Oakworth Cricket Club
The 2019 season
The really satisfying conclusion to the 2018 season offered hope that
the team was back on track for a further period of dominance. However
the pre-season to 2019 brought news of four departures from the squad.
Highly productive batsman with over 500 runs in 2018, Drew Duffy would
not appear, and neither would Sam Nettleton; whilst all-rounders Ben
Howell and Lewis Wrathall would be heading for pastures new, Ben to Oxenhope and Lewis to York, where he would be living and working.
The huge impact was that three of our top four run-scorers in 2018 would
be gone. The conveyor belt of young players was still in motion with
Bradley Powell, Subhaan Ahmed, Bilaal Khan, Uwais Khan and Charlie Raby
beginning to knock on the door, but perhaps requiring more experience
with the Second Xl. There was however a prospective return from
Jack Ellis. The bowling attack would
be one of our most youthful for years with Harry Hollingsworth and Ellis
Marshall providing the pace with the twirling coming from Jack Davison
and Tom Fothergill. Rick Cavender and Joe Copperwaite would provide the
The fixture list was somewhat unkind in pairing us with pre-season favourites Crossflatts inclusive of a likely strong overseas import. Our line up included youngsters Bradley Powell and Lucas Keslinke and the good news was that the 'Flatts overseas wasn't in the line-up, but nevertheless the result was a disaster for Oaks with no-one making double figures in a 42 all out tally. Home grown Alex Bradbury did the damage with 6-12 in 9 overs. The runs were knocked off in just 33 balls without loss. It was our first 10-wicket loss for 8 years and only our fourth in the CDCL as well as our second lowest ever score batting first in CDCL. Not the desired start at all.
A second away match was against an emerging Denholme side which on its day could defeat any team. At 56-4 though, Oaks looked in a good position to overturn that premise. Richard Taylor's 62 and 47no from Callum Gerrard rescued their situation and the final total of 203-8 was a real challenge after last week. The bowling honours went to Harry Hollingsworth with 3-43 from 11 overs. If that looked tough, at 19-4 in reply it was seemingly mountainous. But a stand of 67 from Robert Hollingsworth  and Jack Davison pulled things round a little and another 43 from Jack  and Lucas Keslinke  offered more hope. But the two Ryans, Judson and Clark nipped that in the bud and we ended at 151 all out with almost 9 overs of the match un-bowled. It was a much better performance but still no points. Our first Home match would bring league Champions Barrowford to Wide Lane. The difficult start was compounded and we found ourselves at 67-6 with Jack Davison and Jordan Powell at the crease. With 4 fours and 12 monstrous sixes Jordan led the rearguard assault with Jack providing the solid support. The pair added a majestic 136 runs before Jordan was bowled for 104. Jack went on to post 58no with more support from Jack Ellis [27no]. The outcome was a marvellous 259-7 to stun the Lancastrians. Really solid batting was required by Barrowford and that what they delivered, Iqbal and Akhtar both making 50s. Harry Hollingsworth again caught the eye with 3-26 in 12 tidy overs but the Red Rose efforts looked like carrying them to the target. But the vital middle order wickets were wrapped up by James Lee with 4-60. Their chase ended at 242 all out with 1 over left. A great win by Oaks to get the season properly under-way; 1-0-2 and 3 points on the board.
