Birstall secure impressive opening victory after delayed start to campaign

Spen Victoria's overseas player Nathan Cant returned fine figures of 5-45 at Birstall last Saturday.
Spen Victoria's overseas player Nathan Cant returned fine figures of 5-45 at Birstall last Saturday.

Birstall finally got their Allrounder Bradford League campaign underway after kicking their heels in the last two weeks of April and it proved well worth the wait as they secured a 93-run victory over Spen Victoria in Championship Two last Saturday.

With the scheduled start of the season put back a week and Birstall having a blank date on April 28, the Leeds Road side finally got underway in glorious sunshine as summer finally arrived.

Richy Limbechaya led the way when Birstall batted first as he made 88 while Eric Austin (47) and Pete Gregerson (46) helped boost the total to 231.

Overseas player Nathan Cant impressed for Spen with 5-45.

Ollie Davison dominated the Spen reply as he made 72 but lacked any real support as the visitors were bowled out for 138.

Hopton Mills recorded a 75-run win over Liversedge in what was both side’s first action of the season following opening day abandonments.

Hopton found the going tough in the early stages as they were reduced to 79-6 with Steve Lane claiming 4-72.

Michael Carroll (51no) and Umar Abbas (44) led the revival and boosted the Mills score to 174-8.

Opener Mark Hydes (32) and Graham Winn (18) shared a stand of 50 for Liversedge before the wheels came off and they were bowled out for 99 with Ashley Mackereth (5-39) and Abbas (3-25) bowling Hopton to victory.

Buttershaw St Paul’s have a three-point lead at the top of Championship Two after securing thrilling two-run win over second-placed Keighley.

Last season’s Conference champions East Ardsley had a convincing eight-wicket win at Carlton and are three points behind Buttershaw.

Brighouse romped to a seven-wicket win at Altofts in their first action of the season, while there was another thrilling finish in the game between Wakefield St Michael’s and Bowling Old Lane.

St Michael’s, who were promoted alongside East Ardsley last season, won the contest by one run as they also made a winning start at the higher level having seen their opening game abandoned.