TWO of the Drakes Premiership new boys, Scholes and Broad Oak, have made terrific starts to the new season.
Both teams have opened up with back-to-back wins signal their arrival in the top flight, having won promotion from the Conference divisions last September.
Scholes followed up their impressive win over Holmfirth by defeating Meltham with another century from one of their close-season signings, Ibrar Latif, who was the day’s joint top-scorer with 135 not out, while Broad Oak walloped the other promoted club Slaithwaite with Ben DeAraugo bagging his second six-wicket haul.
Over at Chapelgate, Latif was in imperious form, smashing 13 fours and nine sixes, his 135 coming from just 123 deliveries against Meltham, and in Andy Alsop (51) he found a willing partner as the pair put on 125 for the seventh wicket.
Zubair Raje (71no) and Jacob Thorne (64) briefly threatened, but there was little else to worry the home supporters as Meltham finished well short.
Similarly, Broad Oak were rarely in trouble when they entertained Colne Valley neighbours Slaithwaite, who collapsed from 46-1 to 123 all out against DeAraugo (six for 84) and skipper Graeme Hurlbatt (three for 30). Ronan Bruce claimed three early wickets when the Oak replied, but under the steadying hand of Max Freeland (47), who stroked some delightful boundaries through the covers and supported by DeAraugo (33no) the home side were off to the bar by 5.30pm.
Champions Honley’s defence of their title just got worse as they suffered a second successive defeat, this time losing at Delph & Dobcross, where Mike Smethurst claimed five wickets, before Bruce Cruse (54) and Graeme Simpson (49) saw Delph home by seven wickets.
Elland made it two out of two, beating Clayton West by eight wickets, Jimmy Thornton rolling back the years with a six for 42 return including a last over hat trick, backed up by Greg Buckley with four for 57.
Ryan Robinson (63) and his 16-year-old opening partner Jack Pulley (58), on his second outing in the first team, put on a ton to seal the win.
Skelmanthorpe and Micklehurst also completed back-to-back wins, the Lidgett Laners bettering Golcar by 69 runs, new signing Anirudh Singh hitting 83, while Qaisar Rashid slammed 125 for Micklehurst to topple Holmfirth, who relied heavily on John Sadler’s 135, backed up by Dave Cocking (50).
Paul Winrow fell eight short of a century, but five wickets for Bandula kept Barkisland down to 181 and Shepley went on to a four-wicket win.
Atif Kamran (71no) and Mirza Mobeen (six for 39) led Almondbury to victory over Linthwaite in the Frank Platt Conference, while Kirkburton blitzed Armitage Bridge by 10 wickets, Lesroy Irish and Tom Burkinshaw each taking four wickets, while Wayne Swift (65no) and Andrew Smith (52no) did the rest.
Ben Cockshaw cracked a ton for Lascelles Hall but still finished on the losing side against Kexborough.
In the Cedar Court Joe Sykes equalled the day’s top score with 135 for Thongsbridge, backed up by Ben Raven-Hill’s 91 as the Miry Laners topped 300 against Emley, who put up a great fight with Pat Moors replying with 120 before they were held at 282-9.
Peter Lombard’s seven wickets helped Marsden defeat Lepton, while John Ashton made a second successive ton as Hoylandswaine beat Paddock.