Was this the start of a roll? It seemed so as we again batted first at Foulridge and the batting again fired. And it fired an absolute blitz. From 14-2 and 45-3 the outlook was transformed. A partnership of 175 from skipper Joel Gallagher and Robert Hollingsworth absolutely blasted the Foulridge bowlers and their shell-shock was hammered home by Jordan Powell , Lucas Keslinke [53no] and Jack Davison . The gigantic stand was ended with the fall of Robert for 97 including 7 fours and 8 sixes. He deserved his maiden century but was bowled by Munir. The skipper was then on 85 and he went on towards a potential 3-figures. Sadly for him he was adjudged lbw whilst on 99, having struck 16 sumptuous fours. The final tally was an amazing club record league score of 407-7. The Foulridge reply was gallant but never remotely reached challenging proportion. But it provided a stage for young left-armer Ellis Marshall to show his skills to the full and he ended the day with 5-76 as Foulridge tumbled to 171 all out in 31 overs with no-one making 50. 2-0-2 and cooking with gas! having seen off the Champions we now awaited arrival of the 2018 runners-up, Bingley Congs. Again we batted first and the skipper seemed to carry on where he left off at Foulridge. Once again he had support all down the line-up with 38 from Joe Copperwaite and 27s from in-form batsmen Jordan Powell and Jack Davison. As for Captain Joel Gallagher he added another 10 fours and 2 sixes to his 2019 haul with 82 at the top of the order. We posted 214 all out with 3 wickets to each of Ben Hemsley and Neil Copping. Tom Fothergill winkled out Congs overseas Johandre Barnard [Cape Town, S Africa] for 38 and returned 3-30 in 12 excellent overs. Jack Ellis added a further 3 [for 55] but the attack found Mohammed Adil in resilient mode. Batting at no 6 he scored 56 to lift Congs to 211 before he fell, eighth out. Congs needed just four to win which duly came from Charlie Raistrick with 9 balls to spare. A defeat but a competitive challenge was again made, as that 42 all out at Crossflatts was now a distant memory. 2-0-3 [6 points].
Cowling were back in Division One after a two-year rebuild in Division Two. Home team Cowling won the toss and opted to bat first. Jack Ellis whipped out the openers and another great start ensued. Oaks were held up by overseas no 5 Liam Foulkes [NZ] who remained not out on 49 at the close of their innings. Harry Hollingsworth again showed the value of his high-level coaching with Pro Coach with 4-21 whilst Jack Davison made the bowling leader-board for the first time in 2019 with 3-37 as Cowling closed on 164 all out. It was again that man Foulkes who proved the difference in the sides as his bowling delivered 5-25 to hold up our batting. In-form Jack Davison was our top-scorer with 29 with five others getting starts but none going on to provide a match-winning knock. Our reply was a disappointing 116 all out, thanks primarily to Foulkes. We now stood at 2-0-4. However the following day we again had to face Cowling [and Foulkes] at Home in the first round of the Wynn Cup, this year in a 20-20 format. It was a different day, a different venue, a different format and a different outcome. Harry Hollingsworth once again showed class with a restraining and vital 3-8 in his 4 allotted overs. But it was old-stager Michael Davison who prized out Foulkes  to further undermine the Cowling batting. It was Azeem Hussain who proved the hurdle to get over as he made 54 [4 sixes] but who was teased out by the leg-spin from Matty Lee. It was Cowling's turn to end their knock on 116 with 8 wickets back in the hutch. If we had any doubts about our batting fire-power, they were soon banished as Jordan Powell did his thing with 9 sixes in a shattering 16-ball innings of 62 no! We needed just 86 balls to reach the target with 5 wickets down. Division Two side Cononley awaited us in Round Two.
With two home matches coming next perhaps we could now get the league results back into line? But annoyingly the weather intervened and there was no play in the derby match with Haworth and the match vs Sutton were rained off after 16 overs with Oaks on 67-4. Frustratingly we now stood at 2-2-4.
