Second XI Oakworth Cricket Club 2016

2015 has now gone down in Oakworth CC and Craven & District League history but what of 2016. To expect a repeat dose was out of the question given the likely promotions to the First Xl following winter retirements and moves. The good news was that following a change in employment James Lee would be available all season although doubt remained about the inclusion of Chris Mooney. It was expected that keeper Jack Cawood would step up to the team, as would new 3rd Xl batting record holder Jordan Powell. The squad would be completed by former 3rd Xl skipper Alan Fothergill to help plug the gaps.

Our fifth season in Division Two got underway against Airedale. Predictably Matthew Cox scored heavily but his terrific 84 found no support and his team ended at 130 all out. James Lee did most damage with 4-53 with great back up from Rick Cavender 3-23 and 2-7 from the richly promising Joel Fothergill. 17-3, courtesy of Lee Rickaby, looked ominous for our batsmen but 9 fours and 5 sixes from the willow of Jordan Powell blitzed the Airedale bowlers into submission in only 25.1 overs. And that was it for Joel as First Xl skipper took him into the senior team, where he remained for the season. Far flung Chatburn found Oaks again in fine fettle, with 65 [2 fours, 6 sixes] from Jordan Powell again the highlight innings in our 167 all out. Evergreen Andrew Booth added some control with 5-30 but cameos from Drew Duffy [28] and Rick Cavender [25] proved too much. The Chatburn batting line up crumbled to the skiddy pace of Ollie Stell who took 4-9 in 5 overs. Seeking a hat-trick of wins Oaks reigning Champions next faced Bradley at Wide Lane. A century [104] from James Heseltine and 52 from Chris Capstick elevated the Bradley total to 207-3, 2 of which fell to on-form Ollie Stell. An opening 51 from Alan Fothergill showed he had the weaponry for the higher level and a run-a-ball 89 from James Lee overhauled their total with 211-4 with 7 overs to spare.

Three out of three was a real boost for the club as the First Xl suffered their third defeat. Down the road at Hainworth Lane the bowlers got to grips with Ingrow with only Ben Bright 43 no providing major obstacle. Our destroyer this week was Ricky Linden with 5-44. Ingrow were all out for 140 and a fourth win was possible but former Oaks junior Dan Scott hadn't read that script and his 5-12 destroyed our fine start. His partner Chris Herbert 4-25 ensured we reached only 112 in the chase losing 9-68. 3-0-1. There was an opportunity to get back on the horse the following day facing Denholme lls in defence of our hard won Cowling Cup, now a 20-20 competition. Michael Dennison with 76 led the Division Three side to 143-3 in their 20 overs. From 18-2 we had an uphill task but James Lee [48] and Drew Duffy [53] pulled things round before both fell. The 3 wickets from Jack Harrison 3-22 were vital and agonisingly we came up short on 139-6 and our Cup was gone in Round 1. The washout at Thornton didn't help restore the great start.

At home to ISJ 2nds we encountered Fahid Ali on top form with 107 and then 79 from Muhammed Asim had us facing a 302 posting. It was a great stage on which Harry Hollingsworth made his mark for the 2nds with 4-30 amidst the carnage. Another youngster Jordan Powell smashed 35 from 24 balls but he was pretty much a lone wolf and we collapsed to 156 all out in 29.4 overs with Mohammed Yaqoob taking 4-33. 3-1-2 and we dropped out of the top three. Onto the postage stamp at Glusburn where we captured our Championship in 2015 and our 238 posting signalled maybe a return to earlier form? Sam Nettleton made his first real contribution with 56 and 48 from skipper Drew Duffy with 45 from Alan Fothergill all helping us to the score. But a similarly solid scorecard from Glusburn had 50 from Steve Brown and four others with 30+ scores. Glusburn reached 239-8 from the last ball of the innings to take the hard-fought points. None fought harder than Jack Ellis who grabbed 5-72. 3-1-3. At Home to Wilsden we once again tried to get the wheels back on the bus and the skipper led from the front with 105 no in a 219-5 tally before Drew Duffy declared after 37.3 overs as bad weather was looming. It was too late as Wilsden reached only 23-1 after 9.4 overs before the inevitable abandonment. 3-2-3 and no win for five matches [six if Cup included]. the boot was on the other foot at Barrowford as the Home side put up 252-8 thanks to 104 from opener Shuja Rashid, although James Lee did whip out 4 for 71. Junaid Khan saw to it we never got into contention with 4-21 and only Lewis Wrathall [46] threatened to do so in a hugely disappointing 121 all out. 3-2-4 and the downward tumble continued. Division leaders Hepworth & Idle visited Wide Lane and batted first only to find Jack Ellis 3-47 and Harry Hollingsworth 3-29 both determined to stop the rot. Jamie Topham did make 41 but their team total of 142-8 in 37.5 overs offered us a chance with the declaration. With rain again in the offing we set off at pace to try to make the target and young Harry added 36 to his fine bowling to lead us to 143-9 in only 28 overs, although Dave Matthews with 7-43 did his best to prevent us. What a relief at 4-2-4 with just Haworth Road lls to play in the first half-season. This match was rained off to leave us in 5th place with 4-3-4.

