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2007 Fourth XI

A season in Review 

by Stu Hardcastle

If success is measured purely by results, then you would share my disappointment in a 2007 campaign that has proved very tough for a team built around some emerging young talent. However, at the seasons lowest point a wise man (Mr RW Middlebrook) was on hand to remind me that its not always about the winning in the forth XI. Success is also measured in the finding, developing and forwarding of our young talent. With that in mind, Chris Brook and Jack Murgatroyd have made second XI starts, Chris Doey and Josh Purser 3rd XI starts, U17’s Danny Cockin and Danny Appleyard have put in consistently good performances all season, and U15’s captain Tom Brook cemented his place in the side with a senior 50. Meanwhile fellow juniors Chris Ingham, Ash Slater, Adam Patrick, Nathan Dalton, Wasim Bashir and the ever youthful “Legend” Colin Nelthorpe have all made their mark. Many people would say “a good job well done!” regardless of the results.


The 2007 Season! 

Our struggles started way back in November/December when the Dales Council announced it would be introducing the ECB mandatory bowling spells for under 18’s. This meant that the majority of decisions would be forced upon us by Lords rather than made by myself. The bowling mandate also meant that “older” bowlers like James Bragg and Chris Brook would be more than missed. The ECB mandate hit us hard straight away with Josh Purser and Sharr Ahmad forced out of the attack early at Esholt, a close game that under 2006 laws would have gone our way I’m sure. The trend continued all season with Chris Doey inparticular producing some quality but all too short spells.

I believe the season could have been so different had a couple of the ever so close games early in the season gone our way as victories bring confidence and a team spirit that we have so dearly missed this year. Frequent rained off matches have also been a problem with weather, making a string of confidence building performances impossible to put together not to mention the effect it’s had on the wickets!

It’s not been all doom and gloom though! Fantastic individual performances have been dotted around the season. With the bat Jack Murgatroyd has produced nearly 300 runs in 7 innings including, 50 (Rodley home) and a fantastic 76 not out in the cup (Baildon away) and 81 (New Wortley home) really earning his chance in the Bradford league. From junior to senior! Alistair Goodchild’s 57 not out ensured Meanwood would share the points after the rain had reduced our overs and put Meanwood in the driving seat followed by a match winning 118 not out on Farnley Park. Abid Bashire has found form towards the later half of the season following a good display at Shipley in the Cup he notched a match winning 54 away at New Wortley. James Galvin turned in a half century and a five wicket haul and Danny Cockin followed up his cup success with an accomplished innings away at Rodley when opening the order. Doey and Roycey have also put on some well earned runs as they blasted their way through the 30’s and 40’s several times, most notably Doey’s unbeaten 40 at Baildon.

With the ball, nothing if not consistent! All have performed well this year with everyone sharing the successes. Stand out performances from, Danny Appleyard 3 for 64 (meanwood) followed by 2-18 (Rodley) Chris Doey 3-26 (Shipley) and 3-26 (New Wortley) and Josh Purser 3-50.



Two obvious highlights stand out and one or two not so obvious highlights this season. First the obvious ones, clearly the cup run! All the lads really threw everything we had to give and more into that one and very nearly came away with the reward we so deserved. The first league win also features – Abids 50, great bowling from James Galvin, Chris Doey and Chris Ingham, the great fielding of Danny Cockin and the tail ender recalled after not hitting that caught behind! and a WIN! It really had everything.

The not so obvious highlight is the semi final defeat. Instant reaction will be why? – we lost? However – After a great innings with the ball, we found ourselves 3 wickets down without a run on the board. Having never given up, Roycey and Ash put together that 50 partnership followed by Paddy and Doey’s 70. At 123-7 cheered on by the third XI and other Cong’s folk, Colin smashed two boundaries over square leg! The tension and excitement unrivalled! As the heart break off that final wicket sunk in and the youngsters struggled to hold back the tears of bitter disappointment – the final highlight.

The highlight was and will be for a long time to come, the pride, passion, utter commitment, and emotion shown by all the Cong’s team that day. As a captain I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the boys that day – a little luck is all we missed out on.



Pudsey Congs v New Wortley


Saturday September 15th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

With all but 2 of the regular seniors playing elsewhere this week, it was a very young team that welcomed New Wortley to Fulneck. The team included three U15’s, two U13’s and three U12’s yet every one of them looked like a senior as they gave it there best shot. In contrast the visitors had experience in abundance and were feeling confident at the sight of their young opponents. Wortley were shocked as Jack Murgatroyd and younger brother Calum opened the batting with confidence and style. Callum’s natural talent was starting to overcome his nerves helped by his brother at the end when he was unfortunately beaten by a poor bounce. Hardcastle at three started to build on the brothers start with a useful partnership until edging one to the keeper. That brought U15’s captain Tom Brook to the party as Wortley were thinking about bowling us out cheaply. Jack who has scored in the region of 250 runs in just 7 starts for the 4th XI had other ideas and strolled effortlessly to yet another half century. At the other end Tom was also enjoying the junior feel to the game and settled quickly. Having spent many a junior match batting alongside each other it was clear the difference that understanding was making. Jack and Tom cruised past a 50 partnership and onto the seasons first century partnership and didn’t end there. When Jack was finally out for 81, Ash Slater set about the bowling in the last 5 overs, and Tom Brook closed in on his first ever 50. It was a nervous time for his captain and team mates as they all waited to congratulate Tom on a well deserved landmark. Surviving a couple of chances as he pasted through the 40’s he was stumped bang on 50! Congs ending the innings 199-4

The second innings would provide the perfect opportunity to look forward to next season. Opening the bowling Under 13’s seamer Steven Robinson gained some valuable experience at this level with Chris Ingham at the other end also growing with every game. Talk of the day was Callum Murgatroyed. His batting was followed up by a great spell of bowling conceding just 12 runs off 4 overs. Impressive displays also came from Nathan Dalton who has made several starts for the 4’s this year and impressed every time, followed by his younger brother Danny making his first appearance, both were indeed faultless in the field with tidy spells bowling! Ash Slater has also proved himself to be one of the finds of the season, another impressive batting display was also followed by a tidy bowling performance. New Wortley closed on 203-2 with both wickets going to Chris Ingham.



