IT MAY not have been a sunny summer to warm the hearts of many cricketers in the Drakes Huddersfield League, but no-one was complaining at Hoylandswaine.
John Sadler’s Haigh Lane side lifted the Byrom Shield for the first time since they joined the League in 2009, beating Elland into second place, in what was a terrific season for the Barnsley-area club as they clinched 20 victories from their 26 games, with two defeats and four matches washed out.
Superbly led by Sadler, they won the League Championship with two matches remaining after defeating the previous holders Honley.
The League title went some way to compensating for their defeat to Scholes in the Romida Twenty/20 final at Chapelgate, and their Sykes Cup semi-final loss to Delph & Dobcross.
To complete a super season for the Swaine, their Seconds won the Fired-Up Paddock Shield for Second Elevens, with victory over Cawthorne.
At the opposite end of the Drakes League’s ever-expanding geographical boundary, Delph & Dobcross were the summer’s other big winners when they landed the Romida Sykes Cup at the fourth attempt.
Grant Jones’ side defeated holders Shepley in an exciting final which, in keeping with the rest of the summer, had to be concluded on the Monday evening after rain had interrupted the second innings the previous day.
Shepley openers Tom Denton and SP Singh could consider themselves unfortunate as they became the first two players to score a century in the same innings and finish on the losing side in a final.
Faisal Butt’s 97 brought him the man-of-the-match award, while Arron Lilley ran him close after a 50 had put his side right back in the contest as they chased down 276 for victory.
Barkisland and Holmfirth were celebrating a return to the top flight after being first and second respectively in the Frank Platt Championship.
It was a close call, however, as Barkisland (who earlier in the summer had welcomed England legend Ian Botham to open their new nets) only clinched the title at 6pm on the final evening of the last day when they beat Meltham, whose Will Fraine had threatened to upset the promotion party with a superb 99.
There was nothing close about the Cedar Court Conference title as Cawthorne, in only their second season in the league, ran away with it, from Linthwaite who were also promoted.
Stuart Fletcher was the proud manager of the Huddersfield side who won the Joe Lumb Cup when they thrashed Airedale and Wharfedale by 182 runs in the final at Honley. Will Fraine was the star man as he made 138 out of a total of 244-4 before Aire/Wharfe were humbled for 62.
On the down-side, there was little cheer at Slaithwaite, Clayton West, Armitage Bridge and Emley Clarence, who all suffered relegations, plus Paddock, who were left to seek re-election after finishing bottom of the pile.