Another 73 from Matthew Cox was something of deja-vu but this time he was backed by 54 from Matthew Gill and 36 from Mick Feather in a 227-7 first stanza. Our efforts to match that looked like failing miserably but we were saved by yet more rain. James Lee stood on 56 but in a total of only 95-7 in 27 overs. 4-4-4 with no progress. At home to relgation-threatened Chatburn, James Lee and Lewis Wrathall each made 51, Jordan Powell 49 and Nivard Trowers 47 in posting a cracking 236-7. Returnee from Uni Tom Fothergill was straight back in the action with 5-34 from his classy off-spin. Hapless Chatburn were smashed for just 63 and a 164-run losing margin. 5-4-4. Up the Aire Valley Bradley had also found themselves struggling and Jordan Powell added to their woes with 107 [7 fours & 10 sixes] alongside 49 from captain Drew Duffy. We had set a 244 target and as our bowlers wilted Chris Capstick 107 and Neil Andrews 108 put us to the sword and reached the target with just 1 wicket down in 39.5 overs. 5-4-5 and we were treading water in mid-table. Sam Nettleton [52] and James Lee [37] added 76 for the 2nd wicket but from 85-2 we slumped to 145 all out, losing 60-8 to Ingrow's Jake Hoyle 6-43. After an opening stand of 67 Ingrow were well on their way to the points and though James Lee took 3-26 former Oaks juniors Hoyle [36] and Ben Weatherall [31] saw them home at 151-6 in 33.5 overs. 5-4-6, parity. A second home match with Thornton produced another tepid batting display against a club battling for their very survival. Prolific James Lee was again on his 'A' game with 85 out of a 123 total, thanks to 4-19 from Mark Laycock. Veteran Kev Pollard 63 and Stephen Laycock 35 saw the Booth Bridge Lane boys to the points at 124-1. Oh dear 5-5-7 and the season was fast deteriorating to a potential relegation battle.

It got worse with a paltry 112 all out at the Johnnies. Muhammed Shafiq led his bowlers with 4-39 as we failed to get to grips with the wicket. It took the home side just 19.2 overs to take the points but grittily we did take 9 wickets along the way. Jack Ellis exploited things to perfection for a great 7-61 as the Johnnies were saved by no 10 Mudassar Zahid with 32no. 5-5-8 and a swing upward maybe? If so it was to be delayed a week as the Glusburn match was washed out. Batting first at Wilsden the star of Nivard Trowers shone brightly with 69 and as Sam Nettleton chipped in 56 we were able to begin to answer the direction of travel it seemed. Our 216 all out was a welcome return to form for the batsmen. Steve Wright led the riposte with 76 and when no 7 Umar Malik bashed 39no a close finish was on the cards. But it was 10 past 8 and the light was poor. The Umpires called a halt with Wilsden the more disgruntled on 211-6, only 6 short of the target with 33 balls not bowled. The following week we never made the crease with another washout [v Barrowford] and we stood forlornly waving goodbye to our Championship on 5-7-8 and three matches to play. At Idle the Hepworth bowlers kept us to 144 all out. Sam Nettleton was still on a good run with 45 and a fired up Joe Copperwaite added 38. Tom Hawksworth with 4-29 led their assault. Chris Hawksworth added 58 to Tom's 44 and H & I were home at 146-4 in 28 overs. 5-7-9 whist safe from relegation was way short of our pre-season expectations. The last match with Haworth Road lls also produced a defeat to conclude the year on 5-7-10. Sam Nettleton gain made 52 [his usual score?] and Harry Hollingsworth 28 in a decent 174-8 posting. But Wajid Mahmood with 74no scotched any chance of finishing on a high note at 178-4 in only 32.2 overs.


Team Performance

So out had gone Ben & Joel Fothergill, Steve Powell and Robert Hollingsworth and in had come Alan Fothergill, Jordan Powell and Harry Hollingsworth. Our reign as Champions was predicted to end but how far would we fall down a still very tough Division table? It turned out to be to 8th place, perhaps lower than many had hoped. Our last victory was way back on 16th July before the second half of the season fell apart in what was our worst season since 1984.

At Home our record was 4 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats [Thornton, Ingrow & Ingrow St Johns] so in some respects fairly positive. On our bikes it was a different story with just 1 win [Chatburn], 3 draws and 7 defeats.

At Wide Lane we scored 1,365 runs for the loss of 59 wickets [3rd best in Division] in the 8 matches in which we batted. An average score of 171 and batting form of 23.1 was not the form of a team in trouble. Our opponents scored 1,137 runs, losing 49 wickets. Only three teams were bowled out. The visitors average score from 7 innings [Wilsden only batted a few overs] was 162 with scoring at 23.2. So there is a small clue in that our visitors matched us on the productive Wide Lane strips as we captured around only 6 wickets in each match. Our bowlers struggled a little at Home.