New Farnley “B” v Pudsey Congs


Saturday September 8th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

With Farnley just one point above us at the foot of the B division, the goal was simple. A win would lift us off the bottom and give us some much needed confidence going into the Winter. It was never going to be easy though, Farnley had no intention of coming of the bottom either and would make us work for every last little thing.

Cong’s got off to a great start batting first, Abi Bashir and Ali Goodchild survived a few early scares as they got to grips with an unpredictable track. The left handed Goodchild was soon enjoying the slow bowling and tennis ball bounce that was feeding his favorite shot, pulling the ball off his hips scoring freely behind square on the leg side. The wicket soon did for Bashire (17) quickly followed by the skipper (1) but Jack Murgatroyd got in and supported Ali as he raced to his second 50 of the year. By the time a “p-roller” removed Jack, there was only 15 overs left on the board and seven wickets in hand. James Galvin understood the game plan and executed it brilliantly. Attack! Scoring quickly and riding his luck, he was dominating the bowling, some great shots had the home sides heads dropping. Meanwhile Alistair was still motoring along nicely at the other side. He powered his way through the 80’s into the 90’s and without giving more than a half chance to the fielding side, completed his well earned maiden century in 1hr 20mins. Confidence was flowing through both men as the bowlers started to wilt, into the last. Another huge blow from Galvin was meet with a call from his team mates – “2 balls and 4 needed” for his first ever senior fifty! He had the bat to do it, but a huge play and miss, left just one ball. A combination of good bowling and good fielding resulted in a single. The unfortunate all rounder was never the less pleased with his knock and of couse like the the rest of us, made up for Alistair.

Alistair Goodchild 118 not out

James Galvin 47 not out. 

A simple team talk marked the start of the second innings. Farnley would not go quietly, the boundaries are short and the batsmen would not roll over! Remember neither side wanted to finish bottom. Work hard and play as a team!

Right from the start the luck appeared to favor the home side. After a very good shout for lbw was turned down off the very first ball, two thick edges would race away for four. D.Appleyard also found the luck was against him as Farnley attempted to start strong. It was 67-0 off just 10 overs when the first breakthrough fell to Dapple, superbly caught at mid-on by the “legend” nearly taken out by the enthusiastic Chris Ingham going for the same catch!! James Galvin replaced Dapple and started to change the game. Working well with Hardcastle at the other end, a string of 5 maidens from the skipper would bring reward for Galvin claiming his first two of the day. When the Farnley no.3 finally put bat to Hardcastle it resulted in a simple caught and bowled, followed soon after by more reward for his days work taking off stump out the ground a few overs later. Galvin’s day was also far from over, he removed two more before the stubborn Farnley batsmen shut up shop and attempted to bat out. Looking for his first ever 5 for, Galvin had to come out the attack as Cong’s attempted to break this useful partnership. The job fell to Chris Ingham, Nathan Dalton, and Dapple, between the three of them 2 more valuable wickets were claimed but time was ticking away. Into the last 8 overs Farnley were offering nothing blocking out and ultra defensive Hardcastle brought himself and Galvin back turning the screw instantly. Hardcastle had two hard chances go through the large slip cordon followed by Bashire just missing out on two catches fielding at silly cover point of Galvin. The pressure from the captain and his vice was building and it was now only a matter of time. Galvin struck, caught by Chris Ingham at leg slip Galver’s claimed his first ever 5 for and Cong’s claimed a well deserved 6 points!!! – A GREAT WIN

Bowling – James Galvin 5-48-16, Stu Hardcastle 2-32-16, Chris Ingham 1-20-3, Danny Appleyard 1-38-6, Nathan Dalton 0-10-2

Also! A special mention for an unsung hero of the day! The wicket keepers don’t always get the credit they deserve with wickets credited to the bowlers etc, but today Jack Murgatroyd was outstanding. Keeping is never easy especially in the Dales Council it was made even harder today. The seam bowlers had the ball swinging in the air, the captain had rediscovered his trademark in swing ball that seamed away and the wicket was proving hard to read. Adding to his troubles the bowlers, Dapple mainly, had found late swing. The ball bent like a banana between keeper and batsman. Jack, still only 14, stuck at it all innings never letting the situation get to him. Stopping the ball using any part of his body he could get in the way made some great stops behind the sticks and will no doubt have the bruises to prove it this morning



Rodley v Pudsey Congs


Saturday September 1st, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

The 1st of September and Summer looked to have arrived on the Canal Bank at Rodley!

