Keighley fitting stage for pre-season match-up
By Mark Palfreeman
Long Lee CC come out on top as they play Adwaltons Second XI in a pre-season warm up.
The setting couldn’t be better for the first outing of the season for the second XI. With Long Lee finishing preparations on their new club house, their ground was unavailable but Keighley Cricket Club kindly stepped up to host this pre-season encounter. The weather was also excellent with clear skies, the sun beating down and a slight breeze.
In a change of fortunes skipper Mark Palfreeman won the toss, and on a hard but dry, early season surface chose to bat first.
It turned out to be a big mistake as Adwalton slumped to 29 for 4 on a pitch that turned out to be slow playing and in the face of some accurate bowling from the Long Lee openers. Luckily Andy Ingham and Chris Smith managed to regain some respectability as they steadily pushed the total towards 100. Smith was in fact the only batsman who had the staying power to stick around and graft on a difficult and slow scoring wicket high scoring with 28. After a short cameo by Reece Farnhill who looked calm and competent down the order Adwalton finished on 95 all out a total which was no doubt short of the mark but on a difficult wicket it was unclear how short.
The Long Lee openers quickly gave an indication of their intent as they despatched any ball off line and length racing to 46 before Ben Allinson got a ball to swing back in to hit leg stump dismissing one opener and bringing the skipper Mark Day to the crease. He was quickly sent packing as a wild swing at a ball from James Colburn just outside off stump was smartly taken by wicketkeeper Palfreeman.
With Long Lee CC looking to reach the target within 15 overs a kind gesture was made to continue playing, both to give their lower order batsman a chance and offer and opportunity for bowlers to be tested prior to the season the following week. It served them well as Reece Farnhill was given a chance to bring out his off spin and took two wickets in a tidy spell.
But despite the progress made during the middle overs, Matthew Stowell came in with little experience behind him and put the bowling to the sword as he hit high and long, hitting the Keighley Cougars stand on two occasions as well as a further three sixes in a knock of 70 that was only cut short by lack of support at the other end.
The game was a little mis-matched in the result but nevertheless offered both teams a good run out before the real competition begins on the 16th April. More importantly it has opened links between the two clubs that can hopefully be fostered over the coming years to provide more opportunities such as this.