2018 – Bradford League Championship One 1st Team


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Bradford League Championship One 1st XI  

Match Reports 2018

League Position = 5th, 242 Points

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Ossett v Pudsey Congs

At Queens Terrace

Saturday September 1st, 2018

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

With a weakened side, Congs put up a spirited performance admirably led by James Ford. The batting revolved around Billy Akhtar who was eventually eighth out for a controlled yet classy 88, a complete and welcome contrast to his last weeks effort, full marks. Rafique gave valuable support and it was good to watch a last wicket stand that gave us an additional bonus point, between debutant Hill and Dominic Edwards (2nd appearance).

202 looked enough especially when Ossett, facing relegation, lost 3 early wickets, two to Rafique but the fourth wicket was not captured till the score reached 90 as Anderson and Hitch (10 x 4) played with care and attention. Malone then played his part as our 3 regular seam bowlers worked hard and tirelessly but were guilty of bowling too full too often but they never gave up as alas dropped catches hit them hard and regretfully cost us the match.

Ford deployed his meagre resources well and Chris Hill captured 2 wickets in a tidy 3 over spell and neither of our youngsters put a foot wrong in the field. All very encouraging.


Pudsey Congs v Morley

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday August 25th, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Kath Reason

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

After a terrific fielding display and accurate pace bowling (the most tidy and hostile of the season) our batting was abject, collapsing from 88 for none to 137 all out and giving the impression that we had no idea how to manipulate the scoring rate or bat with conviction for any lengthy period of time.

Jubb and Rush certainly did not hurry but their joint 108 runs and patient approach for Morley became even more valuable as the game progressed. How I wished that lesson could have been learned by the Congs batters.

178 was a decent score on a pitch that offered a bit to the bowlers but not insurmountable especially as Akhtar and Ford played fluently against the opening pace attack, that is until the spin attack joined in. Akhtar hit four maximums but perished stranded down the pitch to be stumped, a wicket thrown away, utter carelessness by this experienced cricketer. The dye was cast, Ford fought on to 68 quality runs to support his blemish free wicket keeping display, but received no support as Nebard and Cooray captured 9 victims between them as they plugged away relentlessly as Congs sunk without trace.

A poor day alround each of our teams losing heavily, seconds and thirds short of players yet how many players practice? How many players miss fixtures?

After this poor day, big decisions must be made and an improvement in approach to the remaining fixtures and onwards to 2019


Yeadon v Pudsey Congs

At the White Swan Ground

Saturday August 11th, 2018

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

After our narrow loss to the league leaders last Saturday, we narrowly beat bottom club Yeadon in a match we should have won at a canter. Fourth place was our reward but we must concentrate longer in matches which go almost to the maximum 100 overs.

Allen and Rafique bowled quickly on a fast pitch and although overall a little short of a length, were unlucky not to find the edge and at 128 for 1, albeit at slow pace, it took a very smart catch from Sharma from the bowling of Donnelly to effect a breakthrough. From then on the bowlers worked hard Wisniewski collected 4, Donnelly 2, Adam Patrick bowled a tidy spell but Jamie Allen was the pick of the bowlers 15 -4-38-1 as Yeadon folded for 189.

Akhtar went first ball which was not to be the last case of a careless dismissal but Sharma played the gem of an innings stroking 13 classy boundaries and 1 maximum in a quality knock of 83. Gibson, Donnelly, Lindley-Dawe and Backhouse all got in but perished and it was left to Jamie Allen with 16 not out and Rafique to see us home with many overs to spare in what turned out to be a hard won but merited victory.


Hunslet Nelson v Pudsey Congs

At Gypsy Lane

Saturday July 28th, 2018

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

A hard won victory to complete the double was achieved by good work and a top bowling display. The margin of victory was too close for comfort as both sides found it difficult to score runs on a slow low surface. Moodley, on his first team debut, battled hard for 21 and looked at ease as anyone on both sides. Backhouse also scoring an important 18 in 58 balls against a very accurate attack headed by Murphy and Hinchliffe. Jacques Allen lifted the tempo with 26,3×4 & a huge 6 but Cross caused damage with 4 for 36, Congs closing on 123 which was judged as 30 below par.