With the opening pair of Goodchild and Bashire rewarded for their recent good form with promotion to the third team, Danny Cockin was asked to step up and open the Congs innings. Danny quickly settled into the role and looked in good touch scoring well especially on the leg side. Sharing in a 70 run partnership with the skipper, Cong’s were making the most of the few loose deliveries as the experienced and talented bowling attack kept things tight helped by some good fielding. Cockin (34) and Hardcastle (40) departed soon after each other, that allowed Jo Royce to free his arms and take the attack back to the bowlers. A quick fire 36 dealing mainly in boundaries pushed the score along at a nice pace. Under no pressure the last 10 overs allowed for Ash Slater, Nathan Dalton and Danny Appleyard to enjoy some much needed time at the crease as all looked to end the season on high note. In the home fixture earlier in the season Cong’s gave both Rodley openers a life line when both got dropped early in the innings and went on to punish Congs chasing down the target without losing a wicket. De ya Vu? A fantastic opening spell from Danny Appleyard had both batsmen in trouble from the start. Then the first life, Roycey uncharacteristically dropped a hard chance, followed by two more half chances through the slips. It was starting to feel like one of those days! Danny Appleyard’s tight opening spell had left the home side down on runs but with batting in hand the experience was showing. The Rodley plan started to go wrong when Chris Ingham bounced back from last weeks disappointment to trap Willougby (30) LBW.  Cockin’s great day continued too as he followed Ingham sending the other opener back caught and bowled on 47. It was 107-2 with 30 overs bowled before the “Legend” claimed the third wicket clean bowled. A really close game was about to get closer. Hardcastle returned to the attack with a maiden, Danny Appleyard returned and went one better with a wicket maiden. With just 1 run coming from Hardcastle’s next over and Appleyard again in the wickets Rodley were been made to really work hard for the win by the young Congs side. When Hardcastle claimed the wicket of Shaun Fenton the game hung in the balance but a poor bounce in the bowlers foot holes deceived Roycey and raced away four byes. C.Howarth was then given a life as a half chance was missed at point, his luck was in and when he edged Appleyard for four it was all over. A really great game of cricket and to there credit Rodley had nothing but praise for the teenagers that had given them a real test.

Bowling: Danny Appleyard 2-18-9, Stu Hardcastle 1-14-9, C.Ingham 1-19-5 C.Nelthorpe “legend” 1-19-4, D.Cockin 1-28-6, J.Galvin 0-32-7



Farsley v Pudsey Congs


Saturday August 25th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

Top of the table Farsley have a lovely ground in perfect condition for batting on!

Winning the toss Cong’s elected to do just that. Abid Bashire in fine form was dealing in boundaries this week and scoring freely.  Ali Goodchild in contrast was finding the going a little harder against the leagues number 1 bowler N.Mirza. Not surprisingly Mirza was the first to strike removing Bashire’s middle stump. Hardcastle started where Bashire finished, enjoying Mirza’s pace the skipper settled quickly. Mirza’s quality soon came to the fore with the wickets of Goodchild, Galvin and Cockin in quick succession. With his senior batsmen all back in the pavilion, Hardcastle played a captains innings taking on the majority of the strike as he attempted to defend his young lower order. Unfortunately Hardcastle found himself stranded at the non strikers end as Mirza picked of the juniors ending with exceptional figures of 8-35 off 16 overs. The Captains resistance was finally brought to end on 46 by Farsley Captain Stuart Tempest, and with it the final wicket of Wasim Bashire (u11) quickly followed, Danny Appleyard left not out.

Farsley were obviously in a rush to finish the game as the opening batsmen went for everything. A little hope for Cong’s came with two early wickets for the skipper and another good spell for James Galvin, but with 59 overs to reach a victory target off 109, Farsley were never under much pressure.

Bowling: S.Hardcastle 2-36-9 J.Galvin 1-37-8 D.Cockin 0-6-1 W.Bashire 0-4-1 N.Dalton 0-5-1 C.Ingham 0-20-2



New Wortley v Pudsey Congs


Sunday August 19th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

After yesterdays rain had washed out the Leeds Sikh game, it was a huge surprise to all involved that this double weekend would see any cricket at all. Amazingly cricket was played and we are so glad it did – A LEAGUE WIN for the young Cong’s that have deserved so much more this season. The Congs losing the toss and been asked to bat on a very soggy wicket and both the captain (6) and vice captain (4) departed early. Abid Bashire was the main man, a steady innings from the Cong’s in-form opener saw him grind out a half century. Abid was well supported along the way by Chris Doey (19), Jo Royce (10) and then a brilliant 6 not out from 12 yr old Ash Slater, that earned him much applause from the Wortley lads, edged Cong’s toward a defendable target.  126 – All out

The reply would require a good start and that’s just what we got. The very first delivery from Chris Doey produced a huge appeal for caught behind, and we were unlucky to be not given! The New Wortley openers were looking to dominate the young bowlers and with just 5 overs gone they’d both hit a big 6 each. Undeterred the youngsters fought back, Doey trapped Sagar LBW and Chris Ingham had Sadiq caught by Danny Cockin at cover. Ingham and Cockin teamed up once more to remove I.Mahmood and when in the same over the “Legend” caught the dangerous Richard Owen for a duck, thoughts of that first win were starting to surface. In truth New Wortley were always over and above the required run rate but the self belief missing for so much of the season was starting to reappear. Helped in no small part by Danny Cockin, who seamed to have the ball attached to him like a magnet, his excellent fielding skills led to yet another catch as he teamed up with James Galvin to remove A.Mahmood.  Hardcastle and Galvin were all too aware at this stage the game was far from won, Wortley captain “Firry” Fred Smith was a massive wicket. James Galvin’s best spell off the season had everything, genuine spin, quicker balls, slower balls, and just an occasional boundary! At the other end Fred was turning the tide back in favour of the home side until that is, he fell for a sucker punch! Moving the fielders from the leg side the skipper had set the trap! It took Galvin just one ball to snare his victim. Attempting to pull one into the gap Smith was undone by a quality delivery, his 34 in quick time left the home needing just 39 to win with 28 overs left. At 90-8 the games big talking point came as E.Hoare was given caught behind of the bowling of Chris Doey. Fielding at first slip, the skipper knew straight away he had not hit the ball. The skipper did the right thing, he called the batsman back and explained his decision to the umpire. In truth the ball from Chris was far too quick for the tail ender who slammed his bat into the ground more in self defence than offering a shot, the ball was already past him! I believe in the old fashion spirit of the game. Determined to win, but determined to win honestly in the true nature of the game. The Cong’s settled back down to the task in hand. An over or two later James Galvin trapped Hoare LBW and with Chris Doey cart wheeling middle stump at the other end the game was WON!

