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Ryan Benson off to a flier in Eccleshill opening romp
Wyke A played their first game in the Naylor Premier section at home to Eccleshill A and quickly learned how difficult this season is going to be as the top three divisions in the Bradford Saturday League got under way.
Eccleshill carded an impressive seven winners, with Brian Walker and new recruit Ryan Benson both carding 21-12 victories, to ensure a 19-11 success. Peter Jagger showed his class for the home side with a superb 21-6 effort.
Adam Marsden’s 21-8 score for promoted Whitkirk at Ladyhill was cancelled out by Dave Fisher’s 21-6 as the hosts edged it 17-13.
Crossgates would have been happy to leave defending champions Pudsey A with just a 16-14 loss as they split five winners each, with Chris Mordue’s 21-11 making the difference for the hosts.
Asa Briggs A and Brighouse Sports A shared the spoils but Brighouse took the aggregate despite only four individual winners, including Tony Riley’s 21-6 and Alan Bray’s 21-9.
Pudsey Littlemoor A will be looking for a quick return to the top flight from the Godwin division and opened with an impressive 22-8 victory at Brighouse Sports B thanks to eight winners, with Neil McPhail’s 21-10 the pick of them.
Five single-figure cards, led by Irene Turner’s 21-4, earned Cranmore a 26-4 verdict, while Mick Hall’s 21-3 and 21-6 by Mick Angus helped Eccleshill B to a 24-6 success.
Rufford A stunned favourites Pudsey B with a 20-10 home romp featuring seven home winners, despite a great 21-8 effort from Paul Cousins.
Elland CA&BC started life in the Bradford League with an emphatic home victory against Wibsey A in the Observer section.
Teams may struggle going to Elland, as most will not know the green, and this was the case with Wibsey as Adrian Kenyon (21-5), Gordon Bradford (21-6), Roger Stopford (21-8) and Andy Speechley (21-9) helped the hosts to an opening 26-4 victory.
Clayton B continued their home form from last year, and in a higher division, as they saw off Crowghyll A 25-5, with Alan Readyhough (21-8) and Nino Esposito (21-9) doing the business.
Pudsey Littlemoor B will be tough to beat this season, as they are back home after a season at Farsley, and were comfortable 21-9 home winners over Ladyhill B thanks to Luke Thompson (21-4) and Phil Richards (21-7).
Peter Martin’s 21-6 win for Hove Edge A helped his side to a 17-13 victory at Queensbury A, despite David Smalley’s 21-4 and Margaret Lee’s 21-7 for the hosts.
Mark McCann (21-7) and David Hurd (21-9) helped Hollies S&SC to a 22-8 win over promoted Wyke B.
Harold Park have started the season in terrific form in the Bartle division as they destroyed Pudsey C 26-4, with Stewart Firth’s 21-5 and Julie Darvills 21-8 the pick of nine home winners.
Philip Walker recovered from 18-9 down against Pudsey’s Sue Chadwick to make two 21-20 individual wins on the trot.
Peel A also made it two out of two, with Shirley Biancardo’s 21-9 the best of eight away winners to secure a 22-8 success.
West Bradford A were 21-9 home winners over Hipperholme & Lightcliffe A, while Royd House edged out Asa Briggs B 17-13.
Jan French’s 21-9 helped Harold Club to an 18-12 home win over Hightown.
Bob and Carole Sharp helped Drighlington B to a 24-6 win over Stanningley in the Haigh competition. Bob took the sweep with a 21-5 success, while Carole added a 21-8.
Oakenshaw A were 22-8 winners at Brackenhill, helped by Marlene Hughes (21-1), Victor Riley (21-4), David Hammond (21-8) and Gerald Bywater (21-9). David Pearson’s 21-8 offered resistance for Brackenhill.
Joan Crampton’s 21-6 made the difference for Armley Cons as they edged out Birkenshaw 16-14.
John Stevenson (21-8) and Kevin Arundale (21-9) helped Wibsey B beat Rufford B 17-13.
Bailiff Bridge A made it two impressive wins out of two in the Riley section with a 24-6 away demolition of Crowghyll B. Jackie Sugden (21-5) and Stuart Briggs (21-8) were the pick of eight winners.
Hove Edge B defeated Queensbury B 21-9, with late wins from Les Crossley (21-4), Mary Hudson (21-5) and Donald Whiteley (21-6) ensuring a comfortable home success.
Bradford Moor A and Peel B both secured 20-10 home wins, over Rufford C and Bowling A respectively.
Starring for Bradford Moor were Alan Farrow (21-6) and Ken Smith (21-9), with Peter Hunter (21-4), Sue Rymer (21-6) and David Firth (21-8) doing the damage for Peel.
