 248. After pie and peas the the home team led themselves out in the interest of getting off the pitch as fast as they did as the batting team last season. First out were M. Bridge and J. Wilson and Bridge obviously preferred to deal in boundaries, scoring 20 off the opening 2 overs hitting Parker and Hench for 2 6's and 2 4's each, causing DC's men to already fear the worst and repeat last season's performance at Barkisland. M. Bridge didn't last much longer though and was soon dismissed for 22 after a catch from Jack Hinch, Will Parker the bowler. T. Wilson faired no better and was ousted for 2 the previous over. On marched Tom Webster who most likely probably expected to score more than 7 himself but was out to a bowl on the leg stick by last season's leading wicket taker William Parker. Thongsbridge's number 5 batsman only had to wait 9 minutes before his predecessor A.James was again bowled by W.Parker for 1. So on came captain James Thompson who went on to be the team's second highest scorer having reached the dizzying heights of 15 before being caught by Ben Cockshaw in his 3rd attempt following two rather lethargic "dives", bowler GlaxoSmithKline. J. Dalton and K. Malcolm scored 2 and 6 respectively before being bowled and given LBW. A mere 7 minutes later saw G. Mallinson and Hollies fellow Yorkshire ladies player Francesca James come on to both score ducks, with Mallinson's golden. On came L. "footwork" Bridge and Bruce Forsyth who scored just 7 between them, with all of them going to Sir Bruce who earned himself the only "Not Out" for the Thongsbridge side. Overall a fantastic performance from the whole team meant Meltham took all 6 points, a matched performance next week is almost guarenteed to give DC's side an away win at Almondbury Wes.


Meltham wilt in the heat
Meltham 71 vs Broad Oak 72/4

After a beautiful week of weather most were expecting a run filled deck at Mean Lane, something white that resembled a road. However what we got was one that looked the same as usual but since they normally play ok and temperatures were in the high 20s there was no hesitation in batting first when Meltham won the toss.
Meltham opened up with Daz and Boydy and both were back in the tent without a run being scored. They were soon followed by Jack Hinch, Jack Moo and young Vickerman as Meltham slipped to 8 for 5 inside 6 overs. Both Broad Oak bowlers were extracting bounce and seam movement not often seen at Mean Lane.
Shaw played out the hat trick ball and slogged a couple before Sam F & Henry Wise departed leaving Meltham at 28/7 and not looking likely to get 30. Will Parker, who was yet to score a run in 2013, came in at 9 and in partnership with Shaw some runs came. Shaw survived a large appeal for caught behind which left Woodruff and Burnett moaning like they'd picked each others keys out of the fruit bowl. Shaw slogged a few more to take Meltham to 70 before he was caught off a wicket taker from the leg spinner for 38. Parker and Martin Wise soon followed as Meltham finished on 71 before tea was ready.
After 10 minutes we went straight round with Broad Oak opening with Wadsworth & Keeling, obviously seeing that they way to bat on this track was to slog. Will Parker bowled well and regularly removed Oakers from the top end whilst the other Meltham bowlers struggled at the bottom end. Wadsworth finished with a half century as the Oak cantered home in 12 overs with 4 down and tea was ready.
Next week a big game in the relegation battle down at Armitage Bridge where a much better performance is required.

Shat see off plucky Meltham
Meltham 157/8 vs Shat 160/6

Meltham set off to Lidgett Lane to face top of the table Skelmathorpe in hope rather than expectation. Shat are flying high at the top of the league with 6 x 6pointers to their name and were 43 points above Meltham at the start of play. So when big Joe won the toss the home side had no hesitation of sticking the visitors in a very unlike Skelmanthorpe track as it was a touch green.
Jagger and Greene opened for Shat to Hinchcliffe and Armitage and it was Meltham who made the brighter start by taking 30 of the first 5 overs. Jagger then had Daz adjudged LBW by Stu 'I never give LBs' Hartill for 26 to bring Durdles to the crease.
Together Hollie and Durdles built steadily in a 20 over partnership worth 64 mixing sound defence with punishment of the bad ball. Big Joe replaced Green at the top end for a 6 over spell on a length which would have been short for Erv but only went for 12 whilst Norm Steers replaced Jagger and bowled and excellent 12 over spell for 1/20.
The introduction of spin from Dollive made the breakthrough for Skelmanthorpe, firstly Hollie was LBW for 33, then Jack Hinch turned slower than a cruise ship to be run out for 2. Whites had gone for 24 and then after numerous LBW shouts, some of which would have made Chris Payne blush, Shaw was LBW for 7. The C Dog chipped back to Dollive for 1 soon after and 96/2 had become 110/7 after 40 overs to leave Meltham relying on Henry High Fives Wise and George Britney-Kenworthy-Sykes to get them a total and a point.
Shat brought back the opening bowlers of Jagger and Greene but neither seemed interested at bowling at the stumps as the 13 & 14 year old batters seemed unflustered. In an attempt to bowl out Meltham, the angry Wimpenny had a bowl and much to Melthams delight the young Hyphenator dispatched him to all parts, taking 23 off his three overs to take them over 150. George was out in the last over for a high quality 33 but High Fives ensured the point and finished 14* as Meltham ended on 157/8.
After a hot tea the home side set about their target with Mark Wimpenny and Morgan against Jack Hinch and Millhouse. Morgan soon fell for 12 as Wimpenny scored runs all round the ground off various edges. The introduction of Haji and Deadly then put the squeeze on Shat as the runs slowed and the rain clouds hovered. Dollive was LBW to Daz, a second decision from Stu 'I never give em' Hartill to leave Skelmanthorpe at 77/2 and still well set at drinks.
Mark insisted he was batting ok despite 50% of his runs coming from areas other than the middle but the home side couldn't get on a roll against the guile of Haji & Hinchcliffe. Steers was LBW for 5, Ricky Wimps edged behind for 0 and the Mark played over the top of one to be bowled for a grafting, if not fluent, 62 to leave Shat at 100/5 after 30 overs. Ishy finished his 12 with 2/19 and Daz with 2/44 from 12 with Whittaker and the other Dollive at the crease. After 5 overs of playing themselves in the 2 shat batters decided it was time to finish the game. Whittaker smashed one over the housing which would have been a £4 taxi fare to retrieve it before he was caught for 22 by the C Dog but Shat always had batters in the tent as Dollive (27*) & Greene (8*) saw the home side home by 4 wickets.
All in all a good battling performance from Meltham against the best side we have seen this year. Plenty of positives to take from competing with Shat and nobody would have been able to say that the game played out as Top (lost 1 out of 10) versus bottom (1 point and no wins from 10). That first win is just around the corner if we continue to play like we are.

Controversy at Cawthorne 
Cawthorne 204/6 vs Meltham 189ao

Meltham had their breakfast, packed the car and set off into the unknown for a first ever visit to Cawthorne. The sun mostly shone and the track looked hard as Meltham won the toss and inserted the home side, hoping that the change in tactic may bring a change in luck after recent close defeats.
The Cawthorne openers started sedately, content to pick up singles and dispatch the odd short ball until Jack Hinch picked up a simple caught and bowled in the 5th over. The 2nd wicket pair continued the steady pace taking the score upto 38 in the 14th over when Morgan top edged Rob Moo to square leg for 13. This brought Buckingham to the crease and along with opener Roebuck they continued to grind out the runs at 3 an over. It was slow going, especially given that Roebuck pulled away every time a sparrow flew over Silkstone as it was behind the bowlers arm.
Drinks came and went (touch strong) and Meltham served up some buffet but strangely, given the location, Cawthorne refused to be agricultural and continued to accumulate. Daz finished his 12 for only 30, Britney only went for 16 in 5 and even a Shaw Pukka selection over only went for 2 as it seemed the home side had all day. A four over spell seemed to get the C Dog out of his dartitus with some decent balls in his spell. It was Cam who finally made the breakthrough as Roebuck pulled to deep square for a composed 66. Buckingham (53) soon followed, bowled Boyd as did Mott W (3) as the home side stuck to batting correctly. Finally in the last over did they chance their arm as Mott C hit a couple of 6s as 19 came from it as the home side finished on 204/6, which at the time looked 30 or 40 under par.
After a decent tea Meltham opened with Daz and the party bound Cam and took 24 off the first 3 overs until Daz chipped one to cover for 9. Cam (27) was out in enough time to get to his do but Jack Hinch and Hollie steadied the Meltham ship. When Hollie offered the leg spinner a tame caught and bowled the visitors were 70/3 at 19 overs and still looking ok. Boyd came to the crease and continued his recent good form as he and Jack batted calmly and steadily in a similar vein to the home sides innings.
Kaye bowled an eventful 12 over spell which included a wicket off a no ball (a no ball at that pace, eh?) and a top class paddy when an appeal was turned down to finish with a tidy 1/32. The low bounce enabled Roebuck to get away with a cheap 7 over stint from a mixed bag of pies but Meltham remained on course. Jack (30) and daybuuing Vickerman (2) were both caught but Boyd continued to bat superbly and in partnership with durdles took Meltham upto 170 and victory was in sight. Holmes (23) holed out on the edge before the dark clouds gathered and the controversy descended. 
Firstly Shaw was out caught off a chest high full toss that he lost as it was over the sightscreen, it appeared the over waist height rule didn't apply and then with only 18 required it all kicked off. With the sun low and his hands shielding his face the home umpire adjudged the untroubled Boyd out for 52. He wasn't bowled, caught or LBW, neither did he hit it twice, obstruct the field or take an age to get to crease, there was no run, he didn't stand on his wicket and he was 4 inches inside his crease so wasn't stumped, however the home finger shot up quicker than the proverbial rat and drainpipe story and with it the chance of the first victory for Meltham had gone. An over later it was all over as Meltham finished on 189 and the arguments could start properly. A 20 minute set to was finally sorted as drinks were taken and the sun set on an absorbing days cricket which still leaves Meltham winless and time running out to stay in this division. All round a great game of cricket against a decent set of lads who take the p*ss by clapping you off when you get out for single figures to a filthy shot and another improved performance by a Meltham side which had 4 players aged 14 and under and 7 teenagers in total.
Next week we visit Shat where this run of close defeats must end as it is getting a touch boring.

Belcham & Barki break home hearts
Meltham 251/6 vs Barkisland 252/6

With glorious weather bathing the MCG once again a strong looking Barkisland won the toss and inserted Meltham on a track that was a hard and dry belter to bat on as it offered very little in terms of seam or spin.
The home side started poorly against Burger and Schofield as first Armo ran herself out with a suicide single for 4 before Daz followed up last weeks ton by pulling a 2nd team wicket taker from Schofield straight to mid on for 29. 
Boyd and Jack Hinch had to dig in before burger finally pitched one in the right half to bowl Jack for 13. Boyd was joined in the middle by his early morning drinking partner Holmes and together they steadied the ship. Schofield shook off a telling off from his mum for swearing loudly to finish with an expensive 1/43 whilst burger finished his 12 with 1 for 23. Ironically this was 15 runs less than he went for in a 9 ball spell the last time we faced him (admittedly you'd have needed a step ladder to reach a quarter of them), nonetheless it was a decent effort in the hot sun.
Boyd brought up his half century before whites (16) and GS-K (10) departed leaving Meltham at 140/5 with 12 overs left. Shaw joined Boyd and after playing out 5 dots set about the buffet like it was pies and cake. The run rate was upped before Boyd was bowled for 76 and Armitage J picked up a run a ball 16* as Meltham continued to add on the runs. The home side finished on a season high of 251/6 with 110 runs coming in the final 12 overs, Shaw finishing with a 39 ball 63 not out.
After a decent tea and 20 minutes sun cream applying time for the home sides ginger contingent the visitors looked in a rush as Whiteoak & Bridges chanced their arm with a series of big shots. It took the introduction of deadly Daz to break the partnership as Whiteoak picked out Rob Moulson on the edge for 60 of which 50% came from the middle. Bridges soon followed for 52 and despite being ahead of the run rate it was time to dig in. Daz bowled Coleman (12), Holroyd (26) and trapped Burger (11) in front as captain Schofield batted like Boycott until he edged behind for a colourless 10. This left the visitors needing about 60 in 15 with 7 & 8 at the crease and the game very much in the mixer. Chances went begging as both were put down by Hollie and Boyd as Bridges M and Belcham picked up the required 4 an over to edge Barkisland home after 49 overs as yet again Meltham suffered defeat with balls rather than overs to spare. Belcham finished on 32 and Bridges 26 with Daz returning the best figures of the day with 6/32 from his 12.
Good luck to the visitors who on that side look one of the better teams in the division but the difference today was the fielding at which Barkisland excelled taking all their chances and stopped at least 30 with some great stops. Next up we go to Cawthorne for the first time where these close defeats must be turned into wins if we are to stay up.

Bird brings home the bacon for Swaine
Meltham 239ao vs Hoylandswaine 241/6

With the sun shining again at the MCG, a changed from 2012 'Swaine visited missing a few and with only 10 men but a much improved attitude. Meltham decided to bat first on a dry and worn track and opened up with Hinchcliffe and Armitage against Bird and Lockwood.
A good early spell from young Lockwood up the hill accounted for both Armitage and Boyd but Bird was struggling downhill allowing Daz to get into the flow. In partnership with his son Jack, the Hinchcliffes set about rebuilding the Meltham innings and in tandem they took the score along nicely until the introduction of Holmes at the top end. In his usual style of leg spinners, top spinners, half trackers and wicket takers Holmes accounted for both Jack Hinch and Shaw with half trackers hit straight at deep square leg whilst Daz shook his head at the non-strikers end. Despite nursing shoulder and finger injuries Daz continued to bat beautifully despite the regular fall of wickets at the other end. He was finally out for a fantastic 142 in the 47th over soon followed by Rob Moo (17) as the home side were all out for a season high of 239.
A superb tea including anti pasta and some continental sausage was taken before the visitors set about their reply with Lockwoods Darren & Jack opening against the Hinchcliffes Darren & Jack for the home side. After 7 luckless overs Boydy & Will Parker replaced the Hinchcliffes with good effect. Will, with his 1st bowl in a year, accounted for Daz Lockwood and the number 3 whilst Boydy cleaned up Jack Lockwood and the number 5 in excellent spells which left the 10 man visitors up against it.
Marsh kept up the scoring rate and along with Holmes inched 'Swaine to within 80 with 15 overs left but when the returning Daz Hinch bowled Marsh for a high class 65 the game was back in the melting pot.
Tight bowling from Daz and Rob Moo kept on the pressure but a few big hits, a few misfields, some excellent running and full use of both edges of the bat by Bird and Holmes kept 'Swaine on course. There was only 2 required when Bird was bowled by Daz for a matchwinning 42 and the visitors duly completed a 4 wicket win with 2 overs to spare in an excellent contest. The confidence of being used to winning combined with that extra experience of the younger players the key for Hoylandswaine in seeing them over the line. In the end disappointment again despite taking another game to the end from which hopefully some will learn from.
After the match some of the 'Swaine even broke with tradition and stayed for a drink which was good to see as the home side reflected on another defeat which leaves them already 17 points from safety and still to experience a win in 2013.

Burton win bank holiday banker
Meltham 216/8 vs Kirkburton 219/3

After the sun of Saturday the weather went from autumn to winter at a breezy Riley Lane as Meltham visited Kirkburton on the Spring Bank Monday.
The Meltham side contained more new faces (now used 21 different players in 6 games #statattack) and when it came up tails there was no hesitation from the Meltham skipper in choosing to bat first.
Meltham opened up with Hinchcliffe D and Boyd and quickly set about a strangely subdued home attack by taking 50 off the first 7 overs. Things were going well until Boyd (21) was bowled by Gav Smith to be soon followed by Daz (37) in a similar fashion. Most Meltham followers were then expecting the usual collapse and the struggle to make 100 as usually happens at 'Burton but not today. Simon 'Whites' Holmes had other ideas and set about the home bowling by first dispatching Smith into the field a couple of times then smashing Gardener all over in a fantastic knock. With support from Hinchcliffe J (6), Haji (27), Wise (5) runs flowed as Meltham set about making their first total of 2013. A 6th wicket partnership of over 50 between Whites and 13yo Sykes-Kenworthy (18) took Meltham beyond 200 until a last over hat trick from Crookes (not worth a mention in the press!) meant the visitors finished on 216/8 with Holmes finishing unbeaten on 88.
Kirkburton replied with Greaves and Smith (don't know which one) and made steady progress despite good accurate opening spells from Jack Hinch and Hyphen. The introduction of Boyd brought a couple of wickets as Greaves (45) was LBW before another Smith (3) was bowled but the home side never looked in danger as Smith continued to score. With a bit of rain in the air Ping Pong Lindley put bat to ball in a quickfire 42 until he was stumped off Moulson but by then it was too late and the game was gone. Kettlewell also seemed in a rush as the runs continued to flow from one end (Smith eyeing the red inker had resorted to a single each ball) and it was left to young Kyrone Cooper to bowl the 41st and last over of the game as 'Burton eased over the line with 3 down, Smith finishing on 76* and Kettlewell 38*.
Positives for sure by batting the 50 overs and scoring over 200 against one of the best sides in the league but again the catching was poor. Next up Swaine at the MCG, what fun.

Simple for Scholes
Scholes 266/5 vs Meltham 143ao

After a week of autumnal weather, the sun was blazing and a game was played in proper cricket weather for the first time since 2011. The track was drier than expected and when Scholes won the toss they had no hesitation having first use.
Meltham, without Rudkin or Boyd, opened up with Hinchcliffe and Sykes-Kenworthy (combined age 27) and both produced good opening spells to Boorman and Moorhouse. The unlucky big G continued from last week by having both openers dropped by Steeps & Whites as Scholes made a steady start. The introduction of spin made the breakthrough as a Moulson wicket taking knee high full toss trapped Moorhouse (16) in front as all were looking to how far it had gone. Haji was introduced at the top end and he soon had Tramp (34) adjudged LBW as he missed a straight one trying to sweep to leave Scholes at 78/2.
From there Scholes steadily built with Pamment showing his first team pedigree and alongside Scensceni (28) and Coleman (49*) a big score was on the cards, especially considering the depth of the Meltham attack without 24 of its usual overs.
Chances kept coming and dropping as Pamment continued to mix quick singles and big hits and he brought up his century in the 48th over until Meltham finally took their sixth chance to dismiss him. Scholes finished on a competitive 266/5 with good efforts from the ball from Hyphen (1/33 in 10), Hinchcliffe (1/51), Moulson (1/50) and Haji (1/35) with 80 runs coming from the 7 overs of bit part buffet and a top effort in the field from young Wise on debut.
After tea Meltham opened up with Shaw and Holmes and it appeared that Scholes had caught the dropping bug as Shaw pulled Pearson straight at square leg to be dropped before scoring. The home openers set about the target with usual gusto and the 50 came up off 10 wayward overs from Pearson & Saville. The introduction of Boorman and Moorhouse in his shiny disco pants made the breakthrough for Scholes. First Shaw (36) was bought cheaply by some very slow 'spin' from Boorman caught slogging as usual soon followed by Whites (17) adjudged either LBW or caught behind of the bowling of John Travolta.
Steeples (6) and Hinchcliffe J (19) hung around for a while until a middle order collapse saw them both fall quickly followed by Armitage (9), Wise H (0), Haji (13) and Hinchcliffe D(3) as variety of Scholes bowling bamboozled them.
Britney Hyphenator (11*) and Martin Wise provided some late innings runs as Meltham edged towards denying the visitors maximum points until George ran out Wise, possibly forgetting the difference in age and speed between the wickets as Meltham finished on 143 in the 49th over.
All in all a decent game played in a good spirit in nice weather and what more can you ask for on a Saturday apart from winning.