But we did not know that the entire Congs bowling attack were going to bowl so well as everyone bowled with purpose and most importantly accuracy. Jamie Allen and Mustafa set the standard with pace and a tight line, very tidy. Donnelly bowled a brilliant spell of 8 overs 3 for 6, Sharma & Jacques Allen were also accurate and Wisniewski was a constant threat. Backhouse rotated his bowlers, not allowing the batters to settle although Murphy added the days top score of 35 to go along with his 3 wickets. This was a top Yorkshire style fixture played by two determined sides giving no quarter but when Wisniewski dismissed Murphy and returned to claim the last wicket at 1930 hours in damp wet cold and windy conditions, the entire team deserved praise for snatching an important win.

Captain Backhouse emerged with credit handling his attack with skill and daring and every one of them were on the top of their game.

Full marks Congs.


Pudsey Congs v Batley

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday July 21st, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – James Middlebrook

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

At last a performance of a standard that befits the best traditions of our Cricket Club.

Bowling first after a couple of early wickets from Rafique and Jamie Allen, Zamurad used his power to hammer nine ferocious boundaries and at 65 for 2, Congs supporters feared the worst. Donnelly then dismissed the dangerous Zamurad with a beauty caught behind and Jacques Allen started an excellent spell of 9 overs, split at both ends to rip through the middle order with 4 for 26. Congs fielding supported their bowlers with Jamie Allen effecting a run out with top skills and James Lindley-Dawe making an energetic and effective contribution throughout. Wisniewski was not to be ignored pouching 2 victims adding to his growing reputation. Skipper Backhouse took a good catch and marshalled his forces as his team realised that they just might be promotion contenders!
134 to win.

Akhtar does not, usually, have the best of luck but being dropped first ball at extra cover seemed to inspire him to reveal his exciting range of shots. He lead the way with 46, 42 coming through boundaries whilst Ford played an ideal supporting role but later blossomed in partnership with Sharma to finish up 59 not out, just what the doctor ordered as Congs cruised to a 9 wicket victory in fine style.

Congs supporters struggled to recall the last victory that was achieved without being caused acute anxiety but will welcome more displays of this quality.

Very well played everyone.


Pudsey Congs v Baildon

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday July 7th, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Peter Marsh

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

Congs grasped the maximum points with relief as the game rocked and rolled between two evenly matched teams on a perfect batting pitch and lightening fast outfield.

Sharma got the innings of to a rapid start with 9 boundaries in his score of 38, Gibson continued the good work moving solidly to 73, Backhouse 29, Donnelly 57 not out, Jamie Allen 29 all played with purpose and skill. Bailey finishing with 5 for 41 was the pick of the attack. 263,enough? maybe.

Jamie got us off to good start with 2 quick wickets then Iqbal 66 sheperded stands with others. Left arm spinner Wisniewski plugged way in a good spell aided by clean catching! Substitutes Turnbull and Ferguson fielded well and Rafique returned to clean bowl the last two to claim another tense victory. Jamie 4 for 42, Rafique and Wiz three apiece in an all round team improvement.

More please.


Pudsey Congs v Wrenthorpe

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday June 30th, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Barry Wilson

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

On a perfect batting pitch sadly Congs slipped in all disciplines to a crushing defeat.

After a good team performance at Gomersal, hopes were high, but soon faded as 5 catches were dropped as all bowlers suffered but did not help themselves by lapsing in to leg side direction. Having said that, Sleightholme played very well, realising that a big score was on he proceeded with 21 boundaries and in a partnership of 223 with Ibrahim, 139 not out, 22 boundaries 2 maximums put the game out of reach. Allen and Donnelly were the pick of the bowlers but the fielding did not sustain the attack in such batting friendly conditions.