Wortley 94 – All out

Bowling: J.Galvin 4-17-8, C.Ingham 3-15-5, C.Doey 3-26-8, S.Hardcastle 0-29-5

Pudsey Congs v Leeds Sikh


Saturday August 18th, 2007

Rained Out – Report by Stu Hardcastle

Credit to the umpires and players for at least trying to get a game of cricket on in the rain!!! However with Cong’s 44-0 off 10 overs, Ali Goodchild 21 not out and Abi Bashire 18 not out, the rain got too heavy and was never going away. An early tea was taken as both sides attempted to beat the weather but there was only ever one winner – THE RAIN!

Meanwood v Pudsey Congs


Saturday August 11th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

The tough games just keep on coming! Winning the toss and sticking Meanwood in to bat, the Cong’s opening bowlers of “Legend” Colin Nelthorpe and new comer Chris Ingham got off to a good start as Watkins was run out by Hardcastle. All the bowlers would find the going tough though when Rob Child entered the game. Taking Hardcastle for 19 off one over before Galvin and Dapple 12 each of 1 over the hard hitting Child knocked the stuffing out of the young Cong’s XI. Danny Apppleyard however showed great commitment as he stuck to the task and removed Child for 73. It was a fantastic spell for Dapple as he ended the day with 3 wickets to his name.

 Bowling: D.Appleyard 3-64-8, C.Ingam 1-47-9. S.Hardcastle 1-56-8, Ash Slater 0-7-2, Wasim Bashir 0-14-2, J.Galvin 0-41-8, Colin Nelthorpe 0-48-8

The seconds innings highlights were short lived. Abid Bashir 22 and James Galvin 29 were the pick of the line up in terms of runs but Trev Purser and Mike Brook making the first starts of the year standing in at short notice produced some fine moments too!

Baildon “B” v Pudsey Congs


Saturday August 4th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

Another title chasing side for the Cong’s to take on! Batting first Ali Goodchild and Abi Bashir set about the bowling taking 30 off the opening 5 overs. When Bashire fell to M.Wildsmith the Cptain took over. With support from Tom Brook and then James Galvin the skipper smashed his way to 43 before taking on one shot too many. Chris Brook and Chris Doey then took up the action. Without letting the run rate drop, Chris Brook smashed 4×4’s and 1×6 in a quick fire 35 followed by Chris Doey with 6×4’s and 1×6 as he raced to 40 not out. Cong’s closed on 203 all out and can be forgiven for feeling confident off the elusive first win at tea.

 It was a feeling all too short lived as the short Baildon boundaries were proving all too easy for the Baildon top order to clear. With S.Bullock 63, K.Malik 25 and M.Wildsmith 47 not out, Baildon cruised to victory with a massive 12 overs to spare. Chris Brook and Chris Doey were the pick of the Cong’s attack.

Bowling: Chris Brook 2-35-11, S.Hardcastle 2-47-7, J.Purser 1-30-9, Chris Doey 0-27-6, J.Galvin 0-34-5, D.Cockin 0-23-3



Pudsey Congs C.C. v Farnley Hill

Saturday July 28th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stu Hardcastle

With the cup defeat still hurting, the team welcomed Farnley Hill, still chasing the title, to Fulneck. Chris Doey had been promoted into the thirds so Josh Purser filled his spot up the hill and struck early in a great opening spell, made even better when the strong head wind is taken into account. With his ECB regulated spell brought to a close, Arshad Mahmood took over into wind and found the going tough. Danny Appleyard had a good tight spell down the hill with no reward, James Galvin and Stu Hardcastle claiming a wicket each as Farnley Hill closed on 213-3.

 The second innings started well but when Ali Goodchild celebrated a six over square leg by pulling something in the groin area and retiring hurt, the batting orders resistance was short lived. Once again only three players scored double figures, the inform Tom Brook putting last weeks hospital visit behind him to top score with 24. Arshad and the skipper following close behind to complete the trio.



Mount v Pudsey Congs


Cawthorne Cup Semi Final

Sunday July 22nd, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

Finally the rain stopped and the long awaited Semi Final was on!  The tie had been moved to Fulneck as the Mount ground was underwater so winning the toss the Congs would field first. Leading from the front the skipper produced an blistering display of pace bowling taking 3 for 3 in just 3 overs to leave Mount deep in trouble. Chris Doey opened up from the other end and kept it tight conceding just 15 in his first spell. James Galvin, Adam Patrick, Danny Appleyard and Abid Bashire were all in wicket taking form as the home side looked to build on their start. Hardcastle ended his spell 3 for 10 off 8 overs as Mount’s middle order attempted to recover from 3 for 13 to 73 for 6. K.Rashid provided a sting in the Mount tail as he added a vital 22 before Chris Doey had him caught by Ash Slater in the covers. The first innings was outstanding with the lads putting their body on the line to keep the runs down, none more so than Tom Brook, a diving stop at point broke his finger and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

 Bowling – S.Hardcastle 3-10-8, C.Doey 2-24-8, James Galvin 2-40-8, Danny Appleyard 1-11-2, Adam Patrick 1-11-4, Abid Bashire 1-13-4, Ash Slater 0-19-2

Incredibly the second innings started like the first with the Mount bowlers returning 3 out the top 4 Cong’s batsmen to the hut without troubling the scorer. It was a fantastic spell rarely seen from a B division side let alone a C division club. The Opening bowlers had thankfully taken most of their allotted eight overs to dismiss the Cong’s captain exposing the Mount change bowlers to fired up and determined youngsters who would take centre stage. Having never given up Jo Royce was the first to set about the bowling with Ash Slater at the other end in support. The pair produced a fantastic 50 partnership before departing in quick succession. Up stepped Chris Doey and Adam Patrick, the pair added a further 70 run partnership before Doey was given LBW. Paddy continued looking like an experienced senior at times! As Cong’s threw everything into the final stages, Danny Appleyard was run out attempting to take on Mounts worried fielders. The atmosphere was unbelievable as the large crowd of Cong’s members and players cheered on the clubs young talent. Even the picture of composure that is the “legend” Colin Nelthorpe, couldn’t resist the tension. Striking some huge blows over square leg and cheering on young Paddy when at the non strikers end, Colin summed up the feeling in the Cong’s camp. At 128-8 just three runs short of victory heart break for the lads, as Adam was beaten by a yorker, a ball it must be said good enough to remove many a talented batsmen never mind a young bowler. With Tom unable to bat through injury the dream was over. It was one heck of a display that we can all be proud off. As the young’s Cong’s fought back the tears of disappointment, the skipper was left to fight back the tears of utter pride in the effort and commitment of his team. We gave it everything we had and some more, in the end it came down to a little bit of luck.