Experience the key for 'Firth
Meltham 164/2 vs Holmfirth 165/3

After heavy overnight rain and persistent morning drizzle most were expecting 2 points each and an afternoon in the bar. However at Holmfirth things were different. With 50% of the outfield roped off, a stiff breeze and temperatures bordering on 8 degrees the umpire judged it fit enough for a 2:30pm start.
It then promptly rained from 2:30 to 3:15 and with tea not ready the umpire and Mike Bocarro decided play would start at 3:30 & 30 overs on a pitch that didn't become fit 'til about 4:30pm. Before play there was a minutes silence impeccably observed from both sides to mark the death of Alan Cuttell who played for both sides.
Shaw and Boyd opened up for Meltham against Lippy and Charlie Allen and an eventful start it was. Boyd was dropped by Brown twice on his first 2 scoring shots before Shaw (6) skied a catch into the leg side soon followed by junior pix caught behind to leave Meltham struggling at 27/2. Boydy was then joined at the crease by 14yo Jack Hinchcliffe and together they rebuilt the innings with some good running, sound defence and putting away the odd over of buffet. The home attack seemed short of ideas as Meltham tucked away the buffet at between 6 & 16 an over. Meltham pressed on regardless and ended on a fantastic 164/2 with Boyd finishing on 90* and young Jack Hinch on 52*.

After a large tea Battye-Wood & Bocarro opened up and immediately set about Rudkin who was slow to get back into rhythm after recovering from a tea room injury at Shepley. Jack Hinchcliffe, as usual, was bowling an immaculate line and went for only 9 in an initial 4 over spell.
Critically though Meltham couldn't break the partnership and even though the home side were behind the rate the lack of a 5th bowler and u11 boundaries meant that the game could be decided in the odd over. In an attempt to find the breakthrough the Meltham skipper called up Cameron Field for an over that will be talked about for years that somehow only contained wides and dots. There were however also couple declared dead balls as the pitched inside the bowlers crease much to the crowds delight. Field was replaced by Britney in a double barrelled hyphen off against the Holmfirth opener and George was unlucky to have both openers dropped in a very tidy 5 over spell. The introduction of Boyd and return of Hinchcliffe brought some wickets as Battye-Wood (80), Bocarro (30) and Thornton (8) fell but it was too little too late for the visitors as the Allen boys took Holmfirth in One Direction and that was to take Holmfirth home with 3 down and 2 overs to spare. 

Good efforts with the ball from Jack 1/24 in 7 and GSK 0/29 in 5 (which will no doubt have the Tapperers Upperers looking at Mean Lane again) and a great effort in the field by all couldn't help force a win however all in all a good performance and positive signs against a side who currently sit top of the table.

Meltham vs Armitage Bridge
No play - rain, hail and wet

Shepley sink sad 8 man Meltham
Meltham 83ao vs Shepley 84/0

For a second successive year Meltham 2nds Paddock Shield run ended in round 1 with a heavy and embarrassing defeat at the hands of lower league opposition.
Meltham won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first with a side of 8 men of which only 5 were regulars. Steeples (13) & Boyd (28) opened and put 39 on for the 1st wicket in 10 overs at which point the wheels came off. Wickets tumbled quickly and the with the umpires fancying an early tea the last 4 wickets fell to quickfire LBWs as Meltham finished on 83 in 26 overs.
Tea was however a different matter and the highlight of a very poor day. Wraps, teacakes, butties, pasties, tomatoes/mozzarella/balsamic, wedges, salad, pasta and many other things adorned a top tea table and seriously gives Shat a challenge as top tea destination.
After tea Rudkin got injured walking back to the changing rooms which meant Meltham were without an opening bowler and fielding with 7 plus a gratefully accepted substitute from the home side. It only took 11 overs for Greaves (13*) & Bradley (70*) to knock off the required runs as Meltham were home before final score even after a pint. Next week Armitage Bridge visit when hopefully some of the 11 who made excuses this week are back but with 4 of todays side unavailable I'm not holding out much hope.

Rain the winner in the battle of the bulge
Meltham 41/2 vs Elland RSP

In what can only be classed as a heavyweight contest, rain won the day at a cold, blustery Mean Lane as persistant moor grime enabled only 12 overs of play to give the visitors their first points of 2013.
Elland won the toss and inserted Meltham on a hard, dry track. The Armitages yet again opened up before the Stalwart missed a straight one with a touch of the agriculturals to leave Meltham at 20/1. Boyd then dispatched a couple of boundaries until top edging a filthy 2nd team wickettaker which Speak held comfortably behind the stumps. Hollie and Jack Hinch  showed good technique and took the score along to 41 before the wind blew in the moor grime.
After watching 2 hours of rain, tea was taken, Barry Dy was paid and the we all went home with both teams celebrating a first non defeat of the year and Elland adjudged the heavier side by about 4oz despite the returning Steeples best efforts over the winter.

Jostlers pull it out of the bag
Meltham 133/8 vs Broad Oak 134/7

A spirited display from Meltham ended in disappointment as Broad Oak snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with an over to spare.
After a heavy hail storm delayed the start until 3 the home side had some serious hesitation on winning the toss before inserting the visitors. As usual at the Oak the track looked good as the Armitages once again opened up and got Meltham off to a better start than last week. Big John perished first for 24 followed shortly after by a returning Cockshaw without scoring to leave Meltham on 38/2. After that wickets tumbled at regular intervals with all batters getting a start but not getting in as Hollie (14), Holmes (12), Boyd (27), Hinchcliffe (12) and Shaw (10) all seemed to struggle with a touch of variable bounce and the 2 paced nature of the track. Meltham closed on 133/8 with Field 12* and Moulson 3* ensuring the point which after the decent star was about 15 or 20 short.
After tea Keeling & Baxter opened up slowly for the Oak against some impressive bowling, particularly young Jack Hinchcliffe who made the breakthrough in 10th over when Boyd snaffled Keeling with a top diving catch in the gully. Boyd then entered the action with ball to take out the middle order with a spell of 3/18 and when big John caught Baxter in the deep off Hyphen the home side were down and out. 
A wicket for Moulson in his first over reduced to the home side to 54/6 with 13 overs to go and it looked all over until one of the Wadsworths entered the fray and smashed 35 in 22 balls. Brooke 34* and Howard 11* saw the home side edge the game with an over to spare in a tense finish to leave the visitors deflated. A top effort from Meltham in the field with Hinchcliffe (1/17 in 8) and Boyd the pick of the Meltham attack.

Springtime stroll for Slawit
Meltham 64ao vs Slawit 65/2

The season dawned in bright sunshine up at a breezy Hill Top as 10 man Meltham suffered a heavy defeat.
After winning the toss the home side had no hesitation in deciding to have a bowl on a soft wicket, a decision which soon paid dividends. Meltham opened with father & daughter Armitages but Hollie was bowled for 0, followed by Shaw for a similar score to leave the visitors at 3/2 inside 2 overs. Meltham stalwart, John Armitage, picked out a diving square leg 3 overs later for 12 and an early finish looked on the cards. A battling partnership between Jack Hinchcliffe (18) and Holmes (9) helped push the score along but wickets continued to fall at regular intervals as Meltham stumbled to 64 all out in 36 overs, Heely 4/13 the pick of the home attack.

After a pleasant tea Peacock & Bryson opened for the home side against Rudkin & Hinchcliffe with the ball and soon found it hard work as both Meltham bowlers were accurate. Peacock soon perished caught by the stalwart off Rudkin for 8 and when George Kenworthy-Sykes-Kenworthy replaced Hinchcliffe he despatched Bryson. However they were the only successes for Meltham as the home side strolled home in the spring sunshine for the loss of 2 wickets in 27 overs. Rudkin 8-6-5-1 the pick of the Meltham bowling. 

Meltham 174ao vs Scholes 54ao
As the season drew to a close Scholes were the visitors to the MCG as the home side aimed to confirm Premiership2 status with another 'Great Escape'.
The sun was shining and after winning the toss the home side decided on having first use of a soft green 'un with the aim of at least scoring 150/9 to get a point ensuring Shepley had to take all 6 to relegate Meltham. The visitors opened up with Coldwell and Brooke (J) and soon made an early breakthrough as Clegg A was trapped in front for 1 off Coddy. Burgin joined Hollie at the crease and in tandem started to build a target. Mixing good running and putting away the bad ball the home side soon saw Brook off so he could go and play football and a target and the point looked within easy grasp until Burgie smashed a wickettaker to square leg for 48. Soon after Armitage (22) edged behind, Boyd (1) ran himself out and Holmes (0) was adjudged LBW to Ian Brays first ball to leave the home side struggling from 80/1 to 90/5 and 27 overs away from the point.
Shaw (17) hung around with White and tried to curb his usual game until lobbing one up to Birkhead and with 15 overs to go. Matty White continued to offer stubborn resistance until he edged behind for an excellent 44. Clegg S (10), Field (5), Rudkin (10*) and Moulson (1) tried in vain to bat the overs out but when Moulson was out to the slowest ever delivery seen in senior cricket the home side were all out for 174 and knowing they would need to win to stay up.
After tea and trifle Meltham opened up with Clegg and Rudkin and Scholes were soon in trouble with 2 down in 2 overs with score still on zero, Marsh caught by Holmes off Clegg and Sykes the victim of suicidal running. Pearson and Bray battled hard to get the visitors back in the game but high class bowling from Rudkin and Clegg didn't let them get away and when Rudking bowled them both in quick succession to leave Scholes on 40/4 it looked game over.
The introduction of Field accounted for Asten to bring Coddy to the crease to partner Birkhead in what has got to be the biggest ever partnership seen at Mean Lane. The 2 big lads tried a few shots but when Birkhead hit straight to Hollie 'Safe Hands ' Catching Prize' Armitage he was gone. Brook back from Football came in next (surely that can't be right?) but didn't match last weeks big score as Field knocked back his off stump and Scholes were almost done.
Clegg and Boyd mopped up the tail as Scholes finished on 56 with Rudkin 3/19 off 12 the pick of the bowling ably backed up by Field 3/16, Clegg 2/16 and Boyd 1/2 & with it the 6 points that secured Premiership2 cricket once again especially as news filtered through of a Shepley win.
All that was left to do was celebrate Ernies 50th birthday with which he marked with a 6th duck of the year and with it the prestigeous MCC duck league title.

Meltham 195/9 vs Shepley 136ao

For the first time in 2012 the sun shone brightly, and against the noise of Meltham fair the penultimate game of the season was the most important for both sides in the relegation battle.
Shepley won the toss and inserted the home side on a dry track and with temperatures in the 70s. Clegg and Armitage opened up and they started brightly until Armitage played a carbon copy of last weeks dismissal in the 9th over to go for 6. Burgin went shortly after LBW for 2 and the home side were struggling. Matt White and Clegg provided the rebuilding for the home side with some intelligent batting and when in the 27th over Cleggy top edged a legside flick inches over the boundary he completed a maiden senior half century. Clegg finally went just after drinks for a superb 58 leaving Meltham at 101/3 and aiming at a score of 220. From then on wickets fell steadily, aided by a couple of dodgy decisions, as the home side failed to kick on. After White (42) was adjudged LBW others soon followed as Boyd (14), Holmes (20) & Shaw (15) failed to build on starts. It left some intelligent batting from Field (18*) and Moulson (2*) to secure a point by seeing the last 4 overs out for Meltham finished on 195/9.
After tea it felt warmer and with the music belting out from the fair Shepley set about Clegg & Rudkin and soon raced to 50/0 in side 13 overs as the hard hands of Carter & Cox punished anything loose. The introduction of Boyd and Shaw changed all that however, with Boyd trapping Carter LBW before Cox was dropped twice then run out in the same over. When Shaw enticed Roy down the track to be stumped by Clegg the visitors had slumped to 60/3 and the home side were on top.
Wells and Dearnley tried to get Shepley back in the game and at drinks on 91/3 it was anybodies game. That was until the reintroduction of Clegg fresh from a coaching session with Dale Steyn. In a second 7 over spell Clegg destroyed the middle order by clean bowling Wells, Greaves, Bintcliffe & Glover whilst at the other end Boyd finished a fantastic 12 over spell with wicket of Dearnley to finish with figures of 2/23 in 12 as Clegg finished on 4/43 from his 12. From then on it was game over as the golden arm of Matty White (2/5) mopped up the tail as Shepley folded to 136ao as the umpiring decisions seemd to even themselves up.
Next week 2 points are needed for survival as Scholes visit so again a win is a must (or a tie).


Meltham 174ao vs Marsden 145ao

With overcast conditions and a very green track the visitors had no hesitation in inserting Meltham after winning the toss.
Armitage and Clegg opened up and made steady progress in the first 10 overs before young Alex played around a straight one for 10. Not long after Armitage, who has been used to playing on county grounds, lobbed up to cover for 11 and she was quickly followed by White (6) to leave the home side struggling at 50/3.
Burgin (52) and Holmes (14) then started rebuilding the innings with quick singles and bad ball dispatching before Marsdens favourite umpire adjudged Burgin LBW. After drinks Holmes, and a scratchy looking Shaw (7) both got out to wickettakers and a challenging score looked miles away. However the combination of Field (28) and Clegg S (21) really helped the cause with a 7th wicket stand of 48 before the innings subsided in the 48th over as Meltham lost the last 3 wickets for 4 runs to finish on 174.
After tea the sun came out and it was almost summer like and Clegg and Harold opened the bowling for a home side shorn of regular bowlers Boyd & Rudkin. Somehow despite 2 warnings for beamers (Brook) and some wickettakers from both Marsden were in trouble at 10/2 in after 6 overs as Zaffino and Daniels A started to rebuild. Slowly they edged the visitors back into the game and at drinks they were 56/2 and looking set for the win. However after 6 tidy overs Shaw decided to go through the full Pukka range, first dismissing Zaffino with a flat cornish before Daniels hit a 3 month out of date Lamb & Mint (full toss 4 foot wide) straight at Armitage.
The visitors didn't give in though as everybodies favourite Clee started to hit out backed up by Hall and Maynard and at 124/6 with 13 overs left it was game on.
The introduction of White for only a 2nd bowl of the year changed all that. In a devastating spell, that proved the merits of bowling at the stumps in second team cricket, White claimed 4/13 in 4.1 overs and when Clee (54) was bowled in the 42nd over it was game over with Meltham the winners. Clegg 2/9 in 9 overs, Brook 1/24, Shaw 2/24 the other wickettakers.
Next week more of the same is needed in a relegation decider as Shepley visit.

vs Golcar - Meltham 9/1 - RSP 2pts

vs Kirkburton - very moist 2pts


Meltham 89a.o.
*Slaithwaite 90-2 (H.Jones 31*)

Meltham 66a.o. (J.Greene 5-39, J.Hinchliffe 4-19)
Skelmanthorpe 68-2 (J.Greaves 25*)

Meltham 201/8 vs Armitage Bridge 120ao

The sun shone, factor 30 was applied and it could almost have been mistaken for a summers day down at the Bridge as Meltham made the short trip to solicitorville.
The home side won the toss and elected to field despite warm sunshine and a firm deck and the new Meltham opening partnership of Clegg A (20) & Armitage (17) again made a decent, if not lucky, start as several chances went begging in a tired looking slip corden. After both were dismissed Boyd and Clegg S dug in to lay the foundations as Meltham slowly built to 90/2 in 30 overs before big Sam (17), Shaw (2) and Holmes (9) went in quick succession.
Boyd did then find a useful ally in Jack Hinchcliffe (14) until Jason ran him out but by then the runs had been scored as Meltham became the first side of 2012 to get 200 at the Bridge finishing on 201 with Boyd out on the last ball for 92.
After tea Clegg A (4/12 in 10 overs), Boyd (3/18 in 10 overs) & Jack Hinchcliffe (2/12 in 7 overs) bowled superb whilst Field (0/23 in 2) didn't as the home side were shot out for 120 in 40 overs and never in the game.
Same required next week as Shat visit. 

Meltham 122ao vs Scholes 125/4

After the first dry week of the 2012 a hard deck was on show at Scholes as MCC travelled to 'Sunshine Mountain' where it was freezing and tried to rain all afternoon.
Meltham won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to have first go and it wasn't long before the runs flowed from the young opening pair of Clegg (A) and Armitage. A solid 45 was put on for the 1st wicket until Clegg missed a straight one for a season high of 31. Burgin (9) and the again impressive Hollies (19) followed shortly as Meltham slipped to 65/3 and things then got worse. An impressively choreographed appeal by all 11 resulted in the home umpires finger being raised in 0.17 seconds much to the bewilderment of Boyd who had to enquire how he was out so the scorers knew and then it wasn't long before Clegg S (4) & Field (1) followed as the score became 71/6.
The introduction of spin tested the theory of 'you can get wickets with anything in 2nd team cricket' as Brook (7) got out to a full toss before Shaw (15) got out to the worst ball ever seen in senior cricket, all the while under 13 Jack Hinchcliffe played proper cricket shots and seemed untroubled. Britney Hyphen (4) and Erv (6) finally proved the theory of you get wickets with filth as Birkhead mopped up the innings with some drivel as Meltham finished on 122 leaving Jack Hinch unbeaton on 19.
After a decent tea the Scholes reply was started by a couple of Brooks as usual, with Clegg A and Boyd opening for Meltham and it wasn't long before Meltham had the breakthrough. First Darryl was caught at slip off Boyd and shortly afterwards Birkhead went without scoring losing his leg stump to Cleggy to leave Scholes teetering a bit. Clegg then had 3 closer but not as well choreographed leg before appeals as in the 1st innings turned down by the homer as the younger Brook and Steers got Scholes over half way.
When Steers was out caught by Hollie off the bowling of Huddersfield u13s player Hinchcliffe the rain came and 20 mins were wasted in the hutch. On resumption Brook and Aston took Scholes close to victory before Harold bowled Aston but it was all in vain as Scholes eased home in 28 with only 4 down, Brook finishing withan uneaten half century for the home side.
Next week Armitage Bridge where a win is a necessity to try and stay up.

Meltham 237/9 vs Barkisland 180odd/9

Despite all the hype about the start of summer the downpours on Friday had left Barkisland a touch moist so start was delayed by an hour as the boundaries were brought in.
The home side won the toss and had no hesitation in putting Meltham into bat on a damp soft track and were soon on top. First to go was Shaw aiming a horrible slog over the church to be bowled before Hollie was very unlucky to be run out as the ball ricocheted of the bowler onto the stumps whilst backing up.
However the change bowling struggled for the correct length and a series of wicket takers were dispatched to all parts as Burgie punished anything short. Together with the best batter in the Clegg family, big Sam, Meltham quickly went past 50 and then 100 as Burgie brought up his 50 with a big one into the graveyard.
When Burgie was bowled for an excellent 87 the visitors were well set for a big score and runs continued with even 5ducks scoring some. Clegg, Boyd and Field all hit 20s and with 16 from Brook, Meltham closed on 237/9 off 40 overs, Schofield the pick of the home sides bowlers with 4 wickets.
With a good tea promised it straight in to see what was on offer and sure enough it didn't disappoint as cheeseburger and chips, onion rings, salad and even olives were on offer. The onion rings were so good that some of our younger lot got into bother for having more than the 2 allowed.
Clegg and Field then opened up for Meltham with the latter just back from his jollies and bowling like he was still on the beach. Clegg however got little reward for a good spell as the fielding by Meltham was poor with chances going down every over.
The introduction of Boyd made the breakthrough as he took 2 quick wickets followed by 1 from Cleggy which had the home side struggling despite scoring at a decent rate. Meltham rotated the bowling and when Onion Rings had Holroyd caught at point it looked game over despite the fact that Belcham was going well. When 13yo Jack Hinchcliffe returned to the attack it was game over as he took 3 wickets including a superb stumping by 14yo Sam Clegg to knock the stuffing out of Barkisland. The home side just managed to hold on for the point finishing about 50 short with 9 wickets down.
A top win and top all round performance (apart from the catching) from Meltham with a team that had an average age of 21 and contained only 3 players old enough to drink.