Out of reach ? Ahktar set off like a house on fire 9×4, 2×6 and at 8 an overs we were cruising until he chased a widish delivery and was caught of a skier, 70 for 2. Thereafter against some tidy disciplined bowling, we were caught too often on the back foot until Sharma and Captain Backhouse (37) provided encouragement. Sharma, with 10 boundaries, reached 67 with a polished front foot display but even with this stand the tail could not reach 225 for the final batting point.

Very ordinary, it is hard enough to gather 10 wickets on such a good surface but to get 15 is nigh impossible.

We must improve our fielding.


Gomersal v Pudsey Congs

At Oxford Road

Saturday June 23rd, 2018

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

Congs climbed into 4th league place with another lengthy and tense victory despite totalling 315.

A good pitch, very fast outfield as Congs openers Ahktar(6×4) and Sharma (5×4, 1×6) set off like a house on fire in a stand of 47. Gibson 63 (14×4) was sound as he built his innings and Hussain steady as he found his form. The innings then burst into life again with a partnership of 106 between Donnelly 73 (10×4) and Rafique 63 not out, put the tiring bowlers to the sword as we passed the 300 mark and started to wonder if 315 would be enough!

Yes, we thought as Allen and Rafique each claimed an early victim. No, as Hutchins and Wear built a stand, maybe as Wisniewski took 2 wickets in one over. Then came the innings of the match as Seddon took charge (5×6) one of which carried at least 50 yards over the clubhouse and over the car park landing on the main road! Add 5 fours to that, meant that his strike rate was over 217 in a blistering spell. Captain Backhouse kept his nerve, it was he who broke the earlier partnership with a magnificent one handed catch off his own bowling. Chapman was brought on to bowl on his debut and his first ball almost took a wicket down but he stuck well to the task. Anybodies game at this point. The Captain then pulled another ace from the pack as he replaced Wisniewski with himself taking two further wickets and Rafique the same, dismissing the dangerous Seddon, as we managed to claim the points.

We worked hard for this win and this young team stuck to their tasks, none more so than Wisniewski, the left arm teenage spin bowler who in 13 overs was the only bowler to go for less than 4 an over on either side, remarkable!

To be honest, the whole match was remarkable, well played team.


Pudsey Congs v Ossett

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday June 16th, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Kath Bales

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

Jamie Allen gave another reminder of his all rounder qualities as again he clinched the points for the Congs with 22 not out in a tight and tense situation. Assisted by the imperturbable Wisniewski, they completed the job in our best overall batting performance for some considerable time.

On a perfect batting pitch Van De Merwe batted with care and patience to post 104 as an example of how to build an innings. Newton hurried the score along with 43 (6×4 & 2×6) with only Jacques Allen keeping the run rate in check. Overall our quicker bowlers strayed down leg side far to often and Wisniewski suffered 2 dropped catches but claimed 3 victims and Jamie Allen 4, as Ossett closed on 231.Congs ground fielding much improved. Then it rained, welcomed by our groundsman and eventually helped the Congs as we lost 2 overs which meant that we could achieve a draw providing we were not bowled out.

Ford again and Ahktar played fluently scoring all round the ground in a stand of 70 before Ahktar fell for 35. Ford, however, continued his fine run of form with a mixture of terrific shots and careful accumulation of singles, well played. He was helped by Backhouse, run out at the bowlers end by a deflection, the umpire seemed in difficulties in coming to a decision but our Captain walked off knowing he was out. What a good example in these competitive times! Donnelly then put the bat to good use in scoring 29 important runs before Jamie saw us overtake the 231 required at about 20:25 luckily still in decent light. It was not until I started this report that I noticed the extras, we conceded 9, Ossett 40! A big helping hand.

Nearing halfway in the season, we have won 4 lost 4, with displays like this can we improve our position? I think we will.