Pudsey Congs C.C. v Old Modernians

Saturday July 14th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stu Hardcastle

After bowling Old Modernians out for 118, the legend – Colin Nelthorpe taking four wickets on a damp but never the less good wicket, we failed to capitalise on the drying conditions getting bowled out for 51. Chris Doey after a good spell with the ball, top scored (11) with the bat. Danny Appleyard earlier claimed two surperb catches to earn the fielding point.



Shipley Providence v Pudsey Congs

Away at Salts Sports Ground

Cawthorne Cup Quarter Final

Sunday July 8th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

Yet another away day! The wicket at Salts Sports Ground finally looked in great condition after 3 failed attempts to play this fixture in recent weeks. The Cong’s skipper again lost the toss and was asked to bat first! Again the boys got off to a bad start with James Galvin tickling one to the keeper early doors. However that’s where all similarities to yesterday end. The skipper entered at three with some comments from the previous day haunting him, annoyed (with himself alone) and determined the skipper got his head down and started to bat, building a partnership with Abid Bashir. The game was finely balanced with the Shipley bowlers bowling a nice tight spell but Bashir and Hardcastle were starting to push on. Attacking the first change bowlers the run rate increased. Abid was eventually caught at cover but Danny Cockin joining the skipper brought a change in tactic. The two batsmen quick between the wicket started turning dots into singles and easy singles into quick twos pilling the pressure on the fielders. A small rain break allowed the Skipper and Cockin time to catch a breath. Now running singles to fielders as close as first slip and picking up a boundary or two, Hardcastle notched up his half century. With hard hitting Jo Royce and Chris Doey, and the quick running Tom Brook and Josh Purser still to come the skip went for everything. A few big hits followed before he bowed out (54), a cleaver little top spinner beating the bat. Royce joined Danny, the run rate never slowed as Royce found the river with a big six over the bowlers head. Danny Cockin’s great innings finally came to an end with 6 overs left. Chris Doey and Tom Brook made a great effort attempting to put runs on the board for the team rather than play for a personal score in the book. Josh Purser followed with the same team spirit as he chased the
bowling in the last over to finish 3 not out with Jo Royce 30 not out.


Pudsey Congs 163-7

A total of 163 was some what in the middle between defendable for the bowling side yet reachable for the batting side. The second innings was great for the neutral spectator but hell for both captains as the game yoyo’d too and fro. As the bell rung to start round 1 the opening bowlers Purser and Doey claimed an early wicket each, Jo Royce claiming his tenth wicket keeping victim in six games Cong’s in the driving seat. Last years finalists Prov wouldn’t roll over. The fight back was swift and brutal as the Prov middle order swung the bat hard and found a bit of luck, the ball refused to come to the Cong’s fielders. Seconds out and round 4! Galvin and Bashir tilted the game back toward the visitors. A catch from Hardcastle on the boundary edge,  some great fielding from Tom Brook, Adam Patrick and a run out from Danny Cockin still hadn’t secured the knock out blow as the Prov lower order battled on. Into the last round and the Cong’s big hitters were back, Hardcastle and Doey charged with seeing off the stubborn tail enders. Growing in confidence and needing just 15 off 4 overs, Prov were punching below the belt. Some dirty right hooks over cow corner left the game on a knife edge. The Cong’s skipper held his nerve taking a vital wicket at the death. That was followed in the next over by Doey claiming his forth of the day! Prov were on the mat but before the umpire could count them out they got back up for one last go! Last over six to win off six balls for the home side, one wicket for Congs. The tension was almost unbearable as Doey stepped into the ring. It came to last ball. Three runs needed! Straight away the fielders dropped out to allow the single protecting the boundary. A thick edge to Danny Applyard a third man saw the batsmen turning for two. Danny Kept his cool returning the ball calmly to keeper Roycey, the run out was academic and hardly a knock out blow, the Cong’s just edged it on points but really deserved it.


Shipley Prov 162 all out!

Congs Progress to Cawthorne Cup Semi Final

Pudsey St Lawrence v Pudsey Congs


Saturday July 7th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

Another tough away day awaited the Cong’s as we made the short trip to our neighbours. Over night downpours had left the wicket soft and wet but just about fit for play! A great toss to win and bowl first and that’s exactly what the Saints captain did! The batting offered very little as the Saints bowlers made good use of the conditions bowling the young Cong’s out for 72. Jo Royce top scoring with 18 followed by captain and vice captain both with 14.

The Bowlers worked hard to defend their total but with a massive 58 overs to score in the Saints top order were never really pressured. The only wicket falling to James Galvin.

Saints 73-1



Pudsey Congs C.C. v Farsley

Saturday June 23rd, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stu Hardcastle

It was the battle of the young guns on Fulneck as top of the table Farsley brought their own team of up and coming young stars to face our even younger stars!  It started well for Congs as the skipper again turned early pressure into early wickets. Sadly holding onto that good start is hard and as the well known and equally talented Farsley captain Stuart Tempest punished everything even slightly loose the total would mount. Danny Appleyard took Mahmood the Farsley number three before Galvin caught Hardcastle removed Tempest (61) with score now 100-3 27 overs down. The game was in the balance and could go either way but D.Kenyon’s unbeaten 58 in no time at all dealt a huge blow to the Cong’s hard work and left the visitors confident with 199 all out.

