WOODLANDS were outbatted, outbowled and eventually outfielded in their first-round defeat to Hoylandswaine in the Solly Sports Heavy Woollen Cup.

The All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League side could only make 179 in reply to the Huddersfield League side’s 274 in a battle of heavyweights.

They gained revenge for their setbacks in the 2015 and 2017 finals while causing some to muse that seeding should be introduced to avoid such a clash early doors.

However, new Woodlands skipper Cieran Garner was not about to let that defeat dampen his 30th birthday celebrations the following day or his optimism for the season ahead.

He said: “Hoylandswaine started off like a train, we hit back to get them at 115-5 but then Waqas Maqsood’s innings turned it around.”

Former Yorkshire opener Alex Lees was not interested in too many defensive strokes when the South Yorkshire side’s innings began, making 48 off 47 balls, including eight fours and a six.

He even chipped experienced left-arm spinner Chris Brice twice over mid-off for boundaries in the same over and seemed set for a big score until Scott Richardson trimmed his off bail with the score on 77.

Proceedings then quietened down and Hoylandswaine either thought things were too comfortable or realised that they batted a long way down as they tumbled to 115-5, with Elliot Richardson knocking back opener Brandon Clark’s off stump at 97 before Usman Arshad unwisely took on Scott Richardson’s arm at short midwicket.

The throw wasn’t that accurate but wicket-keeper Greg Finn did well to gather the ball and dive to his left to break the stumps.

SP Singh then holed out tamely at mid-off and Iftikar Naseer, also off Brice, hit a monstrous skier that was well held by Scott Richardson.

Hoylandswaine needed some inspiration, and it came in the shape of Gurman Randhawa (33), who added 65 for the sixth wicket with number three Chris Holliday (51), who only added 21 between drinks break before really opening his shoulders.

Randhawa became the second run-out victim and Holliday’s 80-ball vigil ended but the real impetus came from former Baildon all-rounder Waqas Maqsood, who stirred memories of Woodlands legend Sarfraz Ahmed with his use of the long handle.

His 57 came off only 26 balls and contained eight fours and three sixes, but Brice, wider round the girth these days, avoided the carnage, taking 2-23 off his 10 overs, with almost half of those runs coming in one over.

Someone had to stand up and be counted in the Woodlands innings but no-one did until the Richardson brothers, who added 66 for the sixth wicket, and by that time it was too late.

Scott made an unbeaten 53, Elliot chipped in with 27, Garner made 24 and Muhammad Bilal 22 as Maqsood claimed 3-32, Mustafa Bashir 2-10 and Randhawa 2-51.

However, Kiwi Brad Schmulian, whose 203 for Central Districts two winters ago against Northern Districts is the highest score by a debutant in New Zealand first-class cricket (breaking a record that had stood for 136 years when Canterbury’s George Watson made 175) looks a decent asset, bowling his leg breaks with a nice loop as well as being an organised bat.

Garner said: “Hoylandswaine started off like a train, but we hit back and Waqas’ innings turned it around.

“Bricey is just Bricey, but Brad bowled a tidy spell (10-1-42-0) with his top spinners.”

As for his leadership and the forthcoming Bradford League season, Garner said: “It was a club decision, and I have been here since I was 13 or 14 years old and it has always been an ambition of mine to captain the team.

“I am in it for the long haul. We have some talented youngsters here at Woodlands and we will be right up there in the Bradford League.”