The opening salvoes of the new Mewies Solicitors Craven League season were played out in sunshine, albeit with a cool breeze, but with it being Easter Saturday, some sides were decimated by players not being available.
Division One champions Oakworth travelled to Haworth in what, on paper, looked to be the match of the day.
However, it was a very low-scoring game which the Cure Hill side claimed by four wickets.
The Bronte side were dismissed for 67 in 32.2 overs, with Jamie Rowell making 27 as Adam Smith claimed 4-2. Losing Damian Rowell after only three balls of the second over didn’t help the Bronte cause.
The visitors also struggled with the bat and were indebted to Robert Hopkinson (29) as they got home, with Dan Trowers taking 3-16.
Two weakened sides turned out as promoted Cowling visited Embsay. The Keighley Road side were skittled for 48, Scott Robinson taking 5-16, and the Shires Laners won by eight wickets.
Riddlesden, the other promoted side, entertained Thornton and rattled up 299-5, with Mohammed Shahnawaz scoring a magnificent 151 not out. He put on 166 for the fourth wicket with Mohammed Qadeer (42). Abdul Raza also made 51 as Jack Laycock battled away to finish with 4-79.
Yet again Kevin Pollard was the backbone of the Booth Bridge Laners' reply. He made 66 as they replied with 141, with Mohammed Zulfiqar taking 3-27 and Danny Robinson 3-42.
Crossflatts ran riot against Barrowford at Bull Holme Oval. Dominic Bennett and Neil Bradbury, two of Crossflatts' new players with 73 and 45 respectively, helped them to 262-7 in their overs, Bradbury and Mohammed Adil (55) putting on 101 for the first wicket.
The red-rose side made a decent fist of their reply, scoring 210-8, with Ajmal Choudhry scoring 60 and S Butt 35.
Ingrow St John’s were too strong for Bingley Congs at Beckfoot Lane. Saints batted first and made 185, with Imran Zaman scoring 44, Nadeem Safdar 37 and Nadeem Zaman 34 as Mick Baines took 3-33 and Adie Dibb 3-73.
Tom Keighley (52) led the reply, which closed 42 runs short with Muhammed Sajjad taking 4-39.
There was a shock at Haworth Road, where Foulridge pulled off a fine 84-run victory. The Noyna side made 181-8, with John Lickess top scoring with 66 as Mansha Khan took 3-28 and Muhammed Zahid 3-43.
The lacklustre Baildon Bottom side could only muster 97 in reply after being 80-2. Zahid made 37 as Andrew Dutton took 5-5 and John Lambert 3-15.
In Division Two, Long Lee’s trip over the border to Chatburn proved fruitless. The Keighley side won the toss but were all out for 101, with skipper Jamie Robinson making 33 as John Lockley took 4-32 and Andy Booth performed the hat-trick to finish with 3-26.
The Ribble Valley side also found runs hard to come by but got home by four wickets in 32 overs, with Steve Bowker making 34 not out as Shabaz Ahmed took 3-29.
League newcomers Hepworth & Idle were at Glusburn, and saw the home side plunder 214, with Neil Freeman leading the way with 53 and Steve Brown making 33 as Martin Saunders took 5-42.
The visitors were indebted to a last-wicket stand of 44 by Sean McAvoy (20) and Tim Shackleton (22no) for getting the reply to 151.
Ingrow got the better of Barrowford II at Hainworth. Mark Price made 70no as the hosts won by seven wickets.
There was a high-scoring game at Wilsden, where Denholme were the visitors. The Bradford Road side went first and made 234-9, with Toby Priestley scoring 76 and Richard Taylor 60 not out as Stuart Wilson took 4-60.
The Windy Grove side made 199 in reply, with David Henson making 56 as Matt Wear took 4-37 and Priestley 4-40.
Oakworth II were put in by Sandy Lane, which turned out to be a bad move as the Cure Hill side plundered 234. Joel Gallagher (66) and Drew Duffy (55) put on 125 for the first wicket then Lewis Wrathall chipped in with 57 as Luke Ellis took 5-54 and Steve Carass 4-70.
The Greenwood Park side replied with just 72 as Ollie Stell took 3-9 and Wrathall 3-18.
Matt Buckmaster (77) and Casper Bean (35) were the main contributors to Bradley’s 189-5 at Sutton. The Royd Hill side could only make 102 in reply, with Tim Rudden, James Heseltine and Bean taking three wickets each.
Dan Oldfield scored 90 of Thornton II's 169 at home to Pendle Forest in Division Three. The Fence side slumped to 15-3 before Rob Harris (62) and Anjum Ahmed 54 added 122 to set up a comfortable five-wicket victory.
Wilsden II struggled to 114-6 in their 45 overs at Street Lane, with Junaid Jamshed making 42. Ingrow St John’s II knocked the runs off for the loss of six wickets, with Abdul Rehman scoring 38.
Gargrave’s Will Smith was in fine form as he took 6-25 to help visitors Embsay II back to the hut for 117, with evergreen Alan Robinson making 31.
Sam Arkwright took two early wickets before John Beckwith (60no) and Smith (23) took the game away from the Shires Laners to set up a seven- wicket win.
Newly promoted Skipton CI got off to a good start at home to Airedale. Firstly they restricted the Keighley side to 161-8, with John Stuttard bowling through to finish with 3-54 as Waris Ismail top- scored with 39. Ian Henderson (75) led the charge, which was successful by six wickets.
The bowlers were definitely on top in the game between Cononley and Haworth West End. Peter Hatton (5-29) and Corey Benfield (4-30) had the home side back in the hut for 79.
The South Craven side roared back, with Scott Brooke taking 6-28 off 7.3 overs and dismissed the Bronte side for 70.
Bradford & Bingley III went down by 64 runs at home to Haworth Road II.
In Division Four, league vice-chairman Bryan Hollis took 8-68 for Glusburn at Westfield Lane as Hepworth & Idle II were dismissed for 153. Ian Beattie (58no) was the mainstay of the four-wicket win.
Asad Ejaz took 5-29, including a hat-trick, as Haworth were hustled out for 98 at Airedale II, and then Simon Hunter (39no) helped the Bradford Road side to the points by eight wickets.
Crossflatts II were sent packing for 57, with Tony Hodgson taking 6-19 off eight overs. Visitors Ingrow sauntered home by seven wickets, with Ben Wrathall scoring 32 not out.
Ten-man Denholme II went down by six wickets at home to Bingley Congs II, while Eldwick & Gilstead were 29 runs too good for Foulridge II at Noyna.
Riddlesden II opened brightly with 106-1 at Bronte Fields, but then fell away dramatically to close on 148. Steve Kernan made 71 as Oliver Huck took 6-32 and 14-year-old Joel Fothergill 3-0.
The hosts were staring defeat in the face at 113-8 before Huck (39no) and Tom Fothergill (9no) got them over the line with just five balls to spare.
In Division Five, Cowling II, at home to Gargrave II, scored 121, with veteran John Cleaver making 44. The visitors replied with a modest 49 as Zahid Shafait claimed 6-27.
David Suter made 50 of Skipton CI II's 185 at Greenwood Park. Sandy Lane II replied with 62, of which Matt Dennison made 36.
Newcomer Sam Solley scored 56 and Stuart Tillotson 54 as Sutton II posted 189 at Bradley II. The hosts were dismissed for 75.
Long Lee II went down by five wickets at home to Cononley II, while Haworth West End conceded their game with Chatburn II.