 Bowling Figures – S.Hardcastle 2-41-10, C.Doey 1-28-9, J.Galvin 1-29-8, D.Appleyard 1-15-4, D.Cockin 0-25-4, J.Purser 0-55-10.

The visitors had every reason to be confident as the batting line up looked all too weak again. Goodchild (6), Galvin (2), and Cockin (3) fell in the first 10 overs with just 17 on the board. The middle order were a lot more stubborn, Bashire (35) Tom Brook (23 – not out) and Hardcastle (21) brought up the 100 and were nudging their team towards a point. With just 4 overs to go and a point in reach, both Royce and Appleyard were judged caught behind, before Doey went to a rush of blood and the unlucky J.Purser was caught at slip.

Leeds Sikh v Pudsey Congs


Saturday June 9th, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

The Cong’s welcomed back Chris Brook as the third team bowler was deemed surplus to requirements for the “A” division side. A welcome return as the Sikhs are well known for a hard hitting batting style that would really test the young bowlers of the forth XI. As it turned out it was the skipper who would be tested first. Unusually expensive Hardcastle’s opening over went for an astonishing 11 runs despite taking the wicket of the Sikh opener. Hardcastle’s second was just as eventful, the other opener was dropped by Doey at square leg before removing the Sikh No.3 very next ball. Brooky was bowling well without reward at the other end before the new rules and hot weather brought about the first change. Purser and Doey continued the hard work as wickets came at a trickle. All four bowlers would return with wickets in the second spells however the damage had been done. After surviving his early chance the Sikh No.1 settled down and with a combination of great cricket and dirty slogging cruised effortlessly to his century before C.Brook sent him back as the last wicket to fall some 40 overs and 114 runs too late.

Sikhs 214-All Out

Bowling – S.Hardcastle 3-57-10, C.Brook 2-25-10, J.Purser 2-48-9, C.Doey 1-39-7, J.Galvin 1-22-4

The Cong’s in reply would have the batting line up exposed as yet again only three players found double figures. Tom Brook finally transferred some of his U15’s form into senior runs as he top scored with a well crafted 33 followed by the skipper with 24 and Chris Doey 14. Its not all doom and gloom as the skipper had good partnerships batting well with James Galvin and then Abid Bashir despite not adding many runs to the score. Lower down the order Danny Cockin, Chris Doey, and Adam Patrick, gained some valuable time at the wicket and the confidence that goes with it as they made the most of the time they had.

Congs 124-all out.

Farnley Hill v Pudsey Congs


Saturday June 2nd, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle

With second from bottom entertained by second from top, the signs for Cong’s were not great. However! On a track that appeared to favor the bowlers, the Cong’s won the toss and elected to field first. The skipper lead from the front and with great support from Chris Doey had removed the entire top order, Hardcastle taking three and a run out accounting for the top four.  C.Best (44) and G.Gatenby (25) at five and six ensured the visitors weren’t about to have it all there own way, but the balance tipped again with Adam Patrick taking both top scores in the space of his four overs. The next three wickets came in quick secession as C.Doey x2 and Josh Purser struck but Farnley are top because they have runs in the tail.  R.Cowell,  a stubborn 36, batting at 10 before the skipper bowled him., added some valuable runs at the end – Farnley Hill 155 all out.

 Bowling – S.Hardcastle 4-37-16, A.Patrick 2-9-4, C.Doey 2-30-10, J.Purser 1-29-10, R.Kettlewell 0-19-3, A.Slater 0-19-2

 The second innings started badly when A.Goodchild was trapped LBW to a “p-roller” but the skipper and R.Kettlewell had other ideas! The short boundaries were found frequently as the skipper, at his aggressive best, road his luck and went for everything. After a 50 partnership the skipper on the 31 toed a simple catch to mid on but Robin continued. A couple of quick wickets brought Adam Patrick to the crease. Still only 13 and facing a quick bowler on an unpredictable wicket, the youngster stood his ground and fearlessly rotated the strike for Robin. Right up until the final wicket fell, Colin Nelthorpe, unlucky to drag one on, the visitors were in with a shout of recording their first win. Sadly it wasn’t to be, 122 all out. The lads deserved at least a two point losing draw from this one as the effort alone was outstanding. The fielding point shared between the two youngest players Ash Slater (12) and Adam Patrick (13).

Baildon “B” v Pudsey Congs


Cawthorne Cup 1st round

Sunday June 3rd, 2007

Report by Stu Hardcastle 

A day to forget about the poor league results and build on yesterdays oh so close one, started with losing the toss on neighbouring Esholts ground. Batting first James Lindley-Dawe set about the Baildon attack straight away hitting an elegant six over the bowlers head off the third ball. Well supported by Abid Bashir (35) and then more so by Jack Murgatroyd the score rose rapidly. The young pair, James 16, and Jack 14 smashed a century partnership in 16 overs as the senior Baildon attack looked for answers. In all Jack would hit 15 fours on his way to 76 not out, and JLD 9 fours and 5 sixes falling just short of his century with 90. A tremendous display left the Cong’s 250 for 5 after the allotted 40 overs and the skipper still didn’t smile!

Knowing that the job was only half done, and that the Baildon top order would fancy the chase, the long missing smile was reserved for the result. That chase started straight away with the first ball been struck hard at Josh Purser, a yard either side of the youngster and four runs but hit directly at him and well fielded a dot ball marked Baildons intent. However with the skipper and Doey bowling brilliantly the short boundaries were barely breached. Doey Stuck first followed soon after by Purser and a run out but the second string bowlers were been targeted by a hard hitting Baildon line up. Out came the secret weapons!!! Adam Patrick removed the dangerous C.Edmunds for 17 with his very first ball Caught and Bowled! followed by the even younger Ash Slater removing the Baildon captain for 33. A staggering passage of play saw the youngest lads on the field hold back the Baildon charge whilst Abid Bashir took 4-26 at the other end.