Asa Briggs C managed six winners at Cleckheaton Sports A but big victories for Elaine Binns (21-7) and Kath Icke (21-8) ensured a 17-13 home verdict.
Greengates B find themselves early pace-setters in the Field Packaging division following a 24-6 success at Bowling B, with Joan Brown and Donald Marshall both winning 21-4 assisted by Bryn Jones (21-7), Darren Metcalf (21-7) and Ken Johnson (21-8).
Thornton look like a team who will struggle this season as they went down to a second defeat, losing 23-7 at Horton despite a great 21-6 effort from Alan Galloway. Pat Cates (21-3) and Joe Walbran (21-5) did most damage for Horton.
Lynn Seddon (21-7) and David Collins (21-8) helped Cleckheaton Sports B edge a 16-14 game at Shipley Club B, to the frustration of Jim Crow (21-7).
Peter Barstow (21-4) and the evergreen Bryan Cook (21-8) were the pick of seven winners for Shelf A in a 20-10 victory at Wibsey C, who had Joan Leppla (21-3) and Ray Leadbetter (21-9) replying to keep the score respectable.
Horsforth Woodside B defeated Salts 17-13 as Peter Bottomley starred with a 21-7 victory. Salts had Brian Royston (21-8), Alan Bell (21-9) and Pat Whitwham (21-9) in form.
Simon and Beverley Clayton both scored 21-7 victories for Hipperholme & Lightcliffe to help them beat West Bradford B 19-9 in the Mellor section.
Olive Hill was in terrific form for Shelf B with her 21-1 score as they earned a 17-11 win over Bradford Moor B, Geoff Hudson replying for the visitors with a 21-8.
Baillif Bridge B could only manage three home winners against Tyersal B – but with Andrea Beetham, Nigel Grundy and John Petty all carding 21-9 victories, they still managed to edge the match 15-13.
Derek Warden rolled back the years as he produced a great 21-3 effort to help Oakenshaw B to a narrow 15-13 home win over Greengates C, despite a 21-7 from Edward East and 21-9 by Matthew Johnson for the visitors.
Queensbury C were 22-6 winners at Bowling C, helped by Stella Doherty (21-1), Barbara Venohr (21-2), Jennie Shaw (21-4) and Judy Hoogg (21-9).
* The West Riding Cup and Pilling Cup reach the semi-final stages on Friday evening, with all games starting at 7pm.
West Riding Cup: Crossgates A v Lower Hopton, at Hightown Club; Brighouse Sports A v Eccleshill, at Mirfield Old Bank.
Pilling Cup: Pudsey A v Harold Club, at Spen Victoria (bottom green); Pudsey Littlemoor v Ossett Flying Horse, at Brighouse Sports.
* The Yorkshire Cup qualifying round takes place on Saturday, April 26.
Selected games: Todmorden Park v Roundhay Park, at Peel Park; Heckmondwike v Horbury WMC, at Horton Park; Hanging Heaton v Springwood, at Clayton; Lockwood Con A v South Leeds Cons, at Slazengers; Kingston v Pudsey BC, at Wakefield BC; Crosland Moor v Eccleshill, at Sandal BC; Knaresborough v Lockwood Con C, at Hightown BC; Bradley & Colne v Hemsworth Con, at Spen Victoria; Guiseley v Cononley, at Hove Edge WMC; Wyke BC v Wibsey Park, at Birkenshaw Park; Pudsey Littlemoor v Akroydon Victoria, at Wakefield Thornes; Hemsworth Welfare v West Bradford, at Holbeck Ltd; Netherton Con B v Morton House, at Asa Briggs; Thongsbridge B v Clayton Victoria, at Outwood; Canalside B v Crossgates, at Hipperholme & Lightcliffe; Brockholes BC v Outwood, at South Leeds Cons; Broad Oak v Brighouse Sports, at Greenroyd; Asa Briggs v Paddock I&C, at Denby Grange.
* Entries are now being taken for the Howarth Cup, Four-a-Side Knock-out (sponsored by Kolorco Printers) and the Pairs Knock-out (sponsored by Leeming & Peel Ltd).
These competitions are to be played on Friday evenings this year, with the Howarth Cup having an additional change as teams are to consist of only eight players.
For further information, or to enter teams, contact John Preston at email@example.com. The deadline for entries is Thursday, May 1.
* Clubs should be aware that league fixtures take place on Saturday despite the handbook saying it is a Yorkshire Cup date.
The fixtures showing for Saturday, April 26 are to be played this Saturday. Clubs were notified about this error at the March delegates’ meeting. Any clubs unsure should contact the fixture secretary.