Elland 285/5 vs Meltham 199ao

To celebrate 50 over cricket for the first time in months a Spitfire flyby was arranged and as the sun shone play started on time.
Meltham won the toss and inserted the visitors on a very soft wicket and to start with it looked like it was going to be difficult as Elland took 4 overs to get off the mark against Clegg & Boyd.
However it was not long before the lack of play and practise showed with the Meltham attack as a series of Hors D'oeuvres were being offered around prior to the kings banquet buffet that was soon to be dished up.
Hall & Rowles tucked in with gusto as the rate moved from 1 an over to 6 an over and a big score was on the cards. Moulson had 2 expensive overs and had to be replaced with Big Erv in his first bowl in 7 months but nothing changed as the runs kept flowing.
Rudkin finally made the breakthrough having Rowles (53) well caught by Armo in the deep before trapping Speak (8) LBW not long after, this however only brought the hungriest man to the buffet.
The one shot South African requested a special buffet for himself and it wasn't long before the Meltham attack were gleefully serving biltong & boerewors alongside the usual buffet. In partnership with Hall they continued to feast on the mixture of half trackers and full tosses despite a decent spell from Harry Brook and some good balls from Clegg.
Hall brought up his ton then got out but the Rhodesian continue with his legside assualt despite a 9/0 field and despite a few late wickets he brought up his ton in the last over as Elland finished on 285/5.
After a good tea and/or a pint Meltham attacked the target with Shaw and Armitage opening up. The Meltham skipper took an immediate liking to the Elland attack who had failed to notice the difference in bowling at Mean Lane to Hullen Edge as balls were dispatched to 2 areas in the main. Shaw brought his and Melthams 50 up in the 7th over and then Meltham upped the rate as the Bulawayo Big Show served up a couple of overs of filth which Armitage gladly dispatched to the edge.
When Shaw departed for a 40 ball 73 the home side were on target at 88 in the 11th over and the runs continued as Billy Burgin continued to dispatch a buffet not dissimilar to Melthams attack. Armitage (18) went in the 18th after another impressive knock but the runs continued with Boyd joining Burgin and at 150/2 at halfway it was still game on. However the introduction of Walker & Ahmed changed things as 150/2 became 150/5 with Burgin (42), Boyd (14) and toilet-peking-a l'orange Clegg back in the hut. Whites (10) and young Clegg (11) put on a few but by the 40th over it was wrapped up as Meltham were bowled out for 199 and another heavy defeat at the hands of a very decent bunch of lads. The only positive of the day being that none of Shaw, Rudkin and Clarke wre the heaviest on show as Palmer (C) trumped them all with a very impressive appearance.
Thanks to the great fixture scheduling we now spend all 3 Saturdays of the 'Huddersfield Fortnight' on the road where we must pick up some wins.

Hoylandswaine vs Meltham

No play ground waterlogged


Meltham 35/2 vs Golcar
Match Abandoned

After a nice morning the game started on time, after 5 overs a hail storm took us off for 2 hours. On resumption 4 more overs were played before another heavy shower finished the game with Meltham at 35/2 on a poor track at which point the sun came out.


Elland 161/8 vs Meltham 67ao

Bouyed by a win and with Boyd, Holmes and Rudkin returning Meltham travelled to Halifax in high hopes of back to back wins. With rain in the air and a puddle under the cover the start was delayed by just over an hour with 38 overs play possible.
Meltham won the toss and with one eye on the football the decision to bowl was an easy one. Speak and Hall opened up for Elland and looked untroubled for 8 overs until the introduction of spin unsettled the openers as usual as Rob Moo accounted for both in a great spell of 2/27 in 7. When Rudkin, in his 1st speall in a month, bowled Spencer the home side were rocking, this however brought the immaculate Jimmy Thornton to the crease. Despite some tight bowling and a great effort in the field and with wickets falling regularly Elland still managed to score at 3 or 4 an over as Thornton batted superbly to finish 79* with only 2 other players getting to double figures on a very tough track as the home side finished at 161/8, a score that looked at least 20 too many.
After a very good pork pie and a scowl from the barmaid the Meltham reply started badly as Shaw (7) was snaffled by a very good catch at slip by Thornton off the first straight one bowled by Barker. White (1), Burgin (8) and Clegg A (0 - again, pair weekend!) soon followed as Meltham struggled to 21/4. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals as Holmes (3) & Field (9) both looked to get 'footballs on soon and they can't win' LBWs. The biggest stand of the innings between Parker (10) and Sam Clegg (7*) managed to get the finish past 7 o clock but Rudkin (2) and Moulson (3) were soon in the tent as the visitors finished on 67. Giving the home side a convincing victory as it was them who played the conditions better and in Thornton had a player head and shoulders above anyone else, it makes you wish we still had some of our top 1st teamers from the 90s available to play for us.


Meltham 207/6 vs Marsden 127ao

With a month of rain on Friday play seemed unlikely at Hemplow but on arrival it was almost fit despite a sharp shower at lunchtime. By 245 it was dry and Meltham were inserted on a green damp track playing 37 overs.
Clegg A and Armitage opened up and it wasn't long before Clegg gloved Johnson behind without troubling the scorer to bring Matty White to the crease. Between them White & Armo rode their luck aided by some poor catching from the home side and dug in to give the visitors a base by taking the score upto 45 before Hollie was bowled for 17 in the 18th over. Burgin joined White at the crease and in tandem quickly pushed the score along despite the home side missing the easiest of run outs when Miguel landed on his rear 16 yards short and still managed to get in.
White finally fell in the 29th over for a grafted 26 to be followed by Field (6) a couple overs later to bring the visitors skipper to the crease to join Burgin who was looking in fine form. In the remaining 6 and a half overs the big lads manged to push Meltham up from 135 to 205 before Burgin looked to get a harsh LBW for a fantastic 98 with 5 balls to go as finally Meltham finished on 207/6 with Shaw finishing 40*.
After a decent tea and a nice pint of Ilkley Blonde Meltham soon had the home side on the rack as Clegg A bowled Ackroyd in the first over quickly followed by Daniels caught at point by Armitage off Field. By the time the Cleggs had combined to dismiss Zaffino the home side we struggling at 30/3 in 10 overs.
Clarke and Smith tried to get Marsden back into the game until Meltham introduced 13 year old Jack Hinchcliffe into the attack whereupon he took his first senior wicket by bowling Clarke for 40. The spin of Moulson accounted for Hall & Daniels and after Hinchcliffe finished with fabulous figures of 1/15 in 5 the other u13 of George Sykes-Kenworthy was introduced into the attack, he then accounted for Smith and Maynard in a spell of 2/21 in 4 overs.
After a few lusty blows from Mellor (27) to get the home side into 3 figures it was left to the returning Clegg (3/16) and Field (2/16) to knock the last 2 over to leave Meltham celebrating a first win of 2012.
A fantastic performance with a side containing 7 aged 17 and under including 2 under 13s and with an average age of 21.09 especially when you consider all 10 wickets were taken by home grown players aged under 18.


Meltham vs Broad Oak



Meltham vs Barkisland

Waterlogged and wanging it down


Meltham 132ao vs Broad Oak 133/3

After a late call up to the 1sts after his duck on Saturday for Earnshaw it meant the Meltham went into the Bank Holiday short of 7 of a usual top 9 in the order, Boyd (family do), Burgin (jollies - again), Holmes (Bear Grylls-ing), White (working), Clegg A (1st team duty), Cockshaw (jollies) were the others also missing. This meant first call ups for under 13s Jack Hinchcliffe & George Sykes Hyphen Kenworthy and a line up just a tad short on batting.
The Meltham skipper gave a huge sigh of relief as the coin came down tails and had no hesitation in batting first. The strip looked good apart from the 2 foot wide green stripe on a length where the rain had run under the covers but it played fine.
Shaw and Dyson opened up for Meltham and it wasn't long before Shaw chopped a wide and short wickettaker onto off stump without troubling Mrs Earnshaw in the scorebox. Big Sam Clegg (6), batting at 3 after impressing on Saturday at 9 soon followed as did Parker (5) and Dyson (9). Young Harold batting at 5 (long tail) played some tuckerish shots in a great little cameo of 17 but when he fell to be followed an over later by Kenworthy (6), adjudged glove before the visitors were 51/6 and the tea ladies were in a panic over whether it would be ready on time.
*This next bit is true and not made up - honestly*
However they should not have worried as Cam Field strode to the wicket, his first ball he dispatched high over the trees onto Crosland Heath to everyones astonishment and he looked set for a big score.
Young Jack Hinchcliffe (5) fell shortly after, caught in the gully off a navel high full toss that should have been a no ball to leave the visitors on 71/7. In strode a determined young Moulson who after witnessing the feats of Field fancied a few runs himself. After being dropped on 0 with one of the easiest chances ever seen on a cricket field he then glided the next 3 balls through the slips for 4 to smash his pb. All the while Cam was drilling shots to all parts and Meltham scaled the dizzy heights of 3 figures. Moulson departed for his best ever score of 16, soon after Rudkin (10) did the same and it looked likely that Cam was going to be left high and dry on 47*. George S-K, left with strict instructions from his dad to play for his mate which he did to play out an over to give Cam every chance of a first ever 50. However it was not to be as Cams nerves got the better of him and he missed a straight one to be dismissed for a career high 47 which I doubt we will never hear the end of as Meltham finished 132ao.
The Broad Oak reply started in a rush with Woodruff aiming big at everything only to be superbly caught by Jack Hinchcliffe. Will Parker (2/42) again bowled well with little reward but he did have Metcalf caught behind and Mee snaffled by Brook as the Oakers chased down the score. Despite decent bowling the home side were never in danger as Brooke (53*) and Hussain (34*) ground out the runs that gave them 6 points and Meltham wondering if they can win this year.


Shepley 214/3 vs Meltham 154ao

Meltham arrived at Marsh Lane seeking a first win of the season missing the talents of Mumford Boyd and Billy Burgin but bolstered by a first run out in the 2nds this year by Ernie.
The weather was cold, grey and drizzly with more chance of Elkie Brooks making an appearance than the sun but the track looked firm but tinged with green.
With no league umpire arriving and the home umpire looking like he'd imbibed a liquid breakfast, lunch and a snifter in between the search was on for an official. Two were happily found, however they were at Delph so a late start and 35 over game was agreed.

Meltham won the toss and fielded, knowing how cold it would get after tea and things started brightly. Last weeks century maker Bradley was caught and bowled off a leading edge 3 balls in by Parker for 117 less than last week to bring Cox to the crease.
Carter & Cox then rode their luck as half chances were offered that were put down as well as chipping the infield or never hitting the fielder with edges. As the moor grime came down and the ball became soft batting became easier and Cox and Carter started to punish the bad ball. Field finally broke the partnership of 95 bowling Cox for 51 to be followed quickly by captain Haigh (21) bowled by Dyson. With 10 overs to go and a new batsmen in it was upto Meltham to drag in down, keep it tight and hopefully chase less than 180. However Carter continued to mix shots from the middle with shots off the edge & back and chips short of fielders and in combination with Steve Sullivan Shepley managed to post a score 214/3 which looked at least 30 runs too many. Maybe its lack of cricket or lack of practice but bar Will Parker who bowled well with no reward (1/26 off 8) the rest of the bowling was inconsistant and too many bad balls and a lack of cutting edge.
After a very good tea Meltham opened up with Cockshaw and Shaw due to regular opener Dyson feeling sick after a can of Strongbow the day before. After a short break for rain Cockshaw was caught behing for 14 soon followed by White (2) and Earnshaw (0) both bowled. The visitors were up with the run rate however as Shaw dispatched the 6 overs old new ball towards Shelley to be never seen again, followed a ball later by the 2nd ball with the same fate and in partnership with Holmes the game was still on.
However the introduction of century maker Carter changed the game. After having more luck than a lucky thing batting he continued the theme with the ball, his first wicket was Shaw who was bowled via glove, hip and pad before he removed Dyson (2), Rudkin (0) and Holmes (27). Meltham had gone from 74/3 to 89/7 and even the point looked a long way off.
The 8th wicket partnership of Will Parker & Sam Clegg gave Meltham hope of the point as they put on 49 until Greaves had Clegg adjudged LBW for a fantastic 19 including the best shot of the day. Cam Field added 12 and Will Parker (30) continued to play his shots but both were out as Meltham finished 154 all out 3 overs and 8 runs short of a point.
Well done to Shepley who despite getting a bit more luck played the conditions better and bowled tighter than we did. Thanks also for finding umpires to ensure a good game was played in the right spirit. It could have been worse we could have got 360 and been spanked.


Slawit 245/7 vs Meltham 125ao

No reporter present


Meltham 190/5 vs Hoylandswaine 191/8

For the first time this year there was warm sunshine and some firmness to the mud up at Mean Lane for the visit of Hoylandswaine.
The home side fielded the weakest side of the year shorn of 4 of the top 5 batters through injury, illness and prior commitments and were expecting a tough test from the Barnsley visitors.
Hoylandswaine 2nds arrived resplendent in training kit and warm up gear with a wage bill in excess of our first team and treated the game as a test match. After a warm up, football game and some cone action they lost the toss and Meltham decided to bat on a soft, slow Meltham green 'un.
Shaw and Dyson opened up and despite being rubbish, fat, old, uncultured, ugly and crap somehow managed to survive against an attack who rivalled that of the Australian one of the late 90s. Dyson hung in for nearly 15 overs for a grafting 6 before chipping to the leagues best fielder at cover to bring Boyd to the crease. 
After Shaw had turned the bat round, read the instructions on the back and opened his eyes he and Boyd battled on despite the ball not having a bell in and against all odds got to drinks without further loss. Shaw brought up his half century with a stroke of luck as the leg spinner was dispatched past the halfway line on the rec before copying last week to be LBW for 52. Boyd (57) and Clegg A continued to score at a decent rate until at around 45 overs a stutter of wickets left the home side struggling at 150/5 which brought Brook to the crease.
Young Harold belied his net form and the fact he hadn't hit a ball in 2012 to fire a couple of 6s in a quickfire 19* and he and eldest Clegg (28*) took the home side upto a season high of 190/5. In fact the total was only 3 less than the rest of the season combined after 3rd division Kirkheaton bowled us out for 83 and Honley with 2x13 year olds had us at 110/8.

After a decent spread the visitors set about their task against an opening attack of Parker and Rudkin and opener 1 was quickly in the shed bowled by Parker for 4 as Meltham made a lively start. The visitors however batted superbly at about 3 an over to see off Parker and Rudkin meaning Clagg A and Boyd had to be introduced into the attack. This they did to immediate effect when Clegg had opener 2 was caught by Boyd in the gully, followed a ball later by Hinchcliffe as plumb as a plumb thing. Soon after Boyd had the temerity to trap the stumper bang in front for a brilliant 44 to leave the visitors wobbling.
Clegg and Boyd continued to bowl good spells but some sensible batting by Potter gradually brought the visitors back into the game as they continued to score at the required rate and punish the bad ball. With wickets falling at regular intervals as well as runs coming freely a close finish was guaranteed but in the end the long tail and experienced batting of Greenwood at 9 meant the visitors took the spoils with 8 down in the 46th over. Young Alex Clegg the pick of the bowling with an 4/30 to gain 88 FC12 points backed up by Parker (2), Boyd (1) and Field (1) the other wicket takers.
The game obviously took a lot out of the visitors who dashed off without so much as a lime n soda, no doubt keen to read up on the Wisden book of Chelp.

A good performance from the home side that will hopefully stand them in good stead when near friends and neighbours Slawit visit the MCG.


Kirburton vs Meltham 2 pts each too muddy


Honley 262/6 vs Meltham 115/8

In glorious sunshine Meltham kicked off their league season with a heavy defeat to near neighbours Honley. The home side were short of batting with Cockshaw, Burgin and Holmes unavailable for various reasons as well as losing Moulson & Clegg to first team but as usual having a plethora of juniors to pick from our fantastic set up meant a full complement of 11 was on show.
The track looked green and sticky and the home side had high hopes of early success when the visitors were inserted. The Honley skipper looked plumber than a plumb thing in the opening over but got away with it, but it wasn't long until the former Meltham junior Matt Sykes was out going back to be trapped in front. This brought Woodhead to the crease and in partnership with England took the game away from Meltham aided by some sloppy fielding again by the home side.
Eventually the partnership was ended when Field bowled England and Rudkin had Woodhead snaffled in the gully after which the Honley innings petered out despite the odd slog. McNamara seemed intent on a red inker with an eye on the averages as he played the last over out for the visitors to finish on 262 with the wickets shared amongst Rudkin, Boyd, Parker, Field & White.
After a beautifully prepared tea the Meltham openers of Shaw and Dyson tried to dig in. This they did for 10 overs until Shaw misjudged a leave that cut back enabling him to walk for an LBW for 13, to be followed by White first ball. Dyson continued to dig in and bouyed by being taller than an adult for the first time in his life started to play some shots in his 20 over stay of 15. Boyd (2) was dropped twice before scoring then missed an ugly mow and was soon followed into the tent by Kenworthy. A scary sight and evidence of the long tail was next as Rudkin was batting at 7, he was accounted for, as usual, by the straight one. Will Parker quickly followed as did Cam Field to leave Meltham at 60 or so for 8 in under 30 overs and home for the final of BGT was definitely in Honleys sights.
They hadn't, however accounted for the batting abilities of Yorkshire girls star Hollie Armitage and big Sam Clegg who together easily saw off the visitors wilting attack and were never troubled in the biggest partnership of the Meltham innings. Hollie finishing 18* to top score and 4ft tall Sam not far behind on 17* in an encouraging partnership that was extremely pleasing to watch. In the end it looks a heavy defeat but if chances had been taken and some of the more experienced players had grafted like Dyson, Armitage & Clegg it could have been closer and overall the signs are encouraging that putting time & money into junior cricket is paying off.


Kirkheaton 169ao vs Meltham 83ao

In temperatures hovering above freezing Meltham started their 2012 campaign with a poor performance against Kirkheaton in the aptly named Fired Up Paddock Shield.
Meltham won the toss and on forecasted after tea temperatures alone decided the only option was to bowl. Young Alex Clegg started uphill and was looking for a similar start to last season with a wicket first ball and he almost did as the Kirkheaton opener chipped into the leg side straight to square leg only for the unfortunate fielder to get no hands on it but only his throat and the chance was gone. Two overs later the other opener played the same shot only for the same fielder to put that one down too off the luckless Clegg.
Will Parker eventually made the breakthrough as Fox chopped on a short one to bowled to be quickly followed by Conroy (A) who was also bowled by Parker. In the12th over Clegg then produced an unplayable delivery which pitched about a 3rd of the way down and hit the base of off stump at about 4mph as the batsmen tried to smash it to Netherton to leave the visitors at 27/3.
Inspired by Cleggs wickettaker the change bowlers of Boyd and Field tried to repeat the trick with a succession of half trackers which however were dispatched every time as the visitors took control. After 4 overs Boyds winter rustiness wore off and he found his length and in tandem with stairfighter Dyson (replacing Field) gradually put Meltham back in control as runs slowed and wickets started to fall. Rob Moulson was introduced and he purchased a couple of cheap uns with his leg spin and with 10 overs to go the visitors were struggling at 112/7.
The Kirkheaton number 5, Ahmed, then took this as his cue to start launching every ball into the rec as he raced past his 50 and Meltham wilted, square leg dropped another couple as the ghost of JT loomed large on a lacklustre fielding display. The returning Clegg finished off the tail whilst Ahmed carried on and the visitors were very happy with a score of 169 whilst Ahmed ended 86*, Clegg (3/19), Boyd (3/32), Parker (2/43) & Moulson R (2/21) were the wicket takers.

During tea Cam Field informed the skipper he would need to bat 10 places higher than he would normally 'cos I have to go at 5 as i'm meeting the birds parents' so Meltham had an opening pair of Field and Dyson. After 3 balls Cam was in no danger of being late for his meeting as he was in the shower after missing the straight one. Dyson and Burgin then looked to build the innings and took the score upto 30 with few scares until John Phayer produced a 2nd team half track wicket taker which Big Mig duly chopped on to be bowled for 20. Clegg A (0) and Boyd (2) quickly followed as the home side fell to 38/4. Shaw joined Dyson with the plan of graft, see Phayer and Shafiq off and then see what else the visitors had. This was working until in the 23rd over Dyson chipped to mid off to be out for a very good grafting 17 (most of the other youngsters could take note). Holmes joined Shaw and runs started to come off the change bowling and at 75/5 Meltham had a sniff. Holmes then top edged a sweep to square leg, Shaw missed a straight one and '4 drop square leg' missed his first ball to leave the home side at 75/8 which two overs later became 83 all out. Phayer 2/27 and Shafiq 3/26 the pick of the visitors bowling with Grey 2/14 and Mahroof 3/11 finishing the innings off.
All in all a rusty performance which showed the lack of practice and game time, the bowling was mostly ok but there were some truly terrible performances in the field and once again most of the batting showed little appetite for graft. Next week Honley visit and we must do better and work much harder.

Skelmanthorpe vs Meltham no play waterlogged pitch & rain. 2pts each

Meltham vs Armitage Bridge no play waterlogged pitch. 2pts each.