Baildon Bottom was our next venue with a tough match against high-flying Haworth Road. We won the toss and opted to bat but soon found ourselves at 19-3. Not for the first time this year, Jack Davison , Robert Hollingsworth  and Jordan Powell  led the re-build and carried us to 151-6. The tail wagged and a final posting of 197 all out was achieved. Zahir Abbas [3-31] and Mohammed Zahid [3-40] did their best to contain our efforts. Having used six bowlers, skipper Joel Gallagher brought himself on for a rare stint and he did the trick getting rid of major thorn in our side Deepal Dissanayake who had made 83. But the damage was done and completed by Shaheed Saleem's 39. The home side reached their target of 199-5 with almost 7 overs in hand. It had been a good batting effort that arguably deserved better reward as the bowlers for the firs t tine this year struggled to make inroads. 2-2-5. But we had an immediate chance to get back in the saddle with the Wynn Cup-tie on the Sunday. We chose to insert the visitors which proved a correct decision as Cononley wickets tumbled with regularity. Opening bowlers Harry Hollingsworth and Ellis Marshall hit their straps and picked up 5 wickets between them. Tom Fothergill and Rick Cavender also got in on the act and a typical run out from Jordan Powell left Cononley at 84-9 after the 20 overs. In a reprise of the First Round, Jordan again posted a 16-ball innings, this time with 54 not out to his name, with 2 fours and 7 sixes. Game over in just 7.2 overs with Oakworth on 86-2.
Long-term friendly rivals Embsay were the next Wide Lane visitors who were struggling somewhat at the foot of the Division. They arrived with young bowler Sam Arkwright on fine form and his bowling brought Embsay 6-48 in his 12 overs. But the Oakworth batting was also on-song and with a decent start at 76-2 coming from openers Joel Gallagher  and Joe Copperwaite  the platform was set to post 200 plus. No 3 Lucas Keslinke continued their good work with 49 and then Robert Hollingsworth again picked up the cudgel with 85 and then his cousin Harry Hollingsworth added 38 from no 7. Our final tally was a terrific 295-9. Another 76-2 start gave Embsay some confidence they might be able to challenge our total and No 5 Ben Davey, like Lucas, fell for 49. Another 34 from Haroon Ali propelled them past 200 and as expected the Skipton-side gave a good account of themselves. But the off-spin from Tom Fothergill [3-62] slowed them a little and they ended at 243-9, 52 short but a really good effort. back on track.. 3-2-5 [11 points]. Hainworth Lane was our next port of call and a match with Ingrow. Ingrow elected to bat and had opener Will Rankin in fine nick. He held their innings together with a fine 75 although it was no 10 Adeel Munir who provided most backing with 34no. James Lee was our lead bowler with 3-56 as the Ingrow boys tallied 189-9. But a 21-4 we were on the back foot, thanks to Dan Scott's bowling. But Harry Hollingsworth's combination with Jack Davison reversed matters in a 119-run stand before Jack was out for a sterling 51. Harry held things together and personally progressed to 71 before giving Will Rankin an lbw in return for his 55 runs conceded. We ran out winners at 190-9 with 7 balls in hand thanks to James and Rick Cavender at the end. 4-2-5 [14 points].
So at the halfway mark we were in the positive on 14 points. We re-started in good heart with the Home return with league-leaders Crossflatts. Our innings was dominated by the bowling of Mohammed Shannawaz with 4-14 from 12 controlled overs. Joe Copperwaite was our top scorer with a modest 19 as we struggled to get on top of the 'Flatts attack. We eeked it out to 101 all out in the 40th over. Our tweakers Tom Fothergill and Joe responded in kind and kept the Crossflatts batsmen in check but the telling innings came from Harris Hussain with 32. Tom's 3-37 and Joe's 2-13 were excellent responses but 101 wasn't anywhere near sufficient runs to convert the match into a sixth win. Crossflatts reached their target in the 28th over with six wickets down. There had been no repeat of our opening day disaster and we had given Crossflatts a decent run for their money. 4-2-6 with a Wynn Cup match to come the following day against Crossflatts again at Wide Lane. It was Shannawaz with the bat that caused early obstinance with 63 and then the venom from Joe Greenwood allowed the visitors to accelerate to 199-5 at almost 10 per over in their 20 overs. It was a bit of a blast with double-wicket taker Jack Davison conceding 48 in his 4 overs! For Oakworth Joe Copperwaite responded well taking a great 68 from their attack whilst Harry Hollingsworth also enjoyed his 31 runs but this time it was Was Hussain with 4-18 who made the difference as we ended at 153-8 and Crossflatts progressed to the Wynn Cup semi-final.