Morley v Pudsey Congs

At Scatcherd Lane

Saturday June 9th, 2018

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

A six required of the last ball of an entertaining match, proved beyond a vastly improved batting display especially by acting Captain Ford who had a hard fought 94 in 134 balls to lead the run chase with style and energy.

Congs bowlers tried hard throughout with Jacques Allen being the pick with 3 for 31 in 10 overs of off spin, very well bowled. The innings of Thomas propelled Morley to 230 with an array of well timed strokes to all corners of this huge playing area at Scatchard Lane. The match was lost through some shoddy Congs fielding, two catches going down but the ground fielding was untidy and sometimes listless as Morley piled on the runs. Rafique 3 wickets, Slater 37 and Gibson 29, backed Ford’s efforts but despite much sweat the match ended in tears for Pudsey.

As an aside we must speed up our over rate if we are to bowl at our best in the last few overs. Better but lots or work still to be done.


Pudsey Congs v Bankfoot

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday June 2nd, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Complete Joinery Services

No Match report


Undercliffe v Pudsey Congs

At Intake Road

Saturday May 26th, 2018

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

Congs travelled to Intake Road for their Saturday in the sun, to Intake Road Bradford 2 that is. For our supporters it’s a good job it was sunny as much of our cricket appeared to be in the dark.

Six, yes 6 catches!!! were dropped, possibly one that was difficult, as for the first time this season our bowlers bowled well as a unit especially early on as Allen and Sharma were unlucky as the openers played and missed & edges did not go to hand. But once the epidemic of missed chances started, only Donnelly maintained control of the scoring rate in a economical spell and Wisniewski bowled with maturity in limiting the home side to 261 in a very tidy last few overs.

Ford and Ahktar began our reply with Ahktar scoring freely on the off side before falling to a smart catch for 36. From then we battled on against a steady accurate attack but we were unable to rotate the strike to provide a platform for someone to make a big score. Almost inevitably batters lost patience being dismissed for a variety of undistinguished shots. It was left to Sharma (27) and Wisniewski, both batting with composure, to take us to a single batting point in a gutsy last wicket partnership which suggested that they should both bat higher in the order.


Pudsey Congs v Hunslet Nelson

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday May 19th, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Clun Insure

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

On a faultless pitch, a fast outfield and a beautiful hot summers day, the two teams produced a remarkable match that ebbed and flowed till almost 8 o’clock or if you like 2000 hours.

Winning the toss Congs made steady progress against a lively attack and after two early wickets a partnership of 125 between Slater (82) and Captain Backhouse (70) containing 21 x 4’s and 4 x 6’s moved the score along at a fine rate. Running well between the wickets despite a few yes/no calls, they set the platform for Gibson to rattle up a shot explosion on a score of 51 and Donnelly to hit cleanly for 32 in 13 balls. 304 was surely enough, or was it?

Hunslet opener Murphy played a controlled innings, being patient and rarely missing a chance to score. Congs fielding was careless and sloppy at vital times but his was fine innings reaching 121 including a partnership of 145, 35 x 4’s, with all rounder Cross (91). Congs chipped away at the batters and a crazy run out smartly executed by Chappell was a rare piece of quality fielding. All the bowlers toiled away and another run out and three late wickets for Wisniewski, saw the home side squeak through to win despite some ill feeling about a Hunslet batter suffering a Mankad, run out at a vital stage.

However a win is a win but both sides bowled with difficulty spraying the ball to all parts. The match contained far too many extras including 14 wides and 11 no balls on this most benign surface showing the need for the old fashion virtues of line and length. Exciting though, with umpteen fabulous shots and spectators fielding and collecting the ball from all quarters.


Batley v Pudsey Congs

At Purwell Hall Road

Saturday May 12th, 2018

Match report courtesy of the Bradford League

Half-centuries by Musa Ahmed (52no) and Naveed Zamurad (51) helped Batley to a total of 219 against Pudsey Congs, whose best bowler was Max Chappell (4-56).
Mushy Rafique (37) and James Ford (31) were the top scorers as Congs were bowled out for 150 to lose by 69 runs. Muhammad Shahnawaz (3-22) and Naveed Zamurad (3-50) were the pick of the Batley bowlers.


