Shepley may have been a bit slow out of the blocks, but they are far from writing off a major challenge for honours this season.
Skipper Danny Glover has some batting and bowling big guns at his disposal , in addition to a few very handy new faces.
One of those is Kiwi batsman Brenton Thompson, from the same Bay of Plenty stable and Mount Maunganui club as the likes of Pete Drysdale.
Another is swing bowler and lower-order bat Nadim Hussain from Townville, while Scott Price is back from Yeadon.
And then there’s another from much closer to home in Yorkshire prospect Archie Greaves, who had 15 has joined from Cumberworth to bat in the top six at Premiership level and gain as much experience as possible in the bowling department.
He’s learning quickly, and having taken three for five in 10 sparkling overs against Slaithwaite in the All Rounder Sykes Cup, the 15-year-old hit 131 for Shelley College against Trent in the National Cup.
“All the way through the team we’ve been a bit rusty so far,” said talented skipper Danny Glover, who will be 31 next month and says his body is feeling it!
“Normally we can rely on our bowling, but throughout we’ve been hit and miss, getting starts with the bat and not going on and, in the field, it’s been a bit sloppy.
“But we are working hard in training to put these things right and we will get there.
“We always look at the top few places in the league, while the cups are probably more our area at the moment with the make-up of the side.”
Glover believes all the new arrivals will do well once they’ve settled in.
“It’s understandable for someone as young as Archie that it will take him a while to find his feet, because it’s a bit of a step up for him,” explained the skipper.
“He’s a bit nervous having come up to this level, but that’s also understandable, and the one thing for sure is that he’s a talent with both the ball and the bat, as he has already proved this season.
“Nads has come from Townville and given us a different aspect to what Tom Burkinshaw provided last season. He’s not quite as quick, but he’s got more swing and he’s very accurate.
“It’s a new challenge for him and the nerves have also been there, but he will come through and do well.
“Pricey is back to bat in the middle order and step up when we need him to, and Brenton is a really good arrival from New Zealand.
“He looks really good with the bat and has already had a few good starts, so he will definitely go on and score runs for us, no doubt about that.
“He can also send down a bit of part-time off spin if needed and he’s excellent in the field, but on top of that he’s a good lad in the dressing room and we need that here, because we always have really good spirit and enjoy not only playing cricket together but each other’s company.”
While the batting, with the likes of Tom Denton, Dan Wood, Thompson, keeper Shahban Raheem, Huw Ellis and Greaves has still to start really firing, two of the bowlers have started really well.
“Oli Davidson has been bowling really well,” explained Glover.
“He’s had more opportunity this season than most because the conditions have been drier, but he’s going well and picking up wickets.
“So too is Jamal (Nasir), who is one of the best bowlers for control I’ve ever played with.
“They say in the Bradford League they put a 50p on the wicket at practice and challenged him to hit it six times – and he did!
“He really does have the ball on a string and he’s a genuinely nice bloke as well which is important, because our team ethic is everything at this club.”
Work is continuing on the spacious new clubhouse at Marsh Lane, which now needs extra revenue for the fitting out.
“A lot of focus is on the clubhouse and we are looking for sponsorships and have set up a Just Giving page to get extra cash to complete the interior,” explained Glover.
“It’s obviously been a very big project and a lot of good work has been put in by a lot of people, but we would be happy to receive donations and sponsorships from anyone to help us get it over the line.
“There has been talk of Shepley Football Club coming up to play next door and make it an all-year-round facility and, as soon as it’s open, we’re pulling pints and everyone is getting used to using the new clubhouse, I’m sure big things will happen and it will be a real focal point for the whole village.”
One focal point at Marsh Lane is Glover himself. and that’s not likely to change.
“I’ve been here since I was 14, so 17 years,” said the man who played out in New Zealand with Nae Nae, in Wellington, a couple of winters ago.
“I started out at Skelmanthorpe, but then their juniors folded and I had a season at Denby Dale when I was 13 – but I didn’t bat or bowl so I left!
“I came up here and batted No3 and opened the bowling in the second team. I got a hundred and a five-for in the same match and I’ve never looked back.
“This is a really good club and they’ve looked after me at Shepley, so I feel I have to stay and repay them.”