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BRIGHOUSE 1st XI v EAST LEEDS 1st XI   18 May 2019

Report by James Watling

ELCC arrived at the “new” Brighouse cricket ground with the weather stuffy but dry. When the lads had finally found the changing rooms and put their kit down they wandered out to have a look at the wicket on a square that boasted 20 wickets, making it one of the biggest squares in the Bradford League.

Looking at the wicket, opinion was split between the team if to bat or bowl. Ben Wilkinson won the toss and decided to bowl. The crowds were flocking in, but sadly not for the cricket but the crown green bowls, rugby and either a jumble sale or the worst speed dating event ever seen.

Tom Chapman and Will Storey opened up with superb accuracy giving the Brighouse batsmen nothing to hit.

Their efforts didn’t go unrewarded, reducing the home team 35-3. This brought ex ELCC “Big Shaq” Mohammed to the crease to join Brighouse captain Bashir who had been playing steadily and was building an innings. The 2 of them began to put on a partnership before it was broken by the foot of Will “Ian Bell” Storey deflecting the straight drive of Bashir onto the non strikers wicket, running out the immovable object that was “Big Shaq”, who, to the amazement of East Leeds was backing up !

This left Brighouse on 63-4 and their innings in the balance. But a partnership of 70 prevailed bringing the home team back into the game before east Leeds took 4 wickets for 10 runs with Jimmy Watling and Ben Wilkinson striking.

East Leeds managed to bowl the home team out for 180 in 44 overs.

Jimmy Watling 4-34, Tom Chapman 2-27, Ben Wilkinson 2-66 and last but not least Will Storey 1-49.

It was great to have Dean Atkinson back behind the stumps and with only 4 leg byes in extras it showed what a great team effort East Leeds had put into the 1st half of the game.

Could Brighouse match it ?              

Dean and Chris Cannings opened up putting the bad balls away and batting with confidence to get the score to 66 with the help of Brighouse extras before Dean was bowled for 27. Cannings fell shortly after leaving the ELCC batsmen to battle the spin of Brighouse on a dying pitch. Jimmy (a boring} 12, Gary Bettison 10, Brad Cunningham 11, and North East Dan (Mills) 11, chipping in to try to reach the total of 181 for victory. When Captain Ben was give out LBW East Leeds were 9 down and needed 39 more runs to win, Matthew Knight and Will Storey were at the crease with Brighouse thinking it would only be a matter of time before they would be celebrating a home win. Knighty and Storey began to to run superbly between the wickets and put pressure back on Brighouse. The runs required were coming down fast and the tension was growing on the East Leeds bench with no one allowed to move from their seats. Soon the runs required were down to single figures and the only thing distracting the boys from the game was the arrival of party guests.

East Leeds got over the line to the despair of the home team with a beautiful lofted square drive from Will for 4 to end the game for a great win , with just 1 over left. Will 27no and Matthew 10no showed the character needed to earn a superb win! Credit to both teams for making this a match to remember.

To summarise, the dogged determination and discipline of ELCC firstly with the ball with 4 bowlers bowling as a unit. The batting, with 8 players reaching double figures and backed up with some solid fielding got the win,. The win takes East Leeds 3rd in the League with a home game against Gildersome next on the cards..

As always, thank you all for your support and hope to see you all at Pontefract Lane this coming Saturday