Meltham rounded off 2011 with their 4th win in 5 games, a 3 wicket win over 9 man Shepley at Mean Lane which meant they would end the season on a high.
The home side won the toss and kindly inserted the visitors on a green drying track in breezy conditions. Littlewood and Carter opened up for Shepley and moved the score to 20 until Rudkin removed Carters middle stump for 12. This brought Denton to the crease and in tandem with Littlewood they dug in and grafted despite some impressive bowling from the home side. After Rudkin (1/18) and Clarke (0/19) had finished thier 7 overs the change bowlers of Multi Award winner Wallis and top all rounder Boyd continued the good work.
In Boyds 3rd over he dismissed Denton, superbly caught behind by big Sam Clegg to leave the visitors at 55/2 and the tail exposed. Boyd then removed Booth and a couple of overs later the Space Cadet bowled Gill (1) and had Glover (0) caught at slip for his first wickets of the season and move beyond JT in the bowling at least and Shepley were 74/5.
After their 7 overs Boyd (2/16) and Wallis (2/26) were replaced by the latest WAW Cam Field and golden arm Moulson who made short work of the final 3 Shepley batters. First Field bowled Lee for 12 then Moulson purchased Glover (S) before tempting Littlewood into slogging it down Ervs throat for an excellent 63. Moulson finishing with 2/17 and Field 1/9 capping a good allround display with the ball to leave Meltham chasing 109.
After pie n peas Meltham opened with Wallis and White, with the former starring it what will be a fantastic piece of AS level PE video work that is sure to be a bestseller. They put on 22 for the first wicket until Wallis was bowled by Denton for 12, followed three balls later by Cam (2) as the home side slumped to 24/2. Brook came in at 4 and played a few trademark shots until he was also bowled by Denton for 17. 
Matty White then chipped one back to the bowler for 19 and Kenworthy (10) edged to point as the home side stuttered to 67/5 and an embarrasing defeat to 9 man Shepley looked on the cards. It took a season high score by Rudkin of 21 and some graft by Bob Moo (4 off 23 balls) to push Meltham to the brink of victory until both were dismissed with the winning line in sight. It was then left to Big Sam (2*) to hit the winning runs and secure Meltham ended the season with another 6 points and with some hope for 2012.


Golcar 44ao vs Meltham 45/3

After yesterdays big win which will have raised a few eyebrows around the league, Meltham continued their good form with a resounding win over 10 man Golcar at Mean Lane.
Meltham won the toss and inserted the visitors on a greenish track with some moisture in the air. The visitors were lacking some off their stars from our last meeting (probably playing for Yorkshire or England or something that merits their talents) and made a terrible start. Ervin 'The Destroyer' Clark rolled back about 25 years and charged in from the top end to trap the opener LBW in the first over then to bowl Woodhead in his 2nd. Clarke caused further trouble for the Colne Valley side by taking out the whole of the middle order as Hinchcliffe remained wicketless for the 4th game in a row.
After Clarke had finished (12 overs, 6 maidens, 11 runs, 6 wickets) Cam Field entered the attack to mop up the last 2 including Golcars best weapon (their home umpire) in the space of 5 balls as Golcar limped to a paltry 44 with Irfan the only player to show any graft with a slow 19.
The home side opened up with Brook (8) and Field (16) which led to one or two startled and surprised looks. Both played their usual games and were soon dismissed, and after them, Moulson (4) also departed. The Hyphen and Matty White eventually saw Meltham home in the 8th over and it was 6 more points in the brow, I mean bag for Meltham before 3pm.
Next week Shepley visit the MCG in a game that means very little to either side where pride, averages and fun are all to play play for. Also for a special treat for the youngsters there are rumours of a visit from Mr Potato Head.


Meltham 375/2 vs Skelmanthorpe 294/3

On arrival at Shat you could tell the pitch was a belter and when Meltham won the toss they had no hesitation in batting first. As it looked, the pitch was a beauty to bat on and coupled with a lightening fast outfield the visitors knew a big score was required so as to win and secure premiership2 cricket next year.
Deadly Daz was keen to make amends for his duck at Delph last week and was soon in the groove by taking 12 off the first over and the tone was set for the day. Opening with Daz was the non holidaying (for the 1st tine in months)
Murray-Webster and the pair batted magnificently, putting away the bad balls and running well between the wickets as the accumulated at 8 an over.
After reaching his ton Deadly simply moved through the gears and started to dispatch the ball into a variety of gardens all the while the Hyphen continued to accumulate. With his score on 99, the 17 year Murray-Webster tickled a fine edge through 1st slip to the boundary edge and celebrate a maiden ton, with Deadly bringing up his 150 an over or two later.
The partnership was finally broken when the Hyphen chipped Big Joe to point for a fabulous 111. Matty White joined Daz and the runs continued as the homeowners around the ground stayed out to protect their conservatories. With a big straight 6 Deadly brought up his double ton but was finally out to a 2nd team wicket taker in the 49th over for 225. Burgy and Matty White then took the final score along to 375/2 before it was time to tuck into the best tea in the league.
After sausage pasta bake, bhajis, potatoes, quiche, pizza, sandwiches and apple crumble and custard it was into the field to surely secure the much needed win for Meltham.
Jagger opened up and made the most of being dropped at slip as well as taking the case off one, walking and then coming back when given not out to blast a quickfire 50, whilst Redgy pushed and dabbed at the other end. After Cockshaw had removed Jagger, Roebuck joined Redgwick and in tandem took the score along at a comfortable rate. At drinks the home side were 178/1 and still very much in it as the track was doing nothing (according to the bowlers). With the home side ticking on at 6 or 7 an over the run rate climbed but with 120 needed from the last 12 with two well set batters in surely the home side fancied their chances, the introduction of Shaw into the attack changed all that. Extracting bounce and turn Shaw dismissed Roebuck with a top spinner and the no4 with a quicker one as the whole Pukka selection came out. At that point the home side shut up shop and were happy to take the point and finished on 294/3 with Redgy finishing with a high quality unbeaten hundred. Shaw (2 wickets) the top wicket taker of the day but Deadly finished wicketless from his 11 over spell, its a good job he can bat.
Those 5 points coupled with defeat for Delph ensured survival from Meltham and lets hope for more of the same when Golcar visit the MCG today.


Meltham 107ao vs Delph 108/3

After leaving Meltham in pouring rain and driving past Marsden which was under water it was a surprise to get through passport control and see the sun shining at Delph. It was a surprise to all the MCC players most of whom must have been expecting 2 points and football as they sauntered in at 1257pm to find us batting in 3 minutes.
Delph had won the toss and inserted Meltham on a fairly dry looking track and made an instant breakthrough. Broadbent dug one in halfway down which bounced about knee height for Daz Hinch to sky to square leg. Burgin soon followed with yet another dodgy LBW and the visitors were struggling. Dyson (0), Shaw (24) and Holmes soon followed for Meltham before a heavy rain shower forced the players off for an early tea. The usual run scoring of the juniors continued with Brook (2) the only one of the four to score as Meltham crumbled to 107 inside 30 overs with only Kenworthy (32) putting up any resistance.
Delphs reply also got off to a struggle as Erv and Cam removed the first 3 for under 40 before another heavy rain shower added another hour on the day. After returning to the very wet pitch Delph cantered home with some graft, good shots and luck as the ball became a bar of soap (and Erv had stiffened up) to win by 7 wickets with the 2 Lees knocking off the required runs to leave the relegation scrap still wide open.


Marsden 130ao vs Meltham 131/2

Marsden arrived at Mean Lane with just enough players for a game of netball, however fortunately for them they were allowed to play with 7 so as to avoid the £50 league fine.
Meltham won the toss and kindly inserted the netballers on a damp green top. Field did his usual trick of removing the ex Melthamer first over when captain Farrell was caught at slip for a duck. Zaffino arrived at the crease and in partnership with the young Marsden opener took the score along nicely as the home sides bowlers struggled for rhythm. It took the golden arm of robmoo to break the partnership with a high quality 2nd team wicket taker that pitched half way down and was pulled straight into the safe hands of Burgin. Neil Diamond and Zaffino then took Marsden up towards the 100 mark until Ben Cockshaw yorked the former to bring Ackroyd to the crease.
The two Marsden batters then stayed together for what seemed like hours, but most of it was waiting for movement behind the bowlers arm to stop, damn those pesky cars on Helme Lane. 
With the home skipper resting the injured Rudkin with an eye on the Delph game on Sunday, Harry Brook entered the attack to throw down 17 wicket takers out of 18 which meant HMS had to bowl.
Rudkin bowled Ackroyd to bring Sully Coulson the the crease at which point Zaffino dropped anchor with an eye on the Marsden 2nd XI batting prize. Greg Cooke dismissed Coulson caught by Cam and Rudkin mopped up the 7th and last man after Kenners dropped him twice in 2 balls to leave Marsden at 130/6 and all out.
After tea it was up to the home side to bat sensibly for the win which is something the home skipper generally finds hard to do. Hinchcliffe and Shaw started for the home side against top scarer Coulson and Daz showed his class with a mix of boundaries and well worked runs. Shaw on the otherhand scratched around and looked distinctly unimpressed with running every ball including 2s and 3s. The first 70 came easy enough with the only scare when deadly threatened to decapitate midwicket when he let go of the bat and in the ensuing chaos Shaw was nearly run out as he did a foward roll and belly flop down the wicket to get in.
Soon after getting his 50 deadly nicked one behind to be snaffled and bring Burgy to the crease. With one eye on the weather and the other on trying to get home for Dr Who, Shaw (43) tried to up the tempo after a stodgy innings only to nick one to the keeper off the only ball that Farrell pitched all day. Burgin (22*) and Cooke (3*) then saw Meltham home by 8 wickets and take a big stride towards premiership2 safety.
The visitors had a quick half then all jumped into the club Xsara Picasso to head off and see their 1sts crash to defeat at Slawit, whilst the Meltham players all headed off for an early night before Sundays big game at the Dobcross.


Elland 171ao vs Meltham 94ao

The sun shone as we arrived at Hullen Edge and when the home side won the toss a long afternoon was envisaged. With the wicket looking hard, dry and white and better than the Sykes Cup Final one it looked an easy decision to bat.
Super batting from all the brilliant Elland players pushed them upto a fantastic score of 171 with Blakey, Speak & Rehman all batting exquisitely. 
Meltham crumbled with the bat and collapsed to 94 all out with spin bowling of the highest quality from O'Connell and Palmer (smallest) backed up by some totally brilliant fielding. Afterwards we marvelled at the superior surroundings at Elland and wished that we could play here every week, and as shown a day later the wickets here are brilliant and the club deserves credit for the work they put in.
I must say that the best side won on the day and despite defeat we enjoyed a day packed with banter, leg pulling and fun. Good luck to everyone at Elland.
Next week a big double header where ear defenders are a must as Marsden visit the MCG and then we go through passport control to Delph.


Broad Oak 230/9 vs Meltham 180ao

After a week of rain and the groundsman back from holiday, as expected it was a bit soft and green up at the MCG and when the home skipper won the toss he had no hesitation in inserting the visitors.
Bowling with the new ball to 2 left handers Melthams opening pair of Field and Rudkin struggled with both line and length as the visitors easily moved to 35 without loss inside 10 overs until Keeling was out caught at mid off with a shot (and ball) that would only happen in 2nd team cricket. Mee followed soon after as Meltham's change bowlers of Hinchcliffe and Boyd tightened things up. 
Burnett kept the score running at one end and when the opener brought up his century the score was 127/3 in 30 overs, however when he was bowled by Cockshaw there was a mini collapse as the visitors moved to 141/6. At this point however the wheels fell of the home sides fielding as catches started going down all over with Cooke (2), Rudkin, Field (1 plus 1 he never laid a hand on), Burgin and Cockshaw all put down routine chances which if they had been taken the Jostlers wouldn't have made 170. As it was numbers 6 & 8 made the most of their numerous lives and helped push the Oak to 230/9 in 50 overs with Daz Hincliffe the most successful of the bowlers with 3 wickets, Cockshaw (1), Field (1), Boyd (2), Moulson (1) the other wicket takers.
Melthams reply started well as the new opening pair of Hinchcliffe and Boyd hit a flurry of boundaries until Daz was bowled for 24. Burgin joined Boyd and looked in fine form as the runs continued and the hundred was brought up inside 20 at which point the home side looked well set. That was until Burgy punched a wide one straight to the man on the edge for 54 and the collapse started. Cooke (0), Boyd (40) & Cockshaw (4) soon followed as 120/1 became 145/5 but with Holmes and Shaw at the wicket it was still game on. The skipper (batting at 7 after knocking his finger out whilst stumping) carved a couple of ugly mows to the edge and in partnership with Whites took the score along until uncle Mel heard a noise to fire the unfortunate skipper for 12. The innings quickly subsided after that with Brook (4) taking the price of his new bat down to £22 a run and Cam (0) leaving his at £30 a run never looking like they were going to hang around. When Rudkin missed the straight one it was all over and Meltham had thrown away a commanding position in both innings to lose by 50 runs. All that was left was a couple of beers and check if the fruit bowl was coming out before heading home. Next week its horrible Hullen Edge where we have to stop this 5 match run of defeats and pick up a win.


Scholes 338/5 vs Meltham 226ao

The omens weren't good from the start, after pulling up on Chapelgate not only was it raining but uncle Colins car was parked up, but at least we had 11 there for the start and some were even adults.
After the short rain shower play started just after 2 in a 44 over game, Meltham won the toss and inserted the home side under heavy skies and with rain still in the air. It looked a good decision as Erv and Rudders bowled tight and gave little away as the Scholes openers struggled to 15/0 in 8. Two wickets in two overs when Sykes gloved a ball ball from Rudkin behind and Steers edged a first ball beauty from Clarke to Burgin at slip gave Meltham a touch of hope. However it was downhill from then on as Birkhead and Pamment pushed the score along at about 12 an over as the Meltham change bowlers bowled poor lengths and the sun came out.
Birkhead, who'd survived at strong caught behind shout in the 2nd over, wielded his Salix like one of those giant Toblerones you get in duty free and scored runs off all sides with an array of big hits, chips and edges. Driving everything whatever the length including a few big ones into Chapelgate the Scholes 3rd wicket pair took the game away from Meltham until Birkhead finally departed for 154 caught by Burgin off Moulson R. Pamment (88) and Lawson (6) soon followed but the returning from a ban Wimpenny (40*) and T Tramp (18*) ensured Scholes hit a challenging total of 338.
After an uninspiring tea Meltham started their innings with Shaw and Murray Webster confidently. The 2nd delivery with the shiny new ball was deposited onto the cottage roof and came back in two parts as Meltham eased to 44 inside 7 overs before Lawson made the breakthrough. After spraying it all over with his previous 23 balls he trapped Shaw lbw with one that must have been cutting back off the seam by at least 18 inches if it was going to hit the stumps, the well practised and choreographed appeal from all 11 ensured the home umpires finger was raised. Burgin joined Murray at the crease and they continued to score at the required rate until the introduction of former county star Gareth Wakefield (
see link) as he trapped Burgin in front for 21. Super bowler (his own opinion) Lawson then gained another freak wicket as Wallis Award winner The Hyphen played on off his elbow and espadrille for 43 and at 105/3 the visitors were struggling.
Boyd batting at 5 took a liking to Grubers slow off non spin and hit a 29 ball 44 and in partnership with Matty White (32) Meltham sensed the chance of a point. However after an u13 standard change of wicketkeeper that took at least 20 minutes Meltham never got going again. After the dismissal of Boyd and a 6,7,8 of Steeples (2), Brook (4) and Field (0) the point was never going to be. Erv (20) batting at 10 gave the crowd something to cheer as he smashed Brook J for 3 big 6's including one that landed closer to the White Horse in Jackson Bridge than the ground and had to be retieved by taxi as Meltham closed on 226. To cap a bad day the beer was cloudy and raffle had to redrawn 3 times until a Scholes winner could be found.
Next week cross jostlers at home then I may go watch the Paddock Shield final up at Scholes on Sunday, how the home sides well practised appealing will go down with league umpires rather than their own is anyones guess but they will have competition in that facet of the game as Payney and the Slawit lot are strong in that department too.


Meltham 60ao vs Kirkburton 64/2

Meltham arrived at Riley Lane with a warning for the home side, to get the tea on as soon as possible because at that point we only had 8 players.
Kirkburton graciously inserted the visitors on a lovely warm summers day and a side depleted of senior players with some fantastic excuses made a typically poor start. Shaw opened with Moulson R in place of the headache (and going shopping in town and a mcdees 'cos I feel sick) victim Dave Dyson and the Meltham skipper missed his 2nd ball to depart without scoring. Moulson R (1) and Clegg S (1) also soon departed and at 3 for 3 in 3 double figures looked a million miles away. Cam (8) and Hollie (4) grafted for a few overs and took Meltham to 16 at which point 3 more players arrived to take Meltham to their full quota. Harry Brook then showing signs of improvement after an Earnie masterclass in the nets on Tuesday hit a couple of boundaries as did late arrival Boyd to push Meltham upto 59/5 and the visitors had hopes of eclipsing last weeks 76. However the dismissal of top scorer Brook for 16 marked a India style collapse as 59/5 became 60 all out, the run coming from a no ball.
With tea not ready we went straight round again and Kirkburton (which I think translates into 'where the disrespectful idiots play' *) set about knocking the runs off quickly. Crookes and Newsome opened up and put on 47 before big Sam pocketed his first senior victim by snaffling a good catch off Cam Field to dismiss Crookes for 18. Newsome followed shortly well caught at cover by Hollie off Harry Brook but by then it was game over and 'burton strolled home in 9 overs. After a quick shower a high quality and bountiful tea was ready and served by the embarrassed and apologetic tea ladies (& men) and it was back to Meltham to watch the 1sts throw away a great chance to cement a promotion place.
Next week away at Scholes and hopefully some of the 8 on holiday, 5 working, 1 with headache and 1 with no brownie points will be available to at least have a game that gets us past 5 o'clock. Again though credit the junior set up that despite over 20 1st & 2nd team players unavailable for whatever reason we still get 11 players out and this week 8 were 17 and under.

*Sorry to the officials and spectators at Kirkburton as they couldn't have been nicer but [some of] the players behaviour really lets them down and thats about as fairly as I can say it on the club website.


Meltham 76ao vs Kirkburton 77/1

It was a day of contrasts on a beautiful sunny day up at the MCG. At 12:30 Kirkburton turned up resplendent in their training gear with a team full of confidence to face probably the youngest side ever put out at Meltham. The home side contained 4 old heads of 36 upwards and 7 youngsters aged 17 down including 5 under 15s, it also didn't help that half of the juniors were still rough from a Friday night party and in contrast to the visitors non looked confident or wore training gear. 
When the home skipper won the toss he had no hesitation in batting 1st purely on the strength of the side. The wicket looked ok but was a bit uneven after Fridays rain and as the Smiths opened up for 'burton they did find some bounce. Dyson (0) went first, fishing at a wide one with no footwork to be caught in the slips and was quickly followed by Shaw (9) who yet again played an awful shot to be bowled by the straight one. Burgin and Boyd put up some resistance with a stand worth 40 until Burgin was adjudged LBW again somewhat harshly for 28. When Boydy gloved one to the keeper soon after for 15 the writing was on the wall for Meltham. Brook, Field, Armitage H and Moulson R all followed quickly for ducks until a 10th wicket partnership ensured Meltham beat their lowest total of the season. The partnership between Erv (biggest and oldest in the Meltham side) and Sam Clegg (youngest and smallest) was worth 20 and took Meltham upto 76 before Erv chopped on from Kettlewell to be followed 2 balls later by Haigh (0) as Meltham to finished on 76, yet again big Sam Clegg remaining unbeaten this time for 6. Burgy and Boydy aside it was poor batting from Meltham but there needs to be some batting coaching at the juniors me thinks as 6 of them failed to score leaving u13 Sam Clegg the only junior to score a run.
With tea not ready we went straight round and the Kirkburton openers looked keen to get it over with and by the look of it so did the Meltham opening bowlers. After 4 overs the visitors were 49/0 with Field going for 17 in 2 and Boyd 30 in 2. The introduction of Harry Brook (3-1-10-0) slowed the rate down and when Rob Ju Ju Moo enticed the opener down the track with his first ball T had his first senior dismissal. It was, however, a brief moment for the home side as Ping Pong Lindley joined Mellor and took 'Burton home in the 10th. After a long shower tea was just about ready and a very long evening lay ahead. Not a great performance but at least we had 11 players rather than the usual 8 during the Huddersfield fortnight.
Next week for some reason we have the reverse fixture over at 'burton and hopefully some of the 9 that were missing this week will be back and we can put up a bit more of a fight as these early finishes are not good for my liver.