Back in league action Denholme were our visitors as we hoped to reverse our earlier defeat at their spot. We made early inroads with Denholme at 39-3 but Ben Burkill  and Ronnie Chukununga  heralded another 27 from Callum Gerrard. The tally was 177 all out with Harry Hollingsworth showing further top form against the frog-boilers with 4-48. Joe Copperwaite continued his good run with similar figures late in the innings. In our reply we stuttered to 58-5 thanks to the close attention of Ryan Judson and Toby Priestley. Harry again stood out with 40 but when Jordan Powell  and Scott Dyson [40no] added 59 together, the picture began to change. But despite Scott's resolution our tail couldn't wag sufficiently to overhaul the total and we finished at 161 all out, 16 adrift, Judson finishing with 3-46 and Priestley 3-64. Now with 4-2-7 we had joined Denholme in the lower reaches of the Division. The following week was the scheduled return with the fading Champions Barrowford but it was defeated by the weather. 4-3-7 and 15 points. Next Foulridge came seeking revenge for our mammoth 407-7 score at the Noyna. They posted 190 all out with 57no from Chris Brooker-Carey and 44 from Abrar Sarwar prominent scorers. But form-man Harry Hollingsworth was in the middle of a great run of excellence, this week returning a magnificent 5-40 in his 11.4 overs. The 3-43 from Tom Fothergill was also very helpful. Oaks had roped-in a number of reserves to cover for absences and 16 year-old Bradley Powell laid a marker down with 54 in the reply which was was held in check by Sarwar with 4-52 and the 3-fors for Shabhaz Munir and Brooker-Carey were too much to allow us to reach the target, reaching just 142 all out. At 4-3-8 we were slipping down the Division and getting sucked into the relegation fight. But for the second time this year the poor weather intervened and prevented any play against either Bingley Congs or Cowling and prevented any possibilty of more points. We stood at 4-4-8 with five matches remaining.
The derby match at West Lane Haworth was an ideal opportunity to get back in the groove, although Haworth then sat in the top four. We started poorly and at 32-4 wee in a spot of trouble after former Oakworth junior Oliver Bishop took out our openers. But 45-5 became 89-6 thanks to a titanic effort from the skipper Joel Gallagher who went on to tally 71 in our eventual total of 135-8 with young Bishop walking tall with 4-48 from his 11 overs. It was then business as usual from Haworth stalwart Jamie Rowell who put in 50 no to settle snugly with 50 from Dan Trowers. The Bronte boys galloped to the points in just 24 overs at 139-2, 24 of them coming from Oakworth junior manager Michael Thompson. At 4-5-9 our position was now serious and the 'D' word was in the minds of many, if not on the lips. The lovely aspect of Royd Hill Sutton was our next venue and Joel inserted the home side. Wickets fell fairly regularly with all our bowlers in the ascendancy. Rick Cavender finished off the Sutton knock at 129 in the 38th over with 3-17 from 5.3 overs. Only Criag Thornton with 45 had offered much in the way of fight as part of their share in the relegation battle. Yet again it was the skipper Joel Gallagher who led the way with 53 no as we took just 23.4 overs to pass the Sutton total with only 2 wickets down. The pressure was eased a little as we stood at 5-5-9 with 3 to play.
