Saturday, 21 June 2014


By Brian Sanderson,

On a sunny Saturday morning I left the Test Match behind at Headingley and travelled a couple of miles to see my first match which was between Yorkshire Academy and Cleethorpes.Tony Hutton  and Jenny were already there watching the players warm up. To our surprise the spin twins Rafiq and Rashid were playing which would have not pleased Cleethorpes.Cleethorpes overseas pl;ayer took two wickets in two balls to shock the ten spectators watching the match. Rafiq was one of the wickets caught at slip and that is cricket.However time to see clubs I have not visited in the Halifax League . Peter Davies has just recently issued a excellent book on the history of the league.
The photograph above is of Rafiq walking off the pitch after been out.One photograph that I have admired for a few years was taken by Tony Hutton  of Park Avenue Bradford  cricket ground and I wanted to take one myself. Today I was able to do and is on the beginning of the blog.The last time I visited the ground was for Championship match between Yorkshire and Leicestershire in 1996 which was the final  first class match on the ground.Today Wibsey Park Chapel second team were playing Outland seconds on the ground.There were two spectators plus ourselves quite a contrast to tthe first class match.There are still some seats about but the grand pavilion has been closed down.
These two teams are in the Halifax League and after lunch we moved on to Queensbury ground. I played on the old Queensbury ground over twenty five years ago but that has been built on and a new ground has been formed on the outskits of the area.Their  seconds were playing Denholme Clough seconds with the home team batting. There are great views across the valley and this is the highest league ground in England.
I really enjoy watching cricket with great views from the ground. Because a lot of the Halifax grounds are in the hills so  you can see for miles.This ground is quite a contrast to Park Avenue as there was a good crowd and plenty of modern seats and a electric scoreboard.The next ground was not on the schedule but passed in error so we called in to watch Bradshaw were playing Warley. Another neat ground with good views of the moors.
The home side were batting and struggling with the talk from the locals that the side would be relegated at the end of the season.On a beautiful Saturday afternoon it was grat to be able to see cricket in these surroundings.Moving back towards Bradford we went to see Jer Lane play Thornton. Jer Lane are top of the first division and one of their players scored a century while we were watching.The ground is surrounded by houses with British flag still outside their grounds eventhough England were out of the World Cup. Maybe the press may concentrate on England,s summer game now or maybe not.
The final ground we visited today was Buttershaw St. Peter,s who were playing Northowram in the Yorkshire Council League.The ground is very close to Odsal but it has houses on one side and trees on the other. It seems a very friendly club and we were able to obtain a good cup of tea while watching the home side bowl.They had scored 193  in their fifty overs but had only taken one wicket when  we left so that  I  could beat the Test Match crowds.
When I reached home I found that Yorkshire Academy had scored 239 for 7 and the Rashid had taken six wickets for 21 so bowling Cleethorpes out for 117.Tomorrow I am travelling down to see some Minor County cricket at Usk and Shifnal  over the next two days. Then hopefully calling into Edgbaston on Tuesday see Yorshire playing and winning.Report to follow .

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