Meltham 145/8 vs Golcar 147/6

We set off from rain sodden Meltham where no play was possible not expecting a game but as we climbed upto to Bolster Moor things improved. The Golcar microclimate was going strong and as we watched rain all around the Colne Valley play started at 3.30 under blue skies.
The home side won the toss and duly inserted Meltham on a track that was hard at the ends and soft in the middle where water from taking the covers off had sat. Gill opened up from the home umpires end and benefitted 2nd ball as Cockshaw was lbw for Meltham to get off to their customary bad start. Dyson and Burgin then worked hard to see off the springy bounce to take the score along to 24 until Burgin was adjudged LBW for 18 which brought Ju Moo to the wicket.
The introduction of spin into the attack saw Electrolux get powered up as he deposited the Gocar u15s star into the housing twice in disappointing 2 over spell worth 17. When Moulson (who hit the ball for the first time in 4 knocks) departed caught and bowled off a leading edge to Chapman for 11 Meltham were 59/3. Dyson soon followed for a good 24 as did Shaw (11) and at 87/5 Meltham were struggling. This soon became 97/6 as durdles missed a waist high full toss that the home umpire failed to call no ball to be bowled for 3. Late call up Ben Boothroyd the joined Boydy at the crease with 7 overs to go. Boyd continued his good form of late and was backed up by Boothroyd for whom Golcar strangely put a short leg in as Meltham put 49 on in the last 7 overs, Boydy (36) and Boothroyd (27) both perishing in the last over for Meltham to finish on a respectable 145/8.
With Erv and Rudders missing and Golcars favourite Cleggy now seemingly lost to first team (until Honley tap him up again) Meltham's new opening pair were Boyd and Cam Field. Both bowled well for little reward as did the change bowlers of Cockshaw n Brook as the Golcar opening pair steadily moved the score along. Rothery reached 50 (all of which came via thick outside edges to the bottom boundary) as Ali accumulated singles to move Golcar to 100 without loss in the 20th and seemingly cruisng home especially with home umpires help no balling 'over waist full tosses' that left the batters rubbing their thighs. The introduction of Jack Moo led to Rothery then finding the middle and the home side looked home and hosed at 122 without loss in 22. As Boyd was recalled to the attack the Golcar middle order were showering, but then Ali skied one to 'knee injury' Dyson for 36 and the wheels came off. Five balls later Read got a cue ender to be caught by stumper Shaw off Boyd and the home side were 128/2 off 23. The first ball of the next over saw Rothery bowled by Cockshaw for 82 which brought Wilson to the crease. After listening to him stump we expected him to be a mix of Tendulkar & Lara who'd probably score the required runs left handed with his eyes closed however 4 balls later the county standard star was back in the pond quacking and Golcar were wobbling at 128/4. Lockwood (1) was then caught by Burgin and Gill (0) smartly stumped by Shaw as Golcar wobbled again at 136/6 until the burly Chapman backed up his 3 wickets with a match finishing 9* to take Golcar home by 4 wickets with 3 overs to spare. Boyd (3/26) was the pick of the bowlers, Field (1/36), Cockshaw (2/30) the other wicket takers but Meltham should take heart from sticking at it with a bit of luck the result could have been different. Next week more #chirpyfun as the shy and retiring Kirkburton visit the MCG.


Delph n Dobcross 156/9 vs Meltham 157/4

After the start was delayed by an hour due to the dampness of the run ups, Delph won the toss and decided to bat in the 40 over game.
The wicket looked quite hard and played well offering some bounce to the Meltham seam attack which was a touch stronger than last week. Erv steamed down the the hill and had the Delph skipper caught at slip with one that got a touch big for last weeks century maker to leave the visitors at 4/1 in the first over. Rudders opened up the hill nursing a dodgy achilles after last week and found a touch of nip in the track to continually go past the bat. Delph slowly built with Horton and Ball taking few chances to move the score upto nearly 3 an over by the 10th. Rudders then broke though when the number 3 chipped one to Rob 'safe hands' Moulson at mid on. The number 4 didn't last too long after being hit on the finger by Mike Holding Rudkin he glanced one to the hyphen behind the stumps to bring Brogan to the crease. Dave 'face on' Dyson replaced Rudkin and in his 2nd over he bowled opener Ball who'd grafted through 20 overs (Meltham opener should take note of that) to leave the visitors wobbling at 70/5 in 22. This brought Broadbent to the crease who took advantage of a few loose deliveries to hit a nice 50 (45 of which between backward square and midwicket). Wickets continued to fall steadily however, with the highlights another great catch by safe hands and the number 8 run out 1st ball which lead to a helmet throwing and kicking tantrum of the highest order.
Delph finished on 156/9 with all the bowlers doing a good job Erv (3), Rudkin (2), Boyd (2) and Dyson (1) the wickettakers.
Meltham as usual started poorly and were a wicket down in the first over as Shaw top edged a short ball from Broadbent to be well caught at square leg. When Burgin got out to another 2nd team wicket taker caught at point the home side feared the worst at 21/2. However The Hyphenator and The Vac built a great partnership to put Meltham in control, some good running and shotmaking enabled the two juniors to keep the score ticking along at 4 an over. However when 88/2 became 93/4 Meltham were yet again struggling as Dyson (25) and Murray-Webster (42) departed. Meltham fans shouldn't have worried though as 'the finishers' yet again saw Meltham home, it seems only run outs can split up the batting of Boyd and Holmes. As Holmes nurdled and durdled for a 29 ball 6*, former Delphinium Boyd tucked into the visitors Buffett and flayed a 36 ball 55* for his first Meltham 50 and ensured that he didn't get out to the third generation of Jones.
A good 5 points that should hopefully go a long way in keeping us in Premiership2, Golcar away next week, lets hope its warm.


Meltham 98ao CraggyIsland 99/1

For the second successive match the sun shone brightly and temperatures soared as Meltham travelled over to Halifax for the game vs Barkisland.
Meltham won the toss and had no hesitation in batting 1st for no other reason that with Boyd & Clegg in the 1sts, Erv working, Tucker leaving and Gaunty at London Pride the bowling options looked thin. The wicket looked hard and with the outfield cut short the visitors must have been hopeful of posting a score of sorts. Shaw opening with the dropped Jack Ju Moo hit balls 2 & 3 for 6 as Meltham eased to 13/0 inside 4 balls. Moulson, who seems to spend more time preening his navel hair than batting these days, then played round his first ball for his second golden off the week to bring Burgin to the crease. 13/1 became 16/2 as Shaw was bowled off his pads and the tone of the day was set. Meltham continued to lose wickets mostly down to poor shots rather than great bowling, firstly Dave 'face on' Dyson LBW for nought then Burgy caught off a slower ball full toss. When the Hyphen (looking very George Michael in his tight red shorts and little vest) stumped after a bit a camp footlifting Meltham were struggling. Durdles and the debuuing Greg Cooke put up some resistance for a while until whiteside tried a big hit to be bowled for Melthams top score of 30ish. From then on the tail did its usual job of quickly and easily getting out with Brook, Moulson R and Rudkin not using up much of the scorers ink to leave big Sam Clegg unbeaten on 4. Meltham finished on 98 in around 30 overs meaning the Lasagne wasn't ready so after a quick turnaround the Barkisland openers were out trying to chase down their meagre target.
Jack Ju Moo opened up with Rudders and bowled 3 decent overs before being forced off with a headache?! to be replaced by Rob ju ju Moo Manuel Bieber Spin King Moulson. Rudders also limped out of the attack to leave the Meltham bowling cupboard emptier than Old Mother Hubbards. Rob got some reward by teasing Tom Wood down the track to be stumped for 20 but that was the only highlight in the field as the home side romped home in 17 overs with only 1 down and the Lasagne still wasn't ready. 
A heavy defeat but at least we had time to get back to watch the 1sts beat Almondbury and take comfort that it could have been worse as Marsden 1sts showed with their 300 run defat vs Delph. Next week it is another relegation crunch game as Delph visit the MCG and much better is expected.


Emley Clarence 124ao vs Meltham 125/6

After Saturdays tense finish and tight defeat Meltham travelled to the Barnsley borders to play in the one day heatwave up at the Welfare Ground. Meltham were expecting some chirpy fun against an Emley side who lost at Mean Lane two weeks ago and weren't disappointed.
After a 20 minute walk to toss up the away skipper called wrong and the Emley skipper decided to bat in the swelteringly hot conditions on what looked like a hard and dry track. With Burgin, Holmes and Tucker all delayed by start time Meltham took the field with 8 men not that it bothered sport billy Clegg. An astonshing opening spell of 6 overs 5 maidens 4 wickets for 1 run (a wide) by Aleksandr meant that the Emley top order were blown away with some superb swing bowling. With Dave Dyson (2/20) chipping in with a couple of early wicket takers Melthams under 15s had reduced Emley to 40/7 inside 16 overs. However the veteran Taylor and captain Smorley put together a partnership of 46 with some lusty blows and ugly slogs to bring the home side back into the game. 
After Cleggs enforced 6 over rest he returned to have Taylor well caught at point with his worst ball of the day to be sitting on figures of 7-6-1-5. Good to see Cleggy had been refreshed with a break, he needed it after playing 14 times in 15 days. Some more big swings ensued from the Emley tail until Cleggy dismissed the disco dancing skipper to finish with career best figures of 6/24 in 11 and the home side finished 124 all out, Jason Boyd the other wicket taker with 2/28.

After tea and a bus ride to the changing rooms and back Meltham started their reply. As per Saturday the openers faced a lady candlestick landing it on the spot and a youngster firing it all over. Shaw took 8 off the first and then hit 2 sixes into the football stand wall before running himself for 20. Matty White, Burgin and DD soon followed to leave Meltham struggling at 27/4. The hyphen on a rare outing and Boydy then grafted through and saw the new ball shine off in a stand of 43 in 13 overs until the junior stumper top edged to cover. Enter man of the moment Alex Clegg fresh from career best figures plus a 32 the day before, surely the man for the job. However Roger Speights finger sent him on his way for the longest walk first baller in history to leave Meltham struggling at 70/6. 
Next in was the silverfox, batting at 8 due to a chest injury sustained in his knock on Saturday, and the result never seemed in doubt. Boydy and Holmes took Meltham home at a good pace knocking off the 45 needed in only 10 overs with no real scares at all. Boyd, who left all his kit in the MCC car park overnight to claim the Wallis award finished on 44 and Durdles 29 as a comfortable 4 wicket win was recorded with 12 overs to spare. The defeat too much for the Emley skipper to bear as he rushed off to pick up flags rather shake hands as Meltham stretch the gap to relegation to 11 points.

More of the same of this weekends performances is expected up at Barkisland next week where I doubt it will be as warm.


Slaithwaite 186/7 vs Meltham 184ao

What with persistant 'moor grime' in the morning and a strip that resembled sticky toffee pudding the match was never going to start on time, but after the cloud lifted a touch and some rolling on rags play got underway at 2.30pm in a 40 over game.
Meltham won the toss and duly asked Slawit to have first use of the pudding and the top order struggled with a bit of uneven bounce as they lost early wickets. Quiche (6), Chopper (6), Fireman Sam (7) and Langfield (12) were all in the tent inside 12 overs as Slawit struggled to 36/4. Payne (41) and Peanut (30) then decided attack was the best form of defence and put together a stand of 73 in 15 overs. However they had both gone by the 31st over with Slawit on 121/6, quickly followed by one of the Bradleys (2) to leave H Garside and West together at 127 with 7 overs to go. Some big hitting and good running coupled with the odd bit of poor fielding allowed Slawit get to an above par score of 186/7 with Garside finishing unbeaten on 47 and Westy on 18. Rudkin 3/27 and Clegg 2/26 were the pick of the bowlers with Boydy n Brooky also picking up a wicket apiece.
The Meltham reply started in typically cautious style as Shaw and White put on 17 for the 1st wicket in 6 overs until Matty missed a straight 'un to be bowled by Payne for 1. Shaw continued to take a liking to the Slawit bowling by first forcing Garside off after an expensive 3 over spell then by hitting Westy into the Rec 3 times in his 2nd over. However in the 10th Payney got his usual dodgy LBW with a well practised and choreographed appeal to a ball that may have missed a 4th stump for Shaw to be out for 34 and leave Meltham at 40/2. Burgy (2) soon followed as did DD (8) to leave the home side struggling at 58/4 in 18 overs. Silver fox Jardine and Boydy (playing to a big family crowd) then set about the Slawit attack in a stand worth 55 in 10 overs before a horrible mix up involving No and Go and ball watching left Boydy run out by yards for 15. Durdles continued to bat well and in partnership with sport billy Clegg continued to chase down to target. When Durdles was out for 57, Meltham needed 47 in 6 overs with only the tail left. A couple of big overs from Clegg and Kenworthy left 20 needed in 3, but Clegg went for 32 in the 37th. Kenworthy and Brook then needed 12 in 2 and 9 off the last.
The 40th started with 2 dots and it was 9 needed in 4 balls, the 3rd ball sailed onto Dathans roof leaving Meltham needing 3 in 3 balls with 3 wickets left and all results were possible. However the so far poor and expensive Monty Graham (4.3 overs 0 for 36) was to end with final figures of 5 overs 3 for 36 including hattrick as Kenworthy, Rudkin and Brook all tried to hit the winning runs and failed to leave the home side down and gutted at 184 all out.
A fantastic game of cricket and lets hope Meltham take a similar performance to Emley today in the heatwave where a win is essential. However seemingly not a good enough game or finish to even merit a mention in the Examiner


Shepley 246/7 vs Meltham 107ao

After 2 good wins Meltham arrived with some confidence at Marsh Lane where, as usual, it was cold, windy, dark and horrible. Fielding a side a bit light on bowling what with Clegg, Boyd and Cockshaw on 1st team duties, Wallis too injured to bowl and Gaunt, in the absence of a local folk festival (I'm sure there is one held in the Shepley area sometimes that he could go to!), away in Cambridge showing off his wierd beard.

Meltham won the toss and inserted the home side on a covered wicket that looked a bit too dry, and as it played was very two paced with tennis ball bounce. Shepley got off to a good start with Parry and Littlewood punishing anything loose from Rudkin and Clarke and especially Shaw who bowled possibly the worst 4 overs seen in league cricket. At 20 overs the home side were nearly 100 without loss and looking at a big score until Tucker and Dyson really tightened things up. JT bowled a mightly unlucky 11 over spell (0/33) and Dave Dyson made the breakthrough by bowling Parry and finish his 6 overs with 1/15. The introduction of Harold Brook into the attack brought more wickets as he took 3 in 3 overs and all of a sudden the home side were struggling to make a big score. Brook finished with 3/29 but the experienced Denton took Shepley upto a decent total of 246/7 despite a couple of wickets from Rudkin and one from Erv.

The Meltham reply never got going, firstly Shaw (5) was adjudged LBW by the home umpire then Kenworthy (11) was bowled by Glover. Burgin looked comfortable and was batting well and in partnership with Dyson (14) took the score upto 58 until Dyson lobbed one back to Glover. When eversilver Durdles was caught in the slips for 5 it was all over as a contest especially as the non bowling Wallis missed his first ball to put Glover on a hattrick. Brook (2) soon followed and Shepley (and the umps) were hoping for an early finish. However Burgie and Tucker were still up for runs and were going well until Miguel was fired LBW for a stylish 48, JT carried on making up shots until he was bowled for 16. Clarke and Rudkin soon followed without troubling the scorers to leave Ju Ju Moo stranded 3no and Meltham back in the tent for just over the hundred as the sun started to shine.

A disappointing performance which hopefully will be improved upon in next weeks double header vs Slawit n Emley.

As for heaviest side, surely at some point in last few years Meltham would/could have put out:

Shaw, Palmer, Collier, Kenworthy (L), Farrell (J), Berry, Kenworthy (S), Armitage, Moulson (snr), Rudkin, Clarke.


Meltham 161 ao Emley 144ao

In the skippers absence - injured or just gettin p- - - - d and endulging in the All Inclusiveness there was a great win for stand in skipper Miguel Angel Jiminez and his men and some controversy!!

The Home side were also without Tan Topper Clarke, Shara allegedly injured and Clegster to 1st team non bowling duties. They welcomed Cockroft back and two old timers - Cleaver and Kenners both with bags of experience and huge amounts of weight. God if Baz and Merv had been available it would have been the heaviest side ever put out by us!!! 

After some heavy rain, the away side had no hesitation in inserting Migs men. The veteran Ken Taylor bowled superbly on a track that assisted no end and bowled his 12 on the bounce  taking 3 -13 inc 6 maidens - accounting for both openers Gaunt and Cockshaw for 9 & 0. There was uneven bounce and soon we were in trouble at 37 for 4 with Mig and Boydy also back in the tent, The Vac continued his straight batting and hung around for 13 and the Evergreen Douglas Jardine managed to get to grips with the attack and the 2 lads took the score to 74 before Vac was out. Cleaver lasted a few balls before playing on for 11, Brooky hung around annoying the bowlers for a while whilst Whites (34) continued to find batting easy. Brooky was finally castled for 11 and then Rudders clubbed 19 before getting greedy or carried away or both. Kenners batting too low in my opinion at 10 helped himself to the attack and clubbed 26 no - aided by a rearguard from JT for 3/4 overs until the latter was castled for a fine blob. After being 125 for 8, we did well to post 161 all out in 45 overs.

I didnt see the 2nd Innings as I had to fly to Emley to do the reporting on that game as well.  However, I was kept up to date by Hollie by text and learnt that the away side were on top at 86 for 2 inside 20 overs when a  incident changed the game. Appleyard was going well on 56 when he nicked one behind to be snaffled by t'owd Titanium Knees - Maltesers snr. Uncle Melvyn called no - ball but the batsman continued walking. He realised that he was not out and attempted to get back in his crease only to see Linford Kenworthy sprinting from behind his stumps ball in hand to run him out , demolishing the wickets as well. 

The Visitors didn't seem to recover from this and became agitated and when Miguel brought Cockshaw into the attack, he mopped the tail up taking  4 -36 leaving Emley 17 short and their skipper (10 no) ruffled and angered and threatening to get it on with the 2 oldest and fattest members of the home side.

Boydy and Rudders also bowled well taking 2 wickets apiece and it was a welcome and much needed 6 pts and we look forward to an intriguing game when we meet in 2 weeks at the Welfare Ground.

The only disappointing part of the day was that Mig didnt offer the cigars round after the game. 


Meltham 268/6 vs Skelmanthorpe 254ao

As predicted in the Matchday Programme on Wednesday there was a run feast at Mean Lane where the home side recorded their first victory of the season over top of the table Shat.
On winning the toss the visitors had no hesitation in inserting a home side who have been struggling for runs so far this year on a hard and dry track. After the early loss of Gaunt (0), Meltham started to take the attack to Skelmanthorpe with Miguel Burgin taking a liking to Dyson in particular. With Shaw dogged and gaylording at one end Burgin brought up his 50 in 40 balls to have Meltham at 70/1 in 14 overs until Burgin edged Greene behind for a sparkling 52 to bring Matty White to the crease and Meltham had to dig in again.
Shaw finally found his sight and hit Greene into the rec 3 balls in a row as the home side built some momentum to go past 3 figures in the 20th over. Shaw went, also for 52, but White and Dave Dyson kept going and the Meltham scoring rate didn't dip, even when DD played the same horrible cross bat shot as last week to be bowled for 13 and bring Durdles to the crease.
All the time Matty White was cutting and driving beautifully as the wheels started to come off the visitors bowling and fielding effort, in tandem with Durdles, Meltham pushed on with good running and some great strokeplay. Matty White was finally out in the 47th over to the hyphen spin bowler, stumped for 69, Cleggster and Murray-Webster then helped Simon Holmes add important runs as Meltham reached 268/6. Holmes finishing on a chanceless (dropped 4 times) unbeaten 57.