Away from lush Oakworth pastures the story was: 1,622 runs scored in 10 innings for loss of 89 wickets [highest in the Division]. An average away score of 162 is reasonable although the loss of almost 9 wickets each match produced a scoring rate of just 18.2 runs per wicket. Our hosts scored 1,851 runs and lost 67 wickets. Clearly their scoring on their patches was vastly superior with an average of 185 for the average loss of just 6.8 wickets. The hosts scoring was at 27.6 runs per wicket or 50% better than our batsmen, who got out far too often!! Overall no other club lost more wickets than Oakworth, however only 2 [Hepworth & Idle and Glusburn] scored more runs!!

 
  OAKWORTH lls OPPOSITION
Parameter WIDE LANE AWAY TOTAL WIDE LANE AWAY TOTAL
No times batted 8 10 18 7 10 17
Runs Scored 1,365 1,622 2,987 1,137 1,851 2,988
Wickets lost 59 89 148 49 67 116
Average score 171 162 166 162 185 176
Wickets lost / match 7.4 8.9 8.2 7.0 6.7 6.8
Scoring rate 23.1 18.2 20.2 23.2 27.6 25.8
Runs / wicket taken 23.2 27.6 25.8 23.1 18.2 20.2

Appearances

This year 12 players appeared 10 or more times with James and Drew, leading the way with 20. Jordan turned out 19 with Sam and Alan just 1 further back. Sill a junior Harry was called up 17 times. Uni-boys Tom and Lewis appeared 10 and 9 times respectively.


Batting

Topping the run-scoring in 2016 was precocious 18-year-old Jordan Powell with 466 with 1 century and 2 fifties to top the averages with 35.85. A real bonus was the availability of James Lee and he responded fabulously with 418 runs and a best of 89. That he scored four 50s should be no surprise as back in 2011 James was the best young cricketer in the under-15s league. The skipper came next with 358, which whilst well down on last year's record tally of 612 still produced an average of 23.87. Sam Nettleton racked up 323 in another year of progress at 21.53. He, like James had 4 fifties but has failed to go on and register three figures, perhaps losing concentration once passed 50. All four have qualified for the league averages, Jordan in 10th place, James 21st, Drew 26th and Sam 31st. Well done guys.

For Alan, elevated to the Second Xl this year, there was a satisfying 212 tally with a best of 51. Lewis was in fine form with 178 in his 6 innings whilst Nivard added 166 [best 69] but had five ducks to his name. Pleasingly Harry, initially just used as a bowler, reached 123 [best 36] which augurs well for 2017. Sadly Jack Ellis' returns slid backwards with only 93 runs in 10 knocks and Paul Carter turned out just 5 times in a year of frequent unavailability. All in all 24 players appeared for the 2nd Xl including under-13s Amrit Sharma and Bradley Powell.


Bowling

The bowling attack, as above suffered away from home and no-one reached the 30-wicket League Average Qualification mark. Our best wicket-taker was James Lee with 24 from 114 overs with Jack Ellis in 2nd place on 20 from 100 overs. His returns have plummeted from 57 to just 20, but he did return two five-fors, to show his skill level remains intact if a little inconsistent. The 16 wickets from Ricky Linden came from 130 overs, whilst youngster Harry picked up 12 from only 59 overs at the 2nd best Strike Rate [behind James with 1 every 28.5 balls] of the front-line bowlers. Economy was the element which took the biggest hits on our travels but the most frugal of the regular bowlers was Ricky with 4.26 runs per over, closely followed by Tom with 4.41. The best individual performance was the 7-61 by Jack Ellis.


Fielding

Drew Duffy and Jordan Powell each managed 9 fielding victims with Nivard in 3rd place with 7. Jack Cawood picked up 8 keeping victims before his elevation to the First Xl.


Next year

For 2017 the potential for promotions to the First Xl would appear to be for Jordan Powell and/or Sam Nettleton. This will depend on how the First Xl is to be structured and whether new personnel are recruited. Potentially Steve Powell could again be available although it seems Rob Hollingsworth may have cemented his First Xl place for at least a further year.  Hamzah Khan and Amrit Sharma look likely to be regulars in the Second Xl squad. Corey Green has seemingly disappeared from the Oakworth scene, but should he re-appear he too should compete for a place.

So the line-up could be Drew [capt], Nivard, Joe, James, Alan and Matty as the principal batsmen. Harry, Hamzah and Amrit [and maybe Corey] would contest all-rounder roles with Jack and Ricky. It is possible Matty Lee may take the gloves [if available] assuming Sam moves upwards as a batsman, alternatively Paul Carter can fill the role. Lewis and Tom would also be fitted in when available from their studies. Stevie P will certainly be in demand from all 3 teams and may appear for them all.