"CATCHES win matches”, said umpire Pete Roberts as he climbed the stairs to their changing room at Wagon Lane.

That cricket trueism is something that Bradford & Bingley second-team captain Craig Cockshott will have pondered upon after his team shelled half-a-dozen chances as they fell to a five-wicket defeat in the first round of the Priestley Shield.

Two spills came in successive balls – a skier at mid-off and an even easier opportunity next ball in the covers.

In a game that was reduced to 35 overs per side because of worries over the weather, the hosts had recovered from 37-5 to make 135-9, and Morley’s 61-3 could have become 61-5 and their target would have been a whole lot more challenging.

Cockshott said: “We win as a team and we lose as a team, and I am not going to go into that changing room and start individualising performances, but you cannot win a game defending 135 if you drop five or six catches.

“Setting a field defending that is so difficult as well, even with reduced overs.

“However, we are unbeaten in the league and they are a good set of cricketers in there, with plenty of options with the ball.

“It was just a bad day at the office. Morley are a decent side with three or four good players, and it was just a matter of getting through that top order, but it didn’t materialise.

“We should have won but there is no-one else to blame but ourselves. It is disappointing but the lads have not let their heads drop and we go again now in the league.”

Cockshott has revealed that this is his last season as a player – the 48-year-old has been involved with the club for some 30 years – and was disappointed that his team didn’t make Morley work harder for their win.

He said: “Our batting was poor to be honest. We were 37-5 and I don’t think that they (Morley) earned the wickets.

“It was five loose shots. It happens but I don’t think that it is because we are a young side. There is enough experience in that dressing room, they all know where they went wrong and we were outplayed in all three departments.

“The wicket was fine, although a little bit slow – we have had a week’s worth of rain – but realistically we should have got 200.

“Mind you, when you are 37-5 you would take 100 and we managed to get just shy of 140.

“The problem then was we did not bowl as well as we can do. We didn’t bowl in enough areas in an over and we dropped five or six catches.”

As for the league, Bradford & Bingley are second in Division One, three points behind Great Preston, and eyeing promotion.

Explaining their success, Cockshott said: “We have played as a team. We have lots and lots of good youngsters and I think that we deserve to be where we are.

“We have won two or three close games that we would have lost three or four years ago and we are learning how to grind out results – winning matches by 10 or 15 runs instead of losing them by 10 or 15 runs – which is very pleasing.

“There is a lot more experience in the side and it is the way forward for the club. We have nothing to be afraid of in this division and two or three lads have already been promoted into the first team and two or three others have had a go.

“The signs are good and it would be nice to have some silverware at the end of the season, but it is not the be all and end all – it is more about development of players.”

Bradford & Bingley chose to bat but needed to be rescued by Matthew Keeton (14) and Zaid Saleem (41), who added 55 for the sixth wicket on the way to 135-9.

Reece (11) and Craig Cockshott (13) also made double figures as Ben Richardson (3-25), Michael Darby (2-17) and Craig Gillyon (2-28) held sway.

Then George Heartfield (3-25) gave Bingley a sniff as Morley were reduced to 42-3 but those dropped catches gave the visitors a big lift and skipper Darby (61) was the anchor, falling with victory one blow away at 131.

Gavin Goodlad finished on 23 not out as Morley won by five wickets with three overs to spare.

Elsewhere, Baildon sprung a surprise by downing Premier Division leaders Hanging Heaton by 29 runs, after dismissing their illustrious opponents for just 91.

Bowling Old Lane hammered Keighley by nine wickets, while Jer Lane destroyed Ossett by 10 wickets after bowling them out for 51.

Woodlands won by 62 runs against Hartshead Moor, while Cleckheaton had a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Rodley.

Division Three side Buttershaw St Paul's fought hard but went down by five wickets to Premier Division Lightcliffe.

Finally, Division Two Undercliffe gave top-flight Gomersal a real scare before going down by two runs.