After a decent tea the visitors started cautiously against the all out pace attack of (Wallis award winner) Clarke and Clegg until Clegg made the breakthrough in the tenth by having Greene caught by Rudders at Mid Off. After the 1st change bowlers of Wallis and Shaw were both forced off through injury, Rudkin entered the attack to remove Greaves, caught behind, as Shat kept struggling at 2 an over. Dyson at 4 for the visitors showed his intention with some clean hitting, including one that may have landed in Morrisons as the home side juggled their 5th, 6th & 7th change bowlers. The return of Clarke into the attack brought Meltham back into the game as in 2 overs he removed Dyson (caught at cow for 37) and Redgy (bowled and breaking the stump for 27) to leave Skelmanthorpe 115/4 in 22 overs, still game on. With the 2 Roebucks at the crease Shat were still in the chase until Golden Arm Gaunt accounted for both of them in 2 balls and at 170/6 and 14 overs to go Meltham were favourites. With the light fading, Meltham were unable to call on Clarke and had to get quick overs in to avoid bad light getting in the way. Matty White followed up his great batting with some dibble and picked up Harthill, caught behind with his 1st ball but the Shat tail kept going with the flashing blade of the number 8 Phillpott. When Shepherd was run out, Skelmanthorpe needed 30 in 4 overs and the game was still in the balance. However in the 49th with 15 needed the number 11 hyphen edged behind off White and the home side were celebrating victory for the 1st time this year and 6 points were in the bag. Great bowling from Clegg (2/38 in 11), Clarke (2/22 in 9) backed by Rudkin (1/59), Gaunt (2/33) & White (2/42) amongst the 8 bowlers used showed what a decent side we can be when at full strength.

Next week Emley Clarence visit Mean Lane in an important league fixture where hopefully Meltham can take heart from this performance and kick on.


Meltham vs Barkisland No Play Rain/Waterlogged Pitch

At a very moist Mean Lane no play was possible and no matter how long we'd have waited I doubt it would have dried sufficiently. It still didn't stop JMhyphenW clearing up the Wallis award with this pearler.

After clocking Barkisland player Andrew Fraine " God doesn't that fella look like (Will) Fraineys dad!!"
- identical twins generally do my old friend.


Meltham 95ao vs Slawit 96/0

There are a few things that are conducive to good cricket and an enjoyable days play, Hill Top when temperatures are in single figures, constant 40mph winds, rain all morning and a wicket that resembles Blackpool beach when the tide has just gone out are not amongst them. So as the beautiful Spring weather continued, it was like November in Slawit and everyone was looking forward to an early finish to watch the Champions League Final.
Chopper duly won the toss and inserted Meltham on a damp and extremely green 'un that for some reason had rumble strips at both ends. Shaw and Boyd opened up for the visitors and despite Payney landing it regularly on the dandelions on a length or the edge of the rumble strip Meltham moved cautiously to 17 in 8 overs, until Shaw was then caught behind for 8 to bring Dave Dyson to the crease. Jason Boyd continued from last week and began to look more fluid, but after running a quick 2 (whilst running the 2nd the wind was so strong he resembled someone wading through waist deep water) he then chopped on his next ball to go for 25. Durdles soon followed quickly shot LBW for 2, as the Meltham collapse started. Rob ju ju moo (2), out of retirement big Armo (0) and the not working for once Steeples (4) all rushed back to the hut whilst the straightest bat in the club Dave Dyson continued to battle on. When young Dyson played his first poor shot after 15 overs of graft to be bowled for 8 it looked like tea was due to be taken, however Brook n Tucker had other ideas. After 3 weeks without hitting the ball, this weeks Wallis Award winner and pork scratchings snaffler, Brook had some mighty swings and connected with a few to score a valuable 25, backed by Tucker (13). However it was only a brief boost as the last 3 wickets fell for Meltham to finish on 95 (22 more than Armitage Bridge scored last week). 
Slawit then took 28 overs to knock the runs off with no reals scares despite some tight bowling from Meltham, Matt Payne finishing on 52* and it was time for drinks and football. Lets hope the weather improves soon and we can start to enjoy the summer game.


Elland 251/7 vs Meltham 247/7

With the weather set fair after a wet week, Mean Lane WACA had a slight green tinge to it and when Meltham won the toss there was no hesitation as the opposition were inserted.
Clegg opened up to Palmer and Blakey and soon had Percy asking for his helmet after gaining some impressive bounce. Rudkin up the hill was also into a good rhythm as Elland moved to 30 without loss inside 8 overs and despite some decent opening overs the visitors only scare was when Palmer decided to go A over T with an impressive forward roll down the wicket whilst attempting at quick single.
Rudkin then made the breakthrough by tempting H into pulling a long hop straight to Harry Brook at deep square leg for what was a disappointing 13. 
Elland continued to score runs with Blakey driving at everything whatever the length until Boydy got some reward for a magnificent spell up the hill by having him caught at slip in the 26th over to bring Rehman to the crease. The young number 4 impressed with some decent straight hitting but the innings seemed to just drift on for Elland and they never accelerated and finished on 251/7 helped by 42 extras and some very ordinary fielding.
Shaw and Clegg opened up for Meltham against the angry young pair of Finn and Rowles, the former nibbling after only 3 balls of medium pace. Clegg soon went followed by Burgin to leave the home side struggling at 40/2. White joined Shaw who was still struggling to hit the ball but still being very amused by how easy it was to wind up Ellands young contingent. Matty White scored a quick 16 as the home skipper finally started to hit the ball to move Meltham upto unknown territory this year at 90/3. 
Boyd then joined Shaw and batted doggedly as the Meltham edged towards their target. Shaw gave a simple chance when on 62 but Palmer spilled it as the stumper crashed into him in a moment of pure village much to the home skippers amusement especially as the bowler not only threw out all his toys but the pram went as well. With great support from Boyd Meltham pushed on and were looking likely winners especially when Blakey lost his winker and refused a simple catch at long off when opting to stay back and save the boundary but is was not to be.
When Shaw was out for 137 Meltham needed 32 in 7 which, in the end, was 4 too many despite brave efforts from Boyd, Dyson and Rudkin and Elland took home a rather fortuitous 5 points. A good effort from Meltham in a game which was lost in the field, however at least we got on with it and didn't sulk or trip over our own lips as others did and can take heart from this performance into next weekends bank holiday double header.


Meltham 82/5 vs Armitage Bridge RSP

Sunday was depressingly similar to Saturday apart from a drier pitch and it was a couple of degrees warmer. Shaw lost the toss again and was duly inserted on a damp track under grey skies. There was a biting wind and rain in the air as Shaw and Clegg got Meltham off to their best start of the year with a mix of mostly gaylording apart from the odd slog over Dathans. With the score on 37 in the 14th, Clegg gloved a short one down legside to be caught behind for a season high of 5 to bring Daz Hinchcliffe to the crease. Shortly afterwards Shaw skied a legside slog to be caught and bowled for a very sedate 34 off 40 balls and Meltham were struggling at 41/2. When Daz somehow contrived to be caught at slip off the back of his bat to a ball a foot down legside for 11, Melthams innings entered familiar territory. Matt White (14) was caught behind and then Harry Brook missed his first ball to leave Meltham, as usual, 5 wickets down inside 20 overs. Saturdays 'Wallis award' winner Boyd (10*) and Dave Dyson (1*) helped steady the ship before the moor grime and consistant drizzle forced us off at 82/5 in 24 overs. Tea was taken and rain watched for an hour before the inevitable happened and play was abandoned for the day.
Two more points and an unbeaten weekend takes us to next week when Elland visit and Meltham aim to stretch the unbeaten run to 3.


Meltham 2/1 vs Mardsen RSP

We arrived at a sodden Hemplow not expecting to play knowing how Marsden like to put player safety in slippy conditions first. As we watched Town and the cup final on the box, it continued to rain but somehow with the pitch no drier than when we arrived a 25 game was sorted to start at 4pm.
The home side won the toss and inserted Meltham and despite a football field full of sheep the was a definite whiff of bovine faeces in the air as Coulson opened up from the scorebox end. After 5 balls of filth that the BFG would have struggled to reach there were oohs n arrs from cover as big Matt finally pitched one over half way. Armo opened from the club end and young Clegg looked back to form as he took a single off the over. Coulson's second over was no better than his first bowling a length that would have been too full from the other end, but I am glad to report he managed not to slip or compromise safety in the windy and rainy conditions that were reminiscent of standing on deck of a cross channel ferry.
Shaw then got out caught behind to a wild swish at a real second team wicket taker, probably surprised by the fact it was the first ball he could reach. Burgin entered but 2 balls later a few bigger waves crashed over the boat, erm I mean pitch and play was abandoned for the day and 2 points in the bag. After a Red Stripe and the 2nd half of the cup final it was back to Meltham to watch the firsts lose and then onto Sunday when Armitage Bridge were the visitors.


Meltham 105ao vs Broad Oak 106/5

The start was delayed due to the persistant light rain but come 2pm the hazy sun came out and the covers came off to show what looked like a hard fast track and when Meltham won the toss they decided to bat. Even with the loss of Earnshaw to the 1sts it was easily Meltham's strongest line up of the year and hopes were high of at least posting a score to bowl at.

However the wicket didn't play as it looked, it was sticky with spongy bounce and made timing the ball very hard. Meltham started poorly with Shaw finding the only fielder on the legside for the 2nd week running for 2 to bring Matty White to the wicket. In partnership with Ben Cockshaw Meltham slowly built and reached 40 with only 1 wicket down which is 4 wickets better than every other week this season to leave the visitors hoping for a score. However the optimisim was too early as Meltham's middle order all got out to soft dismissals to leave them on 70/8 with Burgin, Wallis, Clegg and Brook all failing to trouble the scorer. Some late resistance by Tucker and Rudkin in partnership with the solid Ben Cockshaw enabled Meltham to post their second highest total of the year, finishing on 105 with the patient Ben carrying his bat for a fine unbeaten 54. 

Wallis and Clegg opened up for Meltham and both bowled tidy enough and if JT had taken the chance offered by the Broad Oak opener in the 4th over Meltham would have had the early breakthrough that was required. As it was the breakthrough arrived with the introduction of Pukka Chukka Shaw into the attack. The 'wily veteran all rounder' somehow found turn and bounce to take 2 quick wickets and with Jason Boyd picking up a 3rd on his introduction to the attack Broad Oak were wobbling at 50/3. However some intelligent and experienced batting from Metcalfe and Rushworth calmed the home side and despite Melthams best efforts and further wickets from Boyd and Rudkin Broad Oak stuttered over the line in 30 overs to take six points.

All in all a good effort in the field but the batting needs sorting as score of 72, 80, 105 and 167 are not going to win you many games however well you bowl and in next weeks double header we are back to the word of the day 'graft'.


Meltham 80/9 (only 10 men) vs Shepley 84/1

Yet again it was beautiful spring weather and yet again the ground and wicket looked like a run filled cracker and yet again Meltham 2nds took a hammering.
Shepley won the toss and bowled, perhaps fancying an early finish after a look at the 10 man Meltham teamsheet, and they duly got what they were expecting. Shaw and Gaunt opened up and it wasn't long before GG attempted a pull that just looped up back to the bowler to leave Meltham at 12/1. Shaw continued from last week mixing defence with aggression until Sullivan pulled out a great diving catch off the bowling of Glover to reduce Meltham to 34/2 and the home skipper back in the hutch for 24. That was about that for Meltham as a procession of batters showed little in terms of graft with Clegg (0), White (6), Wallis (5) all out to leave Meltham at their now customary position of 40/5 within 20 overs. Harry Brook took a liking to Stuart Greaves' slow spin to hit a quickfire 20 but nobody else got into double figures and tea was taken just after drinks with Meltham all out for a miserable and fairly embarrassing 80.
With little to chase and the second part of Dr Who to get home for Shepley set about the target quickly with Sullivan pulling anything short and thick edging everything full, whilst PPP was his usual self of dab or lofted drive. Rob Moulson picked up his first senior wicket by having Sullivan caught in the deep for 41 but it was little consolation and we were all showered and in the bar before final score.
Not much more you can say in a 3 hour game, but hopefully next week we should be a little stronger for our visit to Broad Oak where we must show more with the bat.


Meltham 167/8 vs Scholes 169/5

Meltham's home campaign kicked off in beautiful sunshine on what could be the hottest day of the year and they earned what could be a valuable point against a fairly strong Scholes side.
The Mean Laners won the toss and broke with tradition and elected to bat on a dry and cracking looking strip that offered good bounce. The decision to bat probably decided with the the strength of the respective batting line ups in tandem of the ridiculously hot April weather.
The experienced Meltham opening pair of Earnshaw and Cockshaw started off well in enough with little problems in the first 8 overs until both were aggreived to be adjudged LBW within consecutive overs. Within another 7 overs Meltham had slumped to 40/5 with Gaunt, Clegg Senior and Brook all in the tent with minimum fantasy league points to their name.
The skipper who had gone in at 5 was left looking at a target of trying to beat last weeks total with the notoriously weak Meltham tail. JT came and held up play for a few overs with some unorthodox strokeplay much to the amusement of the always calm Richard Wimpenny and Rob Moulson on daybu did the same. After those 2 were dismissed big Erv disdainfully dispatched Gruber into the rec after an awful leg before appeal that Swerve didn't like and the home side had bettered the 72 of last week.
When the big man was out at 114/8 in the 31st over big Sam Clegg strode to the wicket and belied his 13 years with a fantastic knock showing superb composure and technique very reminiscent of a young Keith Noble. With Shaw continuing to Gaylord at the other end the 9th wicket pair added a valuable 53 and earnt the first point of the year for Meltham. Big Sam ending on 2* with the home skipper 100* and needing oxygen and/or lager.
After a refreshing tea of steaming hot pie and peas Scholes set about chasing down the target with their usual gusto against a varied Meltham attack. Swerve had 6 fiery overs down the hill that had the openers ducking and diving and when HMS made the breakthrough in the 12th to leave Scholes on 35/1 Meltham had a sniff. However a few loose overs to some of Scholes' promising young 'uns changed all that. After a 30 run burst in 4 overs the game was a good as done, and despite losing regular wickets Scholes were always in control and cantered home in 30 overs with 5 wickets in hand. The wickets were shared by Rudkin, Brook, Gaunt, Clegg snr and Tucker. All in all a good point with the team on show and yet again the juniors continue to show good skills.
Next week its the Paddock Shield, 1pm at Meltham and let hope we continue to improve.


Armitage Bridge 173-9 vs Meltham 72 all out

On a lovely spring day Meltham marked their return to Premiership2 with a disappointing and heavy defeat down at the Bridge.
The home side won the toss and batted on a hard and dry track which just got lower and lower as the day went on. Young Clegg took the new ball and from the changing room end and took a wicket with his 3rd ball and things were looking promising. The opening spell from Clegg and Rudkin helped to further reduce the home side to 20-3 at the 10 over mark and when Boydy was introduced into the attack wickets continued to fall. At drinks the bridge were struggling at 46-6 and first ball after drinks it could and should have been worse for the home side but HMS chested the ball down rather than catch it and Armitage Bridge took full advantage. The tail wagged strongly and with some good running, big hitting and terrible fielding somehow the home side got to 173/9, a score that looked over par. Rudkin 2-23, Clegg 3-42 and Boyd 4-32 shared the wickets and there was an encouraging first spell from Harry Brook (0-15 in 5 overs).
Meltham's reply started in poor fashion with Shaw (4) and early gaylord contender Gaunt (weird beard with no moustache and espadrilles on his feet!?) soon back in the hutch to be followed quickly by Earnshaw (9) and Boothroyd (0). When both Jason Boyd and Alex Clegg were adjudged LBW it seemed uncle Mel was eyeing up an early finish, but Matty White playing his first game in nearly 4 years stood firm. At drinks Meltham had limped to 45-7 just one run behing the home side but never in the chase. Matt White continued to bat well and with debutant Harry Brook (11) & Pixie (6*) took the total along. When Matt was run out for a solid and top score of 31 to be followed by Rudkin (0) it was all over and a crushing 100 run defeat in enough time for a pint before Britains Got Talent.
Better is needed next week especially in the field and with the bat as we welcome our good friends from Scholes.


Kirkheaton 90ao vs Meltham 93/9

What with promotion wrapped up and very wet conditions it seemed that we were to suffer our first abandonment of the season. However in sunny and blustery conditions the pitch dried sufficiently for a 30 over game to start at 230pm.
Meltham won the toss and duly inserted to visitors on possibly the greenest track yet. The home side featuring some out of retirement incluing Moulson senior and Kenworthy senior took to the field with 10 men as Pixie was unable to leave the porcelain. Kirkheaton made a fast start with the talented youngster Joe Fox taking 12 off a disappointing Steeples first over. Rudkin started up hill and the 4 pints of cider before the game showed as he did a beautiful forward roll down the wicket after his first ball.
HMS quickly went onto dismiss Fox (16) and Asaf (17) both caught behind by the faultless Kenworthy and the introduction of Clarke down hill reduced the visitors to 65/4 as both Atkinson (22) and Shafiq (5) fell to the surprise pitched up delivery. At this point Pixie was yet to see a wicket due to 5 visits to the stalls.
As Big Erv closed in on the 30 wickets to qualify for the averages, Boyd came on up the hill and took out the middle order with 3/20. When Steeps dropped a gobber off Erv however, the big mans hopes of the bowling prize were gone as after an excellent spell of 3/18 The Swerve was left on 29 wickets for the year. It took only 2 balls from Cleggster to finish off Yetton as they closed on 90 in only 20.2 overs.

After Pie and Peas and a bit of order shuffling Gaunt and Boothroyd opened up and put on 28 for the first wicket until GG (13) was run out. That started a collapse as Boothroyd (15), Clegg (0), Rudkin (4) & Clarke (1) quickly departed as Meltham slumped to 38/5, with the ever dependable John Phayer (3/21) and Shafiq (1/26) bowling a tight line. Luckily for Meltham, Steeps was desperate to boost his batting average from 0.6 and with a few lusty blows the 16 year old took his runs tally for the year to an amazing 27 thanks to a great knock of 21. However when Jordan `Ben From Eastenders` Steeples was out the visitors fancied their chances with Meltham at 61/7. Kenworthy (8) and Moulson (0) quickly went leaving the experienced and bald heads of Shaw and Parker needing 13 to win with 9 wickets down. Kirkheaton sensed victory but Shaw (19*) and Parker (8*) held their nerve to give Meltham a tense and thrilling victory.

All eyes are now on the results as Meltham finish with promotion and 30 Schweppes trophy points, but will that be enough to bring the prize back to Mean Lane?


Meltham 282/5 vs Hoylandswaine 234ao

After a dry sunny week the wicket looked no less green than in previous weeks and when Hoylandswaine won the toss they had no hesitation in inserting the home side. The opening attack of Youel & Wilson started brightly with runs at a premium as the ball darted about with variable bounce. Only 28 were scored off the first 8 overs as Shaw and Parker grafted and it wasn't until Shaw hooked Youel into the rec at the end of the 9th over did runs start to flow. After that 6 the toys came out of Youels cot and the rag was lost much to the home skippers amusement and the next 9 overs yielded 60 runs. Young spinner Hague made the break through by dismissing both Parker(21) and Shaw(57) with 2nd team wicket takers of the highest quality. When Boyd went quickly for 1 Meltham were struggling at 104/3 and it needed the old composed heads of Burgin & Holmes to right the ship.
A chanceless partnership of 135 in just 20 overs was superb to watch as both Miguel and Douglas mixed big hits and quick singles to great effect and when Burgin was out for 87 in the 42nd over Meltham were well on their way to a competitive total. Ben Boothroyd was out on the last ball for 8 leaving red inker Whites unbeaten (for the 5th time this year) on 46 and Meltham finishing on 252/5.