 What a game, what a team effort, a well deserved victory and a what a performance by Adam (13) and Ash (12).

Bowling – A.Bashir 4-26-6, S.Hardcastle 1-12-5, C.Doey 1-13-4, J.Purser 1-20-5, A.Slater 1-14-4, A.Patrick 1-34-4.

 Now I’m Smilling 😆 !

Pudsey Congs C.C. v Rodley

Saturday May 26th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stu Hardcastle

There’s a saying in cricket as old as the game itself – “catches win matches”. This is still so incredibly true today as the points and catches were dropped again when the Congs entertained Rodley at Fulneck. Rodley cruised to a 10 wicket victory as both openers strolled to the 110 run target after surviving an early chance each. The Congs needing early wickets to defend the small target, saw Julian Horsley dropped at slip as early as the third ball and then just two overs later Rodley captain Danny Willaby was dropped at cover, neither chance was overly difficult. The Congs were left regreting those missed chances as neither Rodley batsmen looked like giving another one. Instead, what should have been 2 for 2 off 4 overs turned into defeat again. This followed a great display from the young Jack Murgatroyd who in the first innings had made his maiden senior half century, well supported by James Galvin’s best effort of the season so far (35). Other highlights included the debut of 12 year old Ash Slater who impressed with the bat and with a couple of tight overs under his belt looks a great prospect for the future.

Pudsey Congs C.C. v Meanwood

Saturday May 19th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stu Hardcastle

Its was a cold, wet, and extremely windy day on the Fulneck hillside as the forth XI entertained Meanwood. The first question was will the game go ahead!  The umpire and both captains gathered and agreed the aim of day the was to play, so losing the toss the Cong’s prepared to bowl first. Hardcastle opened with the wind behind him and returned another tight spell. Bowling up the hill into the wind was always going to be hard work, but with James Galvin and Josh Purser volunteering for the job, the hard work was met with equal amounts of effort. Rain breaks came at regular intervals, but with the return of the Cong’s team spirit, the wickets came too.Hardcastle had removed both openers before I. Long (37) and E.Watkins (57) started throwing the bat. Meanwood 65-3 and under a bit of pressure soon recovered to 102-4, 135-5 before Josh Purser and James Galvin took 3 wickets each to slow the Meanwood charge, closing on 193-8 of 45 overs.

In stark contrast to last week, the return of that team spirit revived the fielders who in very difficult circumstances took 6 hard catches made even harder by the swirling wind and wet ball including two for Tom Brook – fielding point!

 Bowling – J.Purser 3-50-9, J.Galvin 3-59-12, S.Hardcastle 2-40-13, C.Doey 0-14-5 A.Bashir 0-25-6

The rain breaks left the Cong’s with just 32 overs to chase down the 194 run target. A tight spell of bowling left the openers Galvin and Goodchild short with just 19 runs in 10 overs. The chase was off but two points were still up for the taking. Galvin looking solid held out for 24 overs before providing a simple catch to cover. The skipper started where James finished, batting out the remaining 8 overs. In the mean time, Ali Goodchild was enjoying the bowling scoring freely on his way to 57 not out securing 2 valuable points.

 Cong’s 107-1 in 32 overs – Rain affected.

Old Modernians v Pudsey Congs C.C.

Saturday May 12th, 2007

Venue: Away

Report by Stu Hardcastle

A tough day at the office was to be had for the 4th Eleven last Saturday away to Old Mod. The Congs bowled the Old Modernians out for 150, which is approx 100 runs more than they should have got as the Congs were made to pay for some poor fielding and lack of concentration in the field. The less than stellar fielding display by the Congs added up to around 15 dropped catches or missed half chances including three in three balls for one of the Mods batters. In reply only Ali Goodchild and skipper Stu Hardcastle, posted double figures as the Congs were all out for 65.

Pudsey Congs C.C. v Baildon “B”

Saturday May 5th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stu Hardcastle

An almost unrecognizable 4th team took to the Fulneck hillside with only 4 regular players. The skipper and Chris Doey opened the bowling without talking any wickets on another great batting track, although the skip did keep his end tight conceding just 2 an over of his first six overs. John Patrick normally a third team regular making his return from injury was introduced to replace Doey. Almost instantly the wickets started falling as Hardcastle’s tight bowling was matched by Patrick’s experience. As the Congs struggled on youngsters Adam Patrick and Nathan Dalton were outstanding in the field. Neither youngster put a foot wrong all day and as Baildons score crept ever higher, the work rate of both lads was unrivaled. John Patrick would end the innings with a staggering 6 for 34 off 11 overs. As the skipper suffering from a case of the sniffles, tired into his twelfth over, Adam Patrick took his chance with his maiden senior wicket taking just 5 balls!! Nathan Dalton claimed a more than deserved fielding point as Baildon closed on 218 all out.

 Bowling; John Patrick 6-34-11, Adam Patrick 1-20-3, Chris Doey 1-50-10, Stuart Hardcastle 0-53-12

The batting would highlight the Congs problems. The early departure of Graham Patrick would see the skipper at the crease in the second over. What awaited him was his worst enemy – a spinner! Stuarts usually fast but prone to getting out style of middle order batting was replaced by a captains innings! A display of “proper” batting would see a great battle of wits between batsman and bowler. Sadly the other opening bowler sent JP back to the hut an exposed the Congs line up. A tired James Galvin had spent the first innings as stand in wicket keeper and departed soon after. The spinner switched ends and resumed battle with Hardcastle now trying to face the majority of the Baildon attack to protect his team mates. Unfortunately with the skip stuck at the none strikers end D.Metcalfe took 3 quick wickets before that spinner, S.Malik, finally ended the captains resistance for 26. However Nathan and Adam would give the skipper something to at least grin if not smile about with a brave batting display from the young pair.

