HALL BOWER provided the major shock in the opening round of the Romida Sykes Cup, while holders Barkisland crashed out after falling to the ‘Craig Horner show’.
The Aussie-born all-rounder was the mainstay of Golcar’s innings with a solid knock of 71 as the Swallow Laners topped 200, and then ripped through the Cup holders with a wonderful return of seven for 22, after Steve Whitwam had picked up the all-important wicket of Paul Winrow.
The big story of the day however, was at Hall Bower, where high-riding Broad Oak (who including all their Yorkshire Academy stars) were toppled by the Cedar Court minnows.
Ray Bottomley (61no) and skipper Ben Dunne (52) led the Bower to 200-7 as Jack Hargreaves, Charlie Roebuck and new signing Gurman Randhawa managed just two wickets between them, but it suddenly became even worse for the Academy starlets who found themselves all back in the tent as the visitors shuttered to an embarrassing 39-7, Nathan Fitzgerald (four for 67) and Chris Sykes (four with 14) doing the damage.
Young 15-old wicketkeeper Eddie Wilson showed his more illustrious colleagues how it should have been done with a battling unbeaten 48 batting at No8, as he and Gareth Durdin and Dan Taylor brought a tad of respectability to the total before they were finally dismissed for 134.
The closest game was at Round Hill, where Rastrick entertained Lascelles Hall in a thriller.
Ateeq Rehman top-scored with 96 (12 fours and four sixes) taking the home side to 225, despite Sajid Nasir claiming six wickets for the Hall.
Nasir then made 88 in reply (10 fours), and along with skipper Shaun Woodhams, who cracked 11 fours and two sixes in a fighting 75, put on 116 for the fifth wicket. The visitors needed four off the final delivery, but could only manage a single, leaving Rastrick winners by two runs.
A couple of games which were not very close came at Honley, where they beatShelley by 10 wickets and at Almondbury, where Micklehurst won by nine.
Bradley Parker made 65 and received support from Asim Khan who hit a quickfire 35 late in the order to boost Shelley to 163 all out, Harlon Haye taking four for 50.
But once Simon Kelly (scoring his first runs of the season) got cracking, in tandem with Matthew Wood, the contest was pretty one-sided, Kelly blazing 14 fours and a six in his unbeaten 90 and Wood stroking 10 fours in an undefeated 64.
Danny Anchor had a fine game for Micklehurst, taking three wicket in Almondbury’s 174-9, in which Atif Kamran made 53, before then joining Andrew Gleave in each scoring 68 not out.
Skelmanthorpe were in early trouble against neighbours Shepley, losing their top three with only 38 on the board, but Max Joice (51) saw them into three figures, and with Richard Cocking making a valuable 44 not out and Kris Whittaker weighing in with a quick 25, the Lidgett Lane side closed on 208-8, Romaine Grenville claiming four for 54 from his exceedingly long run-up.
Shepley’s hopes were soon in tatters however, as James Crossland knocked over six batsmen, and with SP Singh falling to a run-out, and a three-wicket haul for Whittaker, the visitors were never at the races.
Greg Alexander was Holmfirth’s hero as he defied Clayton West with an excellent unbeaten 78 to give the visitors a two-wicket win, Danny McDermott (50) and Johnny Butterfield (49) having given Clayton a solid base earlier in the day.
Bilal Khiljee made a ton for Delph & Dobcross, but he needed the support of No9 Luke Hargreaves (40), with the rest of the side folding like a pack of cards as Tom Burkinshaw claimed five for 27.
Delph were never threatened however, as Kirkburton collapsed to 61 in reply.
Michael Jepps (60no) and Richard Burgess (46no) saw Kexborough safely home to an eight-wicket win, while at Emley, Simon Sykes’s unbeaten 88 proved too good for Armitage Bridge despite 50’s from Peter Harrison and Bryn Jenkins.
Hoylandswaine beat Linthwaite by nine wickets, Liam Dickinson making 54 not out, while Thongsbridge enjoyed a similar win at Paddock, Ben Howitt (69) and Ben Raven-Hill (54no) easing the visitors home.
Scholes were also nine-wicket winners after entertaining Conference side Marsden, who could only realise 115, Tom Love and Andy Alsop each taking three wickets, before skipper James Noble (50no and Iqbal Khan (46no) led the reply.
Elland probably had a harder game than they expected, losing six wickets in the process of knocking off 93 to defeat Lepton Highlanders, Jimmy Thornton again in the wickets (three for 24) and Greg Buckley in the runs (43).