Hoylandswaine made a decent start putting on 36 for the first wicket before Boydy took a smart catch at point off Steeples to dismiss Pickles for 11. Tyas and Youel continued to push on at a decent pace until the introduction of Tucker brought the breakthrough. Youel (27) middled it behind before refusing to walk and Tyas (34) played on to leave the visitors on 89/3 and teetering. When Rob Greenwood skied a catch to Tucker the whole ground had money on him being safe until JT rubbed his hands with glee and superbly held on and at 98/4 it looked like game over. Wilson and Hinchliffe then led the fightback putting on 81 for the 5th wicket until Wilson was run out for 28 by a Boothroyd direct hit. His bat in the air Wilson was out by half a yard but as with his opening bowling partner he showed sour grapes and refused to accept it only to be given friendly directions back to the changing rooms. However if Meltham thought that it was game over the superb Hinchcliffe did not as he continued to smash the ball all over. With 51 needed in 6 overs it was game on especially with the clean hitting from Hinchcliffe (85) but the returning Steeples combining with an excellent spell from Jason Boyd saw Meltham home by 18 runs mainly down to some great fielding work from Meltham as Hoylandswaine were all out in the 44th over for 234.

Once again Hoylandswaine dashed off home without having time for a drink, probably to work on the `refuse to be given out face` as Meltham continued to push for promotion and possibly the Schweppes trophy. News of a Delph win at Lepton combined with a Thongsbridge defeat at Micklehurst filtered through meaning 2nd place is assured but we won't celebrate until we see it in black and white on the drakes website.


Delph 68ao vs Meltham 74/1

After rain all week and heavy showers every 10 minutes during Saturday, Delph arrived needing 3 points to secure promotion and the championship2 title. 
After numerous showers the rain slowly eased and play was able to resume at around 2:35 or so meaning a 29 over game. Meltham won the toss and didn't hesitate in inserting the opposition on a wicket that looked like Meltham don't possess a mower, and the record of no total over 160 since 17th of July didn't look under threat.
The wicket wasn't to blame for any of the dismissals though as a weakened Delph struggled against the mix of good and bad balls. Steeples quickly dismissed Lees and the prolific Wood (who edged a half tracker a foot down leg side behind) and when Horton left a straight one from Rudkin the league leaders were struggling at 12/3.
A brief partnership of 25 between Belcham & Gartside against the change bowling raised the visitors hope until Boyd (3/30) and Tucker (2/12) took out the middle order before rain forced a short break.
On resumption Rudkin (2/13) and Steeples (3/12) finished off the Delphiniums to leave Meltham the task of 69 to win.

The early dismissal of Shaw (12) gave a glimmer of hope to the visitors but their task wasn't helped by the spilling of some regulation catches as well as a dismissal off a no ball as Meltham didn't exactly cruise to victory. However the scorebook may look different as Holmes (31*) and Burgin (26*) took Meltham to their biggest victory of the season.

An 8th 6 point victory in the season lifts Meltham to 74 points, 8 behind Delph and 1 in front of Thongsbridge with 2 games to go, anything can happen in the promotion charge.


Micklehurst 111ao vs Meltham 112/2

After Fridays torrential rain it was surprising how dry it was at Micklehurst, however when the home side won the toss and batted it did come as a bit of a shock.
Jordan Steeples took the newish (only about 200 overs old) ball and fired in with the wind at his back and Steeps thought he'd had the dangerous Downend caught behind second ball only for Uncle Colin to turn down the confident appeal. HMS Mike opening into the gale made the break through with his first ball, a simple straight and full one that was missed. 5/1 quickly became 16/4 as Steeps and the Hyphen combined to remove batters 3, 4, & 5, two of the wickets in two balls to leave Jordan on a hat trick. When Downend punched the hat trick ball straight at Mid Off it was looking good until the luckless Tucker spilled the simple chance. The opener soon perished though to leave Micklehurst on 34/5 and Steeps finished his 7 over spell with figures of 4/23.
The home side then built up a steady middle order partnership as again the change bowling failed to hit line and length consistently. Boydy finally broke the partnership in front of his own large and expectant crowd to reduce the home side to 74/6.
As the bowling was becoming a bit "Dull, Limp & Lifeless", Cheryl was brought on to show he was worth it and picked up a couple of wicket takers in a mixed bag spell of 2/9 in 4 overs. Which left Pixie and HMS (2/27) to mop up the last 2 as the home side finished on 111.
Meltham made a slow and steady start but both Fraine (LBW) and Shaw (Caught Behind) will be unhappy with their dismissals as Meltham struggled to 40/2. However Billy and Boydy then set about the home attack with some big hitting and good running to chase down the home sides score. As the home crowd became more boisterous Meltham cruised home with 8 wickets to spare in plenty of time to have a couple of pints and still be back home for X Factor. 
Another good 6 point win to take Meltham to 68 points (whatever the Drakes and Examiner websites tell us) and keep us just ahead of Thongsbridge (who beat Kirkheaton) in the race for promotion. Next week we host Delph (who lost to Hoylandswaine yesterday) in a very important game that could settle some of the issues at the top of the table.


Meltham 125ao vs Kexborough 126/4

Kexborough won a good toss and inserted the home side on a damp and dodgy looking deck. Meltham got off to just about the worst possible start as Will Fraine was stuck on the crease to his first ball which was full and straight and knocked back his off stump. The returning skipper soon followed with a leading edge to short cover as Meltham slumped to 5/2 in 4 overs. Burgin, Boyd and Holmes all made starts but failed to go on as Meltham continued to struggle. Pixie had his leg stump uprooted by a jaffer of an inswinging yorker for a duck and when Armo followed 2 balls later for the same score Meltham were 72/7 and looking down the barrel. For the first time this year the tail did some wagging as under 15s star Cheryl Clegg (27) and Rudders (21) put together the best partnership of the day for the home side, Steeps (2) hit his top score of the year and even JT (4*) helped raise Meltham to 125.

Defending 125 on a much drier wicket after the sun and wind in the first innings, Meltham needed early inroads. Rudkin took a couple of quick wickets and Steeps bowled tidily enough as Kexborough stuttered to 24/2 inside 13 overs. However the change bowling enabled a batter that we have never seen before to launch an attack to take Kexborough to the brink of victory. With 4 needed Cleggy dismissed the pink handled hitter for 89 but Kexborough were soon home and with 4 games to go a large dent was in the promotion bid. Better is needed next week at Micklehurst, especially from the batting as that is 3 weeks out of 4 where we have failed to get past 150.


Meltham 132ao vs Lepton Highlanders 120ao

Promotion bid kept on track and stand in skipper maintains 100% record with weakened side due to boycs, whites and gina in firsts; mainly due to big swerve yet again rolling back the years.


Thongsbridge 111ao vs Meltham 112/4 

In the Skippers absence- report will be brief!!

It had been nigh on 35 yrs in the waiting but stand in Skipper Pixie finally got to lead out his beloved Meltham. At the end he still had a 100% record intact!

After last week's defeat it was important to bounce back and on a wet  and unpredictable wicket, the home side soon made early inroads, Will Parker impressing with his opening spell taking 2 for 16, Veteran Armo returned to the fold due to Boycs being told to rest by Yorkshire ( he must have expended more energy playing in the nets all afternoon than he would have on the field - what nonsense). Armo proved miserly and Big Merv took a liking to the extra bounce and grabbed 6 -37 from his 11.2 overs.

The Home side's reply started well with 1st teamer Usman (39) and Boydy (16) playing some nice drives etc. It was a suprise that the away skipper didnt trust the reliable Kirky or himself to open the bowling as it may have led to a different result. No disrespect to Rob Bez with his slow "off spin" - but it was  strange decision.

Jiminez returned from his jollies and started off in his usual effortless manner , but soon fell for 17 to the only ball that didnt bounce all day and was already walking before the "umpire strikes back" had raised his finger. Gina didnt like the look of Kenny and soon departed for a blob after some impressive performances of late.

This left Clegster and the skipper to see it through against some unpredictable bounce- Pixie took a few to the body for his team and with some considerable graft the target was reached with the impressive 14 yr old Meerkat spanking their opening bowler into the Rec for a 6.

Just one word of advice for the stand in skipper - dont try and run on the artificial Robert !!! - nice refusal and tumble.


Meltham 106ao vs Thongsbridge 156ao

Down at Miry Lane, Meltham won the toss and inserted the home side on a track that made the one at Delph look like The Oval. Will Parker having a 2nd team run out made first use and bowled well, regularly making balls bounce about 8 inches off the ground. Wickets fell at regular intervals and at drinks (very good effort 8.8) Meltham looked on top. As usual our inability to kill teams off meant a wagging tail added about 30 runs more than it should before finishing on 156ao.

Melthams reply got off to it customary start and reached 18 in 10 balls before the first wicket. Shaw was adjudged c&b after a beamer richochetted off his bonce back to the bowler via a thin top edge, strangely and unsportingly the home side appealed and the umpire gave it out. I know its a while since I did biology at school but I always beleived that your head was above waist height and therefore it should have been a no ball. 18/1 became 36/3 with Fraine and Boyd back in the tent and Meltham were struggling. A good partnership between Gina and Hyphen put Meltham as favourites when drinks were taken at 86/3. However when Murray-Webster was somehow bowled round his legs and Gaunty edged a wild swipe behind for the days top score of 41 it was all over for Meltham. As usual Melthams tail refused to even sway slightly in the breeze, never mind wag and 86/3 became 106 all out. Only Aleksandr L'Oreal Clegg put up any resitance scoring 15 of the last 20 including a big 6 into the river as Parker R (0), Parker W (0), Steeples (0), Tucker (0) and Clarke (1) made the score book look like binary.
Anyway onwards and upwards next week at home to the same opposition under the skipperage of Pixie Parker.


Meltham 283/3 vs Kexborough 180(ish)/9

Back at Mean Lane for a change and also a change in the weather. Rain all week and a few heavy showers before the game meant a soft and damp looking wicket top and when Kexborough won the toss they duly inserted the home side. Kexborough however didn't utilise the wicket and probably only put 2 balls an over in the dangerous area just short of a length where it popped or rolled. Shaw tucked into the plethora of short bowling as if the visiting attack thought he couldn't pull or hook whilst the returning Earnshaw continued to gaylord at the other end.
The opening pair put on c160 or so for the first wicket before the skipper holed out to long on for his third century of the season (116 in 80 balls 12x4s & 9x6s - excellent scoring once again Hollie). Earnshaw followed five overs later for a very sedate 57 at a strike rate of under 50 leaving George Gaunt at the crease to help post a reasonable score. Simon Holmes (12) came and went as Meltham pushed on for runs and after a short break for rain Ben Boothroyd and George pushed the score onto a very healthy 283/3 after 45 overs. Ben finishing unbeaten on 15 whilst George "made it look easy" finishing unbeaten on a classy 65.

A good start was required with the ball and Steeples and Rudkin obliged with 3 wickets in the first 6 overs reducing Kexborough to 22/3. The visiting captain then came in a launched a baseball style assault on HMS, flat batting to various parts of the long off and midwicket boundary until he was removed by the ageless Clarke. Shaw came on for 3 overs of Primark shopping and purchased 2 quick wickets to reduce Kexborough to 65/6. At that point it seemed the visitors were intent on shutting up shop or maybe they had just drawn the batting order out of a hat as 7,8,9 & 10 seemed to all be better than what had gone before. Bowlers were juggled and a couple of difficult chances went down as Kexborough limped through to finish at 180 or so for 9 with Steeples (2/27), Rudkin (3/70), Clarke (1/12), Earnshaw (1/23) and Shaw (2/10) the wicket takers.
A good 5 points that will mean we stay in second before the vital back to back games against Thongsbridge that could decide 2nd place. Great that they come right in the middle of Huddersfield fortnight so who knows the strength of the teams that will fight for automatic promotion.


Kirkheaton 156/4 vs Meltham 152ao

Another away day (5th game in 7 away from home) and another hot day as Meltham crashed to a heavy defeat. Put into bat on a dry, dusty track the promotion chasing Meltham side struggled against the new ball. Shorn of 5 of the normal top 7 batters the 10 man Mean Laners were up against it. Armo opened up and slashed a quickfire 20 mainly off the toe of the bat whilst Shaw grafted at the other end. After Armo was out, GG came in and scored a fluent 28 and along with the skipper helped build the innings until being superbly caught behind. At drinks (a decent effort scored 8) Meltham looked well set at 90/2 until shortly after when Murray Hyphen hit a full toss straight back at the spinner for 20. Shaw continued to graft (gaylord some might say) until his 80 ball stay was ended by the home skipper having him caught behind for 45. That dismissal showed the strength of Melthams batting as Rudders walked in at no. 6 and after a couple of swings missed the spinners straight one and Meltham were struggling at 115/5. Ben Boothroyd and Alex Clegg then showed some commendable spirit and confident running in a good 30 partnership which had the visitors hoping to reach a challenging total. However 145/5 became 152 all out with neither JT nor Steeps troubling the bat never mind the scorer leaving young hairdressers model Cleggy high and dry unbeaten on 18.
152 never looked enough and so it was to prove. Steeps took an early wicket to give Meltham hope as did Rudkin with a caught and bowled but Kirkheaton continued to dig in. A tidy bowling and fielding performance kept Meltham in the game but with wickets in hand, Yetton were always in control and walked over the line in 41 overs and 4 down. Steeps 2-24 in 11 overs the pick of the attack as Rudkin and Clarke each picked up a wicket, young Cheryl Cole also had a tidy 5 over spell.
Rumour has it that Thongsbridge lost to Hoylandswaine so we remain 2nd going into 3 vital games (2 against Thongsbridge) but it seems promotion will be settled by the team who has the least players on holiday. Also must say thanks to Melly 'the viking' Booth for a decent and factual report in Thursdays Examiner and lets hope it rubs off on some of his colleagues. 


Micklehurst 169ao vs Meltham 173/1

The home side won the toss and decided to bat on a decent wicket which seemed very close to Mossley. Micklehurst then tried to hit every ball into Mossley with varying success and slumped to 39/3 inside 5 overs. As usual with Meltham games we didn't roll 'em over quickly and the middle order dug in with a mix of slog, miss and pod. Melthams ground fielding was poor on an outfield that you wouldn't describe as a bowling green and the home side benefitted from at least 20 runs generously let through. Drinks came and went (a very good effort with ice and would have been a 9 apart from there wasn't enough drinks or cups to go round) and Micklehurst looked to be on the verge of posting a decent score until Jason Boyd found the right length to bowl on and took 3 wickets in 3 overs. The home side then quickly fell away to 169 all out with Boyd (5/56) the pick of the attack, Rudkin (2), Steeples (2) and Clarke (1) the other wicket takers.
After a tea of Guinness and sandwiches Meltham set off in pursuit of the runs at a brisk pace. The excellent Fraine, son of Honley's Michael, to the fore once again hooking a 6 onto the clubhouse roof in the first over. In fact Will outscored his opening partner in the first 10 overs with some crisp shot making and good running as Shaw and Fraine scored their 2nd successive 50 opening partnership. After a bit of banter fired up the Meltham skipper the visitors put the foot down and Shaw and Fraine quickly took the game away from Micklehurst.
It looked like a 10 wicket win was on the cards as Meltham reached 161 in the 24th over but somehow 2 sixes and a 2 were only enough to tie the scores on 169, the second 6 giving Shaw his second ton of the year. With 1 needed the skipper then proceeded to run out Boycs for an excellent 57, the 2nd time he has been run out this year, the skipper adamant he didn't do with the averages in mind.
The winning runs meant Shaw finished on 109 from 79 balls (first 50 off 50 balls second 59 off 29 balls) and Meltham had 6 points in the bag in time to go back and watch a bit of first team cricket.

The Examiner have also done a match report and I can report it here now.

Micklehurst scored 169 mainly thanks to 57 from 18 year old Will Fraine, son of Honley's Michael, but Meltham knocked em off with Shaw scoring 1093 despite Jordan Steeples taking 8-31 for the 'hurst.

Well its nearer than saturdays report under the heading of Well done Will -
link here.

Onto Kirkheaton next week in another must win game if we are to get promotion.


Meltham 167ao vs Lepton 169/0 - 2nd XI League cup for teams not good enough to win the proper cup.

What a difference a day makes and somehow I am at a loss to describe Melthams heaviest defeat of the season to a side that we have beaten twice very easily this season.
Meltham won the toss and broke with tradition and batted first on a white track in sweltering conditions. It looked like a good decision as Shaw and Parker eased past the 30 mark by the fifth over until 'Heston' took a worm burner on the front pad 2 inches above his ankle for an LBW that he could have walked for. That set the tone for the day for Meltham as nothing then went right. Burgy soon followed punching a full toss straight at midwicket and then George did similar to be caught by the Lepton skipper at the 9th attempt with a juggling act that would light up the Royal Variety. Holmes (26) dug in alongside Shaw to rebuild and all was going well when for the second time in 2 days the Meltham captain was harshly adjudged LBW when well set. Shaw had scored 71 (from 73 balls with 7x4s and 6x6s - thanks Hollie with the excellent scoring) when he took the case off it but had to go. Big John Armo (35) had a few lusty blows as Meltham slowly slipped away to finish on 167.
Lepton started their innings in front of a large and generally pi**ed on two pints crowd who were all giddy and excited but I am guessing that several local villages were missing their idiots. Somehow, despite Meltham bowling better than they had in the last 3 games and one of the Lepton openers looking like he had never batted before Lepton knocked off the runs in 42 overs with no wickets down. The excellent Alan Waring scoring an unbeaten 80 after sending down 9 overs for 1 (very dodgy) wicket for 12 runs the Lepton star just like he has been for 40 years.
At least there are no more Sundays now and we can definitely concentrate on getting promotion as well go over the tops to Micklehurst next week.


Hoylandswaine 264/8 vs Meltham 266/2

It was back to winning ways this week with a fantastic batting performance against one of the better sides in the league. The home side won the toss and inserted the visitors on a good if dry looking track, hoping that it would swing under the cloud cover. Meltham started tidy enough and if they had held on to the chances that came their way early on it could have been a different story. However as the sun came out and the temperatures rose Meltham's bowling and fielding became more ragged and lethargic enabling Hoylandswaine to pile on the runs. Lee took a liking to some of the buffet dished up before Steeps came back from a horror first over to have him smartly caught at point. With Tyas holding up one end the other end scored freely helped by some fairly poor fielding and bowlers who were bowling way too many wicket takers. When Prince and Hinchcliffe came together they looked like taking the game away from Meltham after drinks. At 200-4 with 10 overs left the 'Swaine would have been hoping for somewhere near the 300 mark, however the returning Rudkin and Steeples put the brakes on as the Barnsley boys stuttered to 264/8. Jordan Steeples bowled 8 really good overs (and 1 bad 1) to finish with a career best 5-42 and was easily the best bowler on show all day.
Meltham set about the target with gusto, with Shaw taking advantage of the early diet of full tosses and half trackers whilst young Boycs played himself in. The openers put on 75 for the first wicket, the biggest opening partnership of the year, before the disguntled Shaw was adjudged LBW for 40 bringing the experience Burgin to the crease. Burgy and the fluent Fraine then took the game away from Hoylandswaine with some good running and always dispatching the bad ball. A stand of 135 for the second wicket in good time put Meltham on the road to victory and when Burgy was out for 73 only 55 were needed.
George Gaunt (14*) joined the superb Fraine who then simply moved through the gears to take Meltham home. Meltham won with over 6 overs to spare and young Will who only turned 14 a couple of weeks back finished on a fantastic unbeaten 121 with 19 fours. An innings described to me by an experienced district league player as the best he'd ever seen from a junior in senior cricket one full of maturity and beautiful shot making. The 'Swaine were so impressed they didn't have time for a drink and they shot off home probably to have a net and pretend that they were Will Fraine.
All in all a day for the youngsters of Meltham to be proud of and the policy of giving them a chance is paying dividends. Well done Will with your first senior ton and well done Steeps with your first senior 5 for, let them be the first of many. It comes as no suprise that all of Meltham junior teams are either first or second in the table with quality that we see on a Saturday in the first and second teams.