 Congs 64 all out.

Pudsey Congs C.C. v Pudsey St Lawrence

Saturday April 28th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stu Hardcastle

The uproaders came to Cong’s with a very strong side featuring two Bradford League players. Having won the toss and electing to field, the class of the two players in question soon shone through as they opened the batting on a high quality wicket. For 35 overs, J.Arnold (76) and D.Butler (163) went about their business with ease scoring at will, the only blip, a close stumping decision that went the way of the batsman. Two superb catches at slip, by Ali Goodchild, ensured late reward for the opening bowlers coming in the second spells of Doey and Purser as Saints ended at 305-5.

C.Doey 2-37-9, A.Bashir 2-49-7, J.Purser 1-42-9, S.Hardcastle 0-29-4, J.Bragg 0-41-8, R.Kettlewell 0-52-6, J.Galvin 0-35-3

 Although the Home side had all but conceded the six points out of reach, to simply give up was not an option. James Bragg (58), Robin Kettlewell (32) and Ali Goodchild (25) earned the Congs a much deserved point.

Esholt v Pudsey Congs C.C.

Saturday April 21st, 2007

Venue: Away

Report by Stu Hardcastle 

The new season arrived with an upbeat Congs on a high after the pre-season games. Facing an unfriendly track and having lost the toss it came as no surprise to be asked to bat, neither did losing an early wicket. The entire top order would be dismissed inside the first 10 overs. The only highlight would be new comer Omar Sheike showing great potential at 3. The mood would be lifted at least for a short while by 14 yr old wicket keeper Jack Murgatroyd, who kept his head to score an unbeaten 48. Sadly the inform Tom Brook was run out in a mix up with Jack looking good on 16, followed four balls later by Chris Doey again run out. The tail only added another 5 runs as Shaar Ahmad, Josh Purser, and, James Noble went for ducks.

 Congs 128-All Out

Chris Doey’s bad day continued as the opening batsmen enjoyed his pace making full use of the short boundaries. The new bowling restrictions would also hurt the young Congs bowlers as both Shaar Ahmad and Josh Purser would need removing from the attack just as they found a rhythm and confidence. It would fall to the skipper to bring a small glimmer of hope as he continued his good form with the ball ending with 4-23 off 11 overs that could have been so many more. Esholt were never really in trouble despite some tight spells from the bowlers. That first game jinx still haunts the skipper.

 Bowling – S.Hardcastle 4-23-11, S.Ahmad 1-6-6, J.Purser 1-25-5, C.Doey 0-27-4, J.Galvin 0-18-2, A.Goodchild 0-18-2

Pudsey Congs C.C. v Farnell

Sunday April 15th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stuart Hardcastle 

On another hot and sunny day, a strong looking team of past and present 4th XI players took on Farnell.

Batting first for the second day running Hardcastle was again experimenting with a new opener, James Galvin given his chance to impress. A shaky start left the home side 50-4 off 14 overs. Former skip Si Raistrick was joined by current skip Stu Hardcastle and together turned the game around with a well crafted 84 run partnership, Si (55) and Stu (70). Yesterday’s star Tom Brook was again proving his talents with an unbeaten 11 as Congs posted a great 228-9 in the allotted 40 overs.

 The second innings was opened by Si Raistrick who like yesterday would bowl superbly with out reward. James Bragg took 3 overs to remove the Farnell opening bat but on a very nice batting track wickets were hard to come by until the skipper replaced Bragg up the hill. Removing the other opener in his first over was the start of a mini collapse with Gary Lewsley striking twice in quick succession. A big hitting Waqas batting 6 scored a quick fire 53 before Hardcastle and Raistrick teamed up again to end his innings, caught Raistrick, bowled Hardcastle. The rest of the Farnell line up offered little resistance as Hardcastle’s good day continued. Farnell 167 – All out.

Bowling – Stu Hardcastle 6-42, Gary Lewsley 2-24, James Bragg 1-6, James Galvin 0-24, Simon Raistrick 0-38

Pudsey Congs C.C. v Leeds Univ Staff XI

Saturday April 14th, 2007

Venue: Home

Report by Stuart Hardcastle 

An unseasonal hot day greeted the two teams on the Fulneck hillside for the first of two pre-season warm up matches.

The Congs team made up of 4th XI players past and present were in confident mood and choose to bat first. A new combination of Ali Goodchild and Abid Bashir opened the batting and were looking steady at 44-0 of the first 10 despite Abid’s best attempts to get caught not to mention the “air” shots outside the off stump!! It was a day that proved why pre-season matches are so important with quality batsmen struggling to find there touch. Despite that, Cliff Sudano’s (52), Ali Goodchild (28), Abid Bashir (23) a late blast from the skipper (15), and man of the match Tom Brook (18) made the score a respectable 178-9 off our 40 overs.

 Tom Brooks man of the match status was cemented with a great day in the field. Ever alert and active, the youngster was never beaten in the field and rounded off a fabulous days work with a direct hit from the boundary to run out the LUSS’s number 9 just as the tail was starting wag nudging the visitors nearer and nearer the winning post. With eight overs left and the Uni side 159-9 just 20 runs short of victory, skipper Hardcastle’s final delivery glanced the leg stump. The keeper thought the ball had gone for byes, the fielder was chasing the ball and two batsmen running. Only the skipper had noticed the leg stump had been hit just hard enough to remove the bail and clean bowl the unfortunate tail ender, leaving the visitors 159 – All out

Bowling – Kier Brakewell 3-32, Stu Hardcastle 3-46, James Galvin 2-16, James Lindley-Dawe 1-25, Si Raistrick 0-11, Chris Northrop 0-20

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