Pudsey Congs v Gomersal

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Sunday May 6th, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Joanne Baxendale

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

After the win versus Hartshead Moor on Saturday,hopes were high in the Priestley Cup on the following day. Sadly our hopes took a hit within the first six deliveries, batting first no runs two wickets!! Worse was to follow 21 for 6!!! Thankfully Andre Stolarski and Mustafa Rafique had other ideas, Andre (first knock since August 2017) for 29 and Mustafa 38, batted with care and determination, working together they occupied the crease for some considerable time on a pitch that contained no demons. Jamie Allen 30 not out and Wisniewski, then put together a partnership with great skill and tactical awareness which occupied 12 overs and lifted the spirits of the team and home supporters alike taking the total to 156. A top effort which ndicates a strong team ethic. Very well done.

With such a score we had to take wickets, 156 could not be defended, but the initiative swung as the visitors got of to a quick response. Allen took an early wicket, Chappell claimed 2 wickets in one over but the batters played sensible cricket and despite being 6 down, they finished comfortable victors.

I regret the lack of detail in this report but I cannot for the life in me access the League results service. The only consolation is that Mrs Middlebrook, junior, my computer expert, cannot create access either.

My apologies for this situation.


Pudsey Congs v Hartshead Moor

At the Amber Cars Britannia Ground

Saturday May 5th, 2018

Matchball Sponsor – Derrick Reason

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

In a much improved performance, especially in the fielding and 100% effort throughout, Congs came away with the points on a good pitch with the entire ground looking magnificent in the long awaited sunshine.

Rafique and Jamie Allen started with pace and an accurate line as Khan looked in good  touch, and he kept the score moving before each bowler took a wicket. Good spells came from Wiesneski and Donnelly before Chappell entered the attack with the score on 121 for 3. He collected 5 wickets in no time with the aid of two smart slip catches by Slater as Max achieved turn on a good pitch which, nevertheless, demanded attention from the batters. Seven wickets went down for 40 runs and Congs, especially scorer Danny, enjoyed their tea.

Acting Captain and keeper James Ford showed his fitness and powers of concentration with a lengthy innings of 38 against accurate bowling especially from Khan again who finished with 15 overs 7 maidens none for 23, well bowled. Congs took their time and gained useful time in the middle and with Hussain 41 and Donnelly 28 not out, playing freely. Congs completed an important win to the delight of a decent crowd on this beautiful Summers day.


Baildon v Pudsey Congs

At Jenny Lane

Saturday April 28th, 2018

Match report by Ralph Middlebrook

Life in Championship One did not begin as one would wish as Baildon batted us out of the game with an opening stand just over a hundred with Hainsworth compiling an excellent innings of 68,well played, on a damp pitch which made batting difficult but was blameless throughout.

Acting Captain Ford, played a quality, patient innings of 34 and was well supported by Slater who applied himself really well for 15 overs before being dismissed by Mushtaq Ahmed who was in his element returning figures of 4 for 20 in 11 overs. From 32 for 1, Congs subsided to 92 for 8 a familiar story, and the reason we managed 130 was due to a classy 34 from Donnelly who played his best innings by far for the Congs, not out 34. Jamie Allen ably assisted with 16 important runs and at least we batted the full 50 overs.

Sadly the positivity that had been gained soon vanished with a very ordinary opening spell of 8 overs before left arm spinner Wisniewski firstly gained some control and then captured 4 wickets, plus an easy catch spilled at mid off, for 36 in just over 9 overs. Top effort Sam. For the second time in the match, Allen applied himself and bowled a nice line and length collecting 2 for 27 in a game he should remember.

Not a match in very cold weather the umpires and Congs spectators will take much comfort from. We will have to improve and fast.