Link to scorecard


Meltham 184ao vs Delph 185/3

Delph won the toss and inserted Meltham on a track that had been livened up a touch by Fridays rain. Meltham got off to one of there better starts putting on 41 before Shaw (15) was undone by a surprisingly pitched up delivery from Lohdi. This brought Miguel to the crease and along with Pix put together a decent partnership and at the halfway stage Meltham looked well set at 100/1. However when Mr Jiminez pulled a wicket taker down square legs throat and the tiring Parker skied a horrible shot the Meltham innings started to lose its way. After a bit of a partnership between the hyphen and durdles the innings subsided to a very disappointing 184 all out with 4 overs left. Red Inker Holmes (28*) ran out of partners as a very fragile tail were all bowled for 13 between them in 5 overs.
After the interval a good start was needed and when Rudders dismissed Morris for a duck in the second over it seemed like it was game on, but it was not to be. Ball came in and in partnership with Wood took the game away from the home side despite a terrific spell from Ervine.
The number 3 finally used up his luck when he played on for 76 with about 20 needed, Jewitt quickly followed as Delph staggered over the line with 7 overs reamining, Wood batting through for an unbeaten 82.
A decent contest in which the better side won and Delph will probably go on and win the league to put some silverware in a
'trophy cabinet that has not exactly been bursting at the seams'.
At least this week we started better with the ball and batted a bit better but improvement is needed next week as Hoylanswaine make the journey to Mean Lane, the Lords of Championship2!


Delph 133ao vs Meltham 64ao

After winning the toss on a gloriously warm and sunny afternoon Meltham inserted the home side on a track that resembled rolled mud. John Morris showed why he is the leagues leading runscorer and the first to 400 tucking into some very wayward bowling in the first 11 overs scoring a very fluent 70 including 14 boundaries. After the first drinks which were very good, the high point of the day in fact, (a solid 8 and second only to Kexborough this season) Delph were cruising at 86 without loss. At this point the wicket started to crumble and the wickets then tumbled as the home side subsided to 133 all out. Armo (4/21), JT (3/39) & Erv (2/?) leading the way with some decent bowling.
Shaw and one eyed-Webster (who'd taken one in the face behind the stumps) then opened for the visitors and got Meltham of to the customary poor start. After a couple of low ones then a couple coming through at shoulder height Shaw was dismissed bowled or possibly stumped for 4. Wickets continued to fall whenever the ball hit the pads and Meltham were shot out for a paltry 64 meaning the 20 wickets had fallen for 111 runs as the wicket turned into something resembling a Kirklees road. (Rain all week apparently)
There was some good news though as even after getting changed in shifts and queueing to use the shower we still had time to get home for the footy and get depressed even more. Thank the lord we don't have to go over thur again this year.
Next week Delph come to ours and lets hope Cleaver produces a good one, we bat better, start with the ball better and get back to good cricket.

link to an almost complete scorecard
here. (i'm sure Erv bowled some overs to take 2 wickets) 


Lepton 188/8 vs Meltham 189/3

No need to report on the game as you can all probably guess what happened as the game followed the same pattern as they all do. However here goes.

On a warm and mostly sunny afternoon Meltham won the toss and inserted the opposition on a dry, hard but slightly dusty surface not disimilar to Kirkheaton's from Monday. The opening pair of Steeples and Rudkin bowled well and made early inroads reducing Lepton to 40/4 at the first drinks interval (very good effort, choice of drink rating at 8 however the 4th lot in the 2nd innings were rank rating 4). 40/4 became 48/5 at 20 overs until the inevitable happened and the lower order got stuck in. Some lusty blows and a couple of dropped catches including Armo buckets off his own bowling?!? enabled the Highlanders to post a respectable score of 188/8, Steeples (3), Rudkin (2), Fraine (2) and Tucker (1) were the wicket takers.

As per usual Meltham got off to a bad start losing early wickets, all to high quality 2nd team wicket takers. Fraine (5) and the downtown party bound Whites (5) both carved 4 foot wide half trackers straight to hand then the Hyphen again nibbled at a wide one to edge behind for 9 leaving the title chasers struggling at 43/3. This brought the experienced, and slim looking in his new shirt, Parker to the crease to join the captain. As the years were rolled back every wicket taker was punished. Shaw playing back at the ground of his youth and Parker playing like it was 1989 the boundaries flowed unlike the singles which were almost non existent. Unlike recent weeks the twist this week was that there was no late stutter as Shaw and Parker finished the job off in time for BGT. The skipper ending unbeaten on 101, an innings that even if I do say so myself was chanceless and contained a full reportoire of shots including the leave and forward defence (there was also plenty of ugly too). Parker finished on 63 not out, a super knock which contained 15 fours and 3 walked singles and included some extremely well timed shots.
Next week its away again when we cross over the hills to the main challengers in the league, Delph who are top of the table by 3 points after a 7 wicket win at Kexborough.


Kirkheaton 173 ao vs Meltham 174/4

De Ja Vue, is whats its called and every away game this season has been exactly the same. Good start with ball, tail wags, they get a few more than they should, we bat well and look like knocking off easy then lose 3 wickets when needing less than 10. Same old story.

The only difference this week was that Meltham won the toss and inserted the opposition based on the plummeting temperatures at yeaton.
With Gromit now a first teamer the newish ball was in the hands of Steeples & Rudkin and a good tidy start was required. After 10 overs the home side were struggling at 15-1, steeps with the wicket a juggling effort between the chuckle brothers behind the stumps.
Fraine & Armo replaced the opening bowlers and continued the good start, by the time drinks appeared (not bad good cups rating of 7.3) the home side were struggling at 50-5. But as all our away games the opposition tail wagged, and as the batters got heavier so did the hits, with a few balls ending up on the bowling green in a fine display of pod and mow. It wasn't until the introduction of big Erv that Meltham reasserted themselves on the game, the Swerve and the returning Steeps knocked over the big dangermen and the rest of the tail to bowl out the home side for 173. Armo 4/60, Steeps 3/24 and Erv 2/13 were the pick of the bowling with Will Fraine picking up the other wicket in a decent display in the field.

The reply got off in good fashion for a change with over 40 put on for the first wicket. The skipper hit 2 big sixes in a grafting 27 until they worked him out and bowled a straight 1 tossed up. This brought 17yo GG to the crease and in partnership with the 13yo Fraine they batted Meltham to within 10 of victory. Gaunty carried on from last week with another fluent knock scoring another career high with a top quality and chanceless 63. Frainy (obviously learning a lot from opening with the skipper!) stroked a beautiful 69 until he was harshly adjudged run out with 8 needed for victory. Top knocks from both youngsters - `well done`.
After Frainy and Gina the Hyphen quickly followed and it was left to the experienced heads (over 90 years between them) of Parker and Red Inker Holmes to see the job through and another 6 points were in the bag in time for Britains Got Talent Semi Finals. Delph hammered 3rd place Thongsbridge to stay top, we stay 2nd but 7pt gap now to 3rd.

An excellent all round performance and again the junior players playing key roles which is always good to see, lets hope it continues next week as we travel up Wakefield Road for a first visit to Lepton Highlanders.


Meltham vs Kirkheaton match abandoned

The weekly contrast in weather up at Mean Lane continues to frustrate. After the glorious weather of last week it was back to cold and windy coupled with persistant heavy rain meaning the eagerly awaited first round tie in the Earnshaw Cup for those teams not good enough to win the Paddock Shield had to be abandoned. However due to the new rules for the new cup a result was needed so it was bowl out time. The home side won the toss and elected to go first uphill into the wind. 
First up was Steeps in his fancy new £200 specs, however they musn't have been knocked in as the aim was high and wide, Kirkheaton then followed and missed also. Next up was Rudders who without the benefit of 7 overs to get warmed up missed followed by another Kirkheaton miss, 0-0 after 2, it was looking like we'd be here all day. Third up was Armo and as you'd expect when Uncle Colin is umpiring a good spell was looming; Armo knocked back the off stump and the pressure was on, Kirkheaton buckled and it was 1-0 with 2 to go.
Tucker rolled in at number 4, and a beautiful 2nd team wicket taking half tracker knocked back the middle stump leaving Kirkheaton staring defeat in the face, and when Shafiq the number 4 missed it was all over. The final ball was bowled by the skipper, it was meaningless, however the middle stump was knocked back as you'd expect only to be somewhat cruelly called a no ball by Moulson senior at square leg, Kirkheaton also missed with number 5. All this meant that the home side progressed to the Quarter Finals of the not quite good enough cup with a 2-0 win and with plenty of afternoon left for drinking.


Meltham 305/6 vs Lepton Highlanders 208/7

As the sun beat down on what I expect to be the hottest Saturday at Meltham this year, again the good weather brought the best out of Meltham's second string.

After winning the toss Lepton somewhat strangely inserted Meltham's strongest batting line up of the season, on a rock hard batting track situated about 20 yards from Dathan's. A new opening pair of Parker and Murray hyphen Webster were aiming to give Meltham a start for once, but it was not to be. Parker (2) and the Hyphen (9) were quickly in the shed both off wide wicket takers leaving Gaunt and Burgy to lead the fightback. Gina carried on from last week stroking a career high of 58 before being smartly caught & bowled. Jason Boyd (26) and Shaw (20)added further runs whilst Richard "6 lives" Burgin continued to dine at the buffet before he had had his fill and was out for 104. At 240/6 with 7 overs remaining it was left to "hamstring injury?" Whites and young Jack Wallis to add 65 in the last 7 with some excellent running between the wickets as well as a few lusty blows.

305 was always going to be a big ask and so it was. As soon as Jack Wallis got the crowd on his side by taking 2 quick wickets the game as a contest was over. Rudkin has two spells in one up the hill with 6 overs all over the place then a good tight 6 overs to finish with only 1 wicket.
With 4 wickets down plus someone out injured (it seemd like he'd been shot) the visitors shut up shop and spent the middle 15 overs dibbling about. The only relief during this time was 2 drinks breaks (average score 6 temperature being key) and Pixie taking one in the Aubergines at slip.
As Meltham juggled the bowling to try and make breakthrough's Lepton had a late assualt to try and gain a point. A few big hits hoisted Lepton to 208/7 20 - runs off a point which meant that the home side will stay in second after the 4th win in 5, the 5 points will close the gap on Delph who lost to Hoylandswaine. In the conditions it was a decent all round display with good batting, all the bowlers (except golden arm ggs expensive over) put the effort in, the pick being Gromit 4/41 and a much better effort in the field in front of the bat.

Next week it is Kirkheaton at home on Saturday in the Earnshaw League cup - 50 overs 1pm start then away at Kirkheaton in the league - 45 overs 1.30pm start on Monday.

The league table for 2nd teams is normally updated
here by Thursday.


Kexborough 109ao vs Meltham 115-5.

I am starting to enjoy our day trips to Barnsley, there were some striking similarities as with our last venture to South Yorkshire. It seems that when we venture away from our home ground the temperatures warm up, the sun shines and we win convincingly.

The home side won the toss and decided to bat on a nice but very dry looking track. The normally consistent Rudders then took the new ball and decided to spray it all over, maybe it wasn't going to be our day. Jack Wallis on the other hand bowled beautifully with the new cherry up the hill with what is one of the best spells of bowling seen for a long time. Rudders was replaced by the returning Clarke who found some fire and bounce down the hill and between Erv, Jack & JT the home side were reduced to 70 for 7 by drinks (a top notch effort rating 8.7 good texture and chilled - quality). As per Hoylanswaine however the Barnsley sides tail wagged a bit. JT had replaced Jack after his spell and taken 2 wickets himself before the big number 10 launched him towards Darton. With the Kexborough tail looking to smash everything it was left to the captain to dismiss the dangerman with an extremely cheap cheese & onion smartly stumped by the Hyphen. This left the returning Wallis to mop up the number 11 with an excellent delivery and finish with the superb return of 6-22 from 7.1 overs.

The reply as usual started badly with Shaw (6) again out cheaply, caught superbly in the gully. This week however Gaunty stepped upto the plate with a battling and after a while fluent 39, well partnered by Murray-Webster and Wallis who both added valuable 20s. At 100-2 the game was over until like at Hoyalndswaine wickets tumbled with the winning line in sight when 100-2 become 101-5. It was then left to the two players who have retired about 15 times between them to guide Meltham over the line. With 1 needed Armo launched it into the field to finish 10no alongside Pixie (4no) and 6 points were in the bag to stay hot on the heels of Delph (who had easily beaten Lepton to remain top of the league).

Next up Lepton at home and lets hope our form at Mean Lane can improve and match our Barnsley form so as to keep us in contention at the top end of the league.

Again expect the scorecard
here at some point this week.

Thongsbridge 252-1 vs Meltham 228-9

Cricket is supposed to be a summer sport played in nice warm conditions, not played in gale force wind bringing wind chill temperatures of -4 as was the case as Meltham lost at home for the second week running.

As per last week the home side won the toss and fielded for the reason that it could only get colder. A good tidy start from Jack Wallis & Mike Rudkin meant that Thongsbridge stuttered to 40-1 in 15 overs, but as the warmth of the changing rooms wore off and the wind increased the Meltham attack and fielding became more ragged. After the 20th over it seemed that 1 in 6 balls was a 4 ball and the batsmen tucked in, Meltham didn't help themselves by spilling half a dozen chances as the spirit of mo lived on. A score of 252-1 looked large and didn't reflect the effort put in by the bowlers in horrible conditions, Mike Rudkin the pick with a spell of 12 overs 1-34.

As per every week so far the reply got of to a poor start with Shaw (25), Murray-Webster (0) & Gaunt (8) quickly back in the hutch as Meltham looked down and out at 39-3. A century stand between Jack Wallis & Burgy in good time however put the home side in the hunt. When the promising Wallis played his first false shot to be bowled for an excellent 44 the chase was on with about 100 needed in 13 overs. The dismissal of `Gromit` brought the ever healthy Pixie Parker to the wicket and he took on the challenge with Burgy with vim and vigour. With 50 needed in 6 overs and 6 wickets in hand the visitors were worried as Meltham pressed for victory. However when Richard Burgin was shot LBW for 83 the challenge faded, a battling 53 from Pixie left Meltham needing 28 in 2 overs but as wickets tumbled it was left the experience due of Moulson & Rudkin to play out the last 7 balls to gain the point for the home side.
What with the game going the distance and the game not finishing by 730pm it seemed the visitors must have been desperate to see which Dorothy got voted out of `Over The Rainbow` as they all rushed off.

So it was, as with the firsts, the unbeaten league start ended with a close defeat. The performance was much better with the bat than last week and with a bit of luck the result could have been different. Next week we look forward to another day trip to Barnsley as we set off early to Kexborough.

The scorecard should/could/may get updated
here but it hasn't yet!

Thurstonland 207/9 Meltham 110ao

As the old saying goes `At least we can now concentrate on the league` but after being soundly beaten by a thoroughly decent Thurstonland side I would prefer us to concentrate on our fielding & batting.

After winning the toss and inserting the oppostion on a damp looking track Thurstonland scored a respectable 207/9. A score which was at least 50 too many and in reality would have been under 150 if we hadn't kicked 30 over the edge and dropped catches, especially off the unlucky Jon Tucker who had 3 go to Earnie, Mooey & Pix in the space of 8 balls that all ended up on the deck.
Thurstonland got off to a steady start scoring at 3 an over until Mike Rudkin struck twice in quick succession whilst Jordan Steeples nicked a wicket in an impressive spell to leave the visitors 50/3 in 15 overs. The pattern then repeated itself as Thurstonland scored steadily but also lost regular wickets with most batters getting into double figures but nobody pushed on, Danny Peace top scoring with 31. After drinks (not a bad effort rating 6.5) a tidy spell by the luckless Jon Tucker reduced Thurstanland to 160/8 at the 40 overs mark and Meltham had hopes of nipping the last 2 out quickly. However the tail wagged for the visitors and with a couple of lusty blows and some exceptional one handed thrustage Thurstonland managed to get above 200.
The bowling again was a decent effort, with the wickets shared around with 3 for Tucker, 2 for Rudkin, 2 for Shaw, 1 for Wallis & 1 for Steeples. Special note must go however to beard growing George Gaunt who fielded superbly in the gully to take 2 great catches as well as saving a few runs.
As tea approached so did the rain and the last 6 overs from Meltham weren't helped by bowling with a "bar of soap".

The Meltham innings couldn't have got off to a worst start. Thurstonlands new ball pairing quickly got into the groove, firstly the captain played on for 89 less than last week and the GG was undone by the 8ft paceman coming down the hill with an action coming from the balcony, way above the sightscreen. As the rain got heavier Pixie Parker held firm and Josh Murray Webster played a couple of nice looking shots to leave Meltham at 17/2 when the heavens opened. As the puddles formed it was obvious that play was done for the day, and so it was but at least there was time be home to catch some You've been Framed. The intriguingly balanced tie resumed Sunday 2nd at c12pm.

We awoke to grey clouds and a biting North Eastern wind bringing siberian temperatures which alone vindicated the decision to field first. The rain had softened the wicket and the bounce had become unpredictable and Thurstonlands all seam attack exploited the conditions well. Wickets tumbled on a regular basis with Thackeray the pick as Meltham subsided, only Jack Wallis with a good knock of 27no showed any real graft. And in time to watch the 2nd half of Chelsea Liverpool or Sheff Weds get relegated Melthams paddock shield run of 2010 was over. To be fair Thurstonland were the better side but also had the benefit of the better conditions, however their fielding was good as was their disciplined batting and Meltham need to learn from this. Next week the word of the day will be back and we need to remember it so as to concentrate on the league - GRAFT.

Hoylandswaine 168/7 Meltham 170/5

After a long drive and in some glorious sunshine you could have been forgiven in thinking that we had gone on our holidays but no we'd travelled to Hoylandswaine for our first ever league meeting with the Barnsley side.

After changing in a room no bigger than a mouse's lunchbox Hoylanswaine won the toss and elected to bat on a decent looking but slightly green wicket. Jack Wallis and Mike Rudkin then produced an excellent new ball spell to reduce the home side to 22/3. The quality bowling continued to drinks (a touch strong, a bit warm and rated a disappointing 5.3) when Hoylandswaine were 60/5. The home side rallied in the second half of the innings with the lower order batting really well as the newness of the ball wore off. Hoylandswaine finished on 168/7 which felt a bit under par and so it was to prove. A much better bowling display from Meltham this week with the wickets shared amongst Jack Wallis, Mike Rudkin, Ervine Clarke, Jack Moulson and John Tucker but again the fielding and catching could have been better.

The reply started much better this week and the skipper made up for failing with the first ball boundary by hitting the first 2 balls for four, a vein which continued throughout. Boycott, chanceless and great running between the wickets were words that didn't come to mind during the captains 89. Runs came quickly throughout and the captain was ably backed with another high quality innings from Jack Moulson who scored a beautiful half century. With the winning post in sight Meltham lost 3 quick wickets to get over the line with 5 wickets down.

Another good win and 5 points were in the bag in front of a large second team crowd with plenty of time to be back for Britains Got Talent. A good all round display against thoroughly decent opposition and lets hope the form continues.

Click Here to see the scorecard

Micklehurst 127ao Meltham 130/3

As with the first team Meltham started the season with a comfortable victory over a young and spirited Micklehurst side. After both clubs suffered difficult years in 2009 it seemed more like a junior match with Meltham fielding 6 players 18 or under matched by a similar number in the Micklehurst side.

After winning the toss Meltham had no hesitation and inserted the opposition on a decent looking first day track. A mixed bag of a bowling display then dispatched the visitors for 127 of which the opener (droppped in 2nd over) scored 92. The youth policy was to the fore with Jack Wallis taking 2 wickets in a great opening spell backed up by a variety not seen outside the Heinz factory. George Gaunt picked up 3 wickets all clean bowled with a spell of pure wicket takers and Jordan Steeples also picked up a wicket before a knee injury forced him off.
It was then left to experienced ginger head of Chris Earnshaw who after 16 years of trying has finally secured a place in the seconds to finish the job off. Six overs of dibble uphill into the wind had Ernie returning 4 for 16 and reduced Ervine to only being able to bowl 2 overs in his spangly new boots.

In reply Meltham got off to a bad start losing 2 quick wickets including the skipper who for the first year in 6 didn't hit a boundary first ball of the season (skied a horrible slog over cover for 1 instead). However this was only a blip as Jack Moulson who looks more like a batter (and less like a bowler) each week scored a fluent 37 before being caught and bowled. This left Ernie to join the experienced Pixie Parker in the middle and see the job through which they did. Pixie ending up unbeaten on 43 and Ernie with 26.

A good 6 points was wrapped up in time for Doctor Who just as Mr & Mrs Meltham strolled in. Not sure how good an indicater of how the season will progress it was, but a decent performance all the same and its always nice to get off to a winning start.

Meltham Cricket Club

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