The penultimate league match at Wide Lane had second-placed Haworth Road as opposition and a keen encounter was expected. It was left to no 6 Zahir Abbas to make real impact with 54 after opener Chris Griggs had posted a prominent 71 in a team tally of 188-9. Again Rick Cavender shone with the ball, this week snaffling 3-25 with Jack Davison adding 2-17. We reached 120-3 with solid contributions from the top order. Jordan Powell as ever pushed the rate upwards making a personal 57. The 33 from Robert Hollingsworth was the telling knock as support to Jordan and Harry Hollingsworth . The 190 came up in only 28.2 overs to grab the points with a successive victory. 6-5-9 and a glimmer of light was twinkling. Our bid for a trio of wins was to be at Shires Lane with rivals Embsay. Joe Copperwaite chipped in 37 and Harry Hollingsworth 26 to aid us in reaching 78-4. Robert Hollingsworth again stepped up with 38 and some tail-wagging took us on to 176-9. Collectively we had battled well despite the 5-60 from Arsalan Hussain. The second stanza belonged to Jack Davison [4-34] and Harry Hollingsworth [3-34] as Embsay tried hard to reach our total. Jack Kitching made 44 and Mohin Saghir 32 with Ben Keane on 26. But our bowling attack had proved just too good and the Embsay innings ended at a creditable if losing 156 all out, 20 runs adrift. Big sighs of relief at 7-5-9 and we were now clear of danger. The last match was the Wide Lane return by Ingrow, who chose to muddle their batting line-up as they too were safe. Not surprisingly their start was disastrous at 17-5 before Jason Roberts  and Tom Tetley  stopped the rot. Abid Hussain then added 36 and the inevitable Dan Scott another 40 before they ended at 173 all out. Jack Davison again led the bowlers with 3-15 and Joe Copperwaite added 2-24 in a 9-man Oakworth bowling attack. An opening 51 from star all-rounder Harry Hollingsworth was a great start and the 37 from Jordan Powell set us well on the road. All contributed enough to carry us emphatically to a fourth victory in a row at 174-5 in only 31 overs. A final out-turn of 8-5-9 was very welcome indeed.
The four wins in a row at the end of the campaign were very much needed and they allowed us to finish the season in sixth place, down just one spot from 2018. Considering the combined losses of Ben Howell, Lewis Wrathall and Drew Duffy it was a fantastic outcome. Additionally the two breaks enforced by the weather didn't do us any favours with winnable fixtures abandoned. At Home our form slipped back with 4-3-4, whilst away form of 4-2-5 remained static. Our batting at home pleasingly improved by 23% to 1,603 runs at 22.90 per wicket lost; 2.03 better than in 2018. Overall we scored 3,147 runs [3,170 in 2018] at an average of 21.70, up 0.84 [4%] on 2018. The bowling average out-turn based on 2,927 [down 320] runs conceded for 136 wickets [down 27], was 21.52 [up 1.60], approx 7.5%. In 2019 at Home the batsmen showed a 23% improvement but the bowlers fell back by around 30%. On our travels the batsmen maintained form whilst the bowlers improved by 4%. Overall our position was within 1% of last season.
So overall [both teams] run-scoring in the 9 matches on the Wide Lane strip was 3.136 [up a massive 569] for the combined loss of 142 wickets [up 3] or 22.08 per wicket fallen. Elsewhere the 9 matches involving Oakworth, the figures were a combined 2,938 runs [down 912] for 139 wickets [down 37] or 21.13 per wicket, almost matching the home strip value. The team lost 7 fewer wickets than in 2018 in making more or less the same number of runs; a definite step forward. However wicket-taking away proved more difficult, 136 coming our way [down 27], although at the same time restricting run-making by 320 runs. Oakworth batted first 9 times, winning 4 and losing 4. Batting second produced also 4 wins from 9 matches. Our highest score was the new club record 407-7 at Foulridge. Our lowest total was the abysmal 42 at Crossflatts in the opening match.
In 2018 we had just one player with an average
over 30 [Ben Howell] and only Drew Duffy with more than 400 runs. But
this year of course neither were in our line up. Nevertheless we
produced three players with more than 400 runs and 3 with an average
over 30. And they ran each other close for the top spot. This eventually
went to Jordan Powell who racked up 464
runs at 30.93 in a season of more regular scoring for the big
hitter. He had one century  in May vs Barrowford, the only one our
batsmen secured. Breathing right down his neck was the skipper
Joel Gallagher in his best season ever with 461 runs at 30.73.
His form has gone from good to great, sadly ending with a broken finger!
At Foulridge his part in the titanic 407 score was a brilliant 99,
spoilt only by the umpire's finger! Also experiencing his best ever
season was Robert Hollingsworth who has
developed his game substantially and his reward was 451 runs at 30.07.
