New signings mark the start of cricket season

New signing: Duncan Snell will look to make an impact for Woodlands having joined from York in the close season.
New signing: Duncan Snell will look to make an impact for Woodlands having joined from York in the close season.

A host of new players are in line to make their debuts when the JCT600 Bradford League cricket season begins on Saturday (start 1pm).

Cleckheaton clinched a first Bradford League title last year and have strengthened their side with new overseas batsman Tanzeel Altaf and opening batsman Andy Gorrod.

Cleckheaton face a tough start when they travