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Where have all the players gone in the Craven League?
Buy this photo » John Beckwith goes aerial on his way to 67 for Gargrave at home to Eldwick & Gilstead
Skipton CI won at Long Lee II to ensure promotion back to Division Three but the weather played a big part in proceedings on Saturday in the Mewies Solicitors Craven League, with most games being abandoned just into the second innings.
However, there is a worrying situation for the league regarding the number of games being conceded due to lack of player numbers.
Last weekend, seven games were called off for that reason, bringing the total to 30, or about five per cent of league and cup matches - this in a year when the England and Wales Cricket Board are trying to get more people into cricket, while cricket funding from Sport England to the ECB is dependent on player retention.
The Cure Hill side won the toss and asked the home side to bat first. Despite 29 from Will Grace and 27 from Adie Powis, they struggled to 111-8 when rain forced a break, after which Anthony Partington (26no) and Dave Hall (21) put on 42 for the ninth wicket.
The innings closed on 156, with Michael Scarborough taking 6-44 off 11 overs. More rain fell before the visitors could start their reply, which was halted after just three overs with the bowlers sliding about on landing. In that time, Gareth Marshall had made 32no from 14 balls, including three sixes and three fours.
Third-placed Haworth were at Embsay and had contained the Shires Laners to 101-8 in 33 overs with Duncan Ward making 36 and Morgan Davies 32 as Damian Rowell took 5-22 from nine overs. No further play was possible.
Embsay drop to bottom after unexpected wins for Bradley and Foulridge.
Bradley were at home to Crossflatts, and the Ryshworth Park side made a bright start, with R Ayub making 44, but fell away to finish on 137-8 in their allotted 39 overs. James Heseltine took 4-38 and Phil Binner 4-67.
The Matthews Lane side had 28 overs to make the runs but only needed 19.5 as they stormed home for the loss of four wickets, with Binner making 49 and Craig Tempest 40no.
Foulridge batted first at Bingley Congs and struggled to 117 with Andrew Dutton making 41 as Neil Copping claimed 4-28 and Matt Roberts 4-33.
With a timed finish, the Beckfoot Lane side tried to play out the overs but they came unstuck and were dismissed for 62, with Kafeel Ishfaq taking 4-24 and John Lambert 3-16 off 16 overs, including ten maidens.
Barrowford had scored 70-2 off 17.2 overs at home to Thornton when play was abandoned.
On Sunday, Barrowford entertained Haworth and were dismissed for just 92, Nick Burton top-scoring with 32 as Damian Rowell was again the best bowler with 3-15 off 9.3 overs.
The Bronte side were under the cosh at 24-5 but Rowell (46no) and Harry Reynoldson (11no) took them to the winning post without further problems.
Jahangir Babar took all five wickets for 33 in 12 overs. Last year’s champions are now in second spot, albeit seven points adrift of the leaders.
The Keighley Road side had the hosts back in the hut for 95, with M Saqab taking 4-29 and Martyn Dalby 4-46. Then Graham Rishton (54no) led the visitors to the points in the 20th over.
At Royd Hill, the home side batted first and, with a delayed start and rain delays, the innings did not finish until 7pm with the score on 103-9, of which Craig Thornton made 32.
With a possible 16 overs to get the runs, the Grange Road side were hurtling along at 79-2 off eight overs when the umpires called a halt due to bad light.
Third-placed Glusburn were at Wilsden and had made 196-7 off 40 overs when they declared. Steve Brown made 62 and Neil Freeman 46 as Mohammed Kiyani took 4-45. Only three overs of the reply were possible before play ceased.
Paul Stowell walloped 86 out of the first 106, with six and nine fours, to help Long Lee to 134-4 before play was abandoned at Oakworth II.
The Denholme batsmen were in the runs again as they posted 216-4 declared at home to Ingrow, Adam Taylor making 87 and Joe Greenwood 59. The Hainworth side had made 12-0 when rain stopped play.
Pendle Forest were in trouble at 40-5 at home to Barrowford II, with Majid Iqbal having taken 4-22 off eight overs, when play was halted.
Barrowford II were also in action on Sunday at Airedale. The Bull Holme side scored a mammoth 242-9, with Zulquarain Tariq hitting 83 and Peter Cowburn and Jonny Ormerod both scoring 40. W Quereshi was the best bowler with 3-25.
Skipper Joe Milner (88) was the backbone of the Bradford Road side’s reply of 174-8, with Ormerod claiming 4-36.
Division Three leaders Chatburn looked to be on their way to the points at Sandy Lane when play stopped due to unsafe conditions for the bowlers.
John Price made 47 as the Ribble Valley side posted 156, with Chris Mitchell taking 4-40 and Luke Ellis 3-50. The Greenwood Park side had been reduced to 9-2 when the umpires intervened.
Embsay II closed the gap to just four points when they managed a ten-run win at Bradford & Bingley III.
Evergreen Brian Hodgson (43) and Paul Wormald (31) saw the Shires Laners to 161 in their innings as J Baxter claimed 4-46. Opener Tim Carrow was the key man for the Wagon Laners – as long as he was there they were in with a great chance.
However, he went for 45 with the score at 116. Richard Foulder (15no) tried to rally the tail but the innings closed on 151, with Simon Holt taking 5-57 and Jonathan Coward 4-58.
Wilsden II were unable to raise a side for the second week running bur stay in third spot, just a point ahead of Sandy Lane.
Saj Khan (40) was the mainstay of Ingrow St John’s' 168 at home to Haworth Road II, with Narinder Gata Aura taking 4-48.
The Baildon Bottom side had reached 88-3 off 21 overs, with Mansoor Hassan top-scoring with 35no, when stumps were drawn.
There was no play possible between Haworth West End and Cononley.
On Sunday, Ingrow St John’s II and Crossflatts II both gifted three points to opponents Cononley and Chatburn respectively. The Ribble Valley side are again seven points clear of Embsay II in Division Three.
Division Four leaders Skipton CI travelled to Golden Acre and had to scrap for the points.
Long Lee II made 102-9, with C Pullan scoring 31 as John Stuttard took 6-69. The Sandylands side then lost six wickets reaching their target, with Martin Seward making 34.
Second-placed Cullingworth II were awarded three points when Ingrow II were unable to raise a side.
Third-placed Glusburn II took the points at home to Bradley II. The Matthews Lane side were knocked over for 61 but were 34-9, with No 11 batter M Thompson scoring 19no as Bryan Hollis took 5-27 and Dominic Mortimer 4-11. The Park Field side galloped home for the loss of three wickets in the 16th over.
Over at Booth Bridge Lane, visitors Airedale II were dismissed for 80, with A Javed top-scoring with 34 as Tim Gates took 4-15 and Phil Oldfield 3-30. Thornton II dashed to the points in 11.4 overs, Paul Ellis hitting an unbeaten 58.
Dan Gibson scored 50no for Bingley Congs II, who posted 182-9 at Riddlesden II, with Danny Spencer taking 4-44. Only two overs of the reply were possible when play was curtailed.
Haworth II have moved well out of the relegation places after receiving three points for the second week running, this time because Pendle Forest II could raise a side!
Denholme II and Oakworth III are locked together at the top of Division Five, with the latter having a game in hand.
The former were at Skipton CI II and made 153-6 declared, with Jack Harrison scoring 69. The Sandylands side were unable to make a start to their reply.
Meanwhile, Oakworth III were at Cowling II. Sam Nettleton (58) and George Ingham (39) helped them to 185-7 declared, with G Jones taking 5-17 off 6 overs. The nine-man hosts were then hustled out for just 17, with Tom Fothergill taking 3-1 and Dhanyaal Ahmed taking 3-4.
Only 23 overs play was possible at Foulridge II where the home side had made 63-2 before rain stopped play.
Cononley II and Chatburn II both received three points when Haworth West End II and Sandy Lane II were unable to raise sides.
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