What a trio! As in 2018 we had a magnificent seven men with over 200
runs so in fourth place was young all-rounder
Harry Hollingsworth, Robert's cousin who was at home opening the
innings or in the middle order. He tallied a stunning 379 runs at the
same time as assuming the leading bowler role. His average was 21.06
with a best of 71. Another all-rounder Jack
Davison came next, also with a career best of 316 runs at
26.33. Jack was a consistent performer and partnership maker, his
highest of the season 58. Another handy lad with both bat and ball was
Joe Copperwaite who ended with 264 runs at 16.5, amazingly also a
career best, although his best was surprisingly just 38. Finally one of
our latest junior cabs from the ranks Lucas
Keslinke took the wicket-keeping role as well as one of the
batting squad. He returned a satisfying 226 runs at 16.1 and carved out
a place as quick scorer in 20-20 formats. So in terms of asking for
effort and commitment the top seven ALL had
their best ever seasons!! Tom Fothergill, Richard Cavender and Ellis
Marshall were regulars at the lower end of the order but all contributed
as did 2nd Xl squad players when called upon; Bradley Powell, Scott
Dyson, James Lee and Jack Ellis.
The bowling attack was led in fine style by
Harry Hollingsworth with a
league-qualifying 30 wickets at 16.82 from his 132 overs. He bowled with
pace and accuracy in only his first FULL season. He returned a Five-for
[5-40] vs Foulridge and twice took 4-fors. His opening partner
Ellis Marshall had a slightly leaner time
this year with just 13 wickets from his 96 overs, although he did
return a terrific 5-76 in the rout of Foulridge. He is still only 16 and
his left-arm style proves very valuable in effective containment of
right-handed batsmen. Off-spinner Tom Fothergill
pushed his second season to a haul of 29 wickets, picking up wickets in
almost every match, missing qualification for league averages by just
one wicket. His average was 20.48 from his 144 overs with a best of
3-30. Joe Copperwaite bowled only 69 overs
but still picked up 15 wickets, his best 4-48. Backing the front line
bowlers well was Rick Cavender,
injured for part of the season, and he picked up 13 wickets at 19.85
with a best of 3-17. Finally puzzlingly under-used to some tune, leggie
Jack Davison added 12 wickets in just 31 overs at an
exceptional 11.42 per wicket. James Lee  and Jack Ellis  filled in
superbly when required.
Catching is a vital art and there aren't many
better than Robert Hollingsworth who this
year grasped 14 and added a run-out for good measure. Jack Davison and
Joel Gallagher each concluded the year with 9 victims. Behind the
timbers the first year for Lucas Keslinke
proved a satisfactory debut with 9 catches and 5 stumpings to his name.
So what does this season tells us about our
prospects for 2020? It shows that the rebuilding is going well and that
the batsmen are responding with record returns. Joel has indicated he
will give up the Captaincy for 2020 so the priority will be to settle
that position as soon as possible to enable the new incumbent to start
his planning in advance of the season's start. The current players will
continue to be under pressure from rising 2nd Xl star all-rounders
Bradley Powell and Charlie Raby and the emerging side looks to be very
youthful whilst including 32 year-old Joel who will remain as a batsman,
and Robert . On the bowling front there is arguably room for a
new attacker and some feel that man could and should be Jack Ellis if he
can commit to a full season. Its not that long since he had a 50-wicket
season. Richard at 37 remains super-reliable and will no doubt continue
to be called on for a year two more. The attack though remains nicely
balanced including an offie, a leggie and a left-armer to back up front
man Harry. Lucas Keslinke has done more than enough to retain the
wicket-keeper role and he will surely go on to raise his returns yet
higher. Whether the squad can develop quickly enough to mount a serious
challenge to the top three is an unknown but if 2019 is anything to go
by, the boys do learn very quickly!
A number of rumours have been circulating about player signings, particularly of former Oakworth player returns, but as always there's a long way to go to 2020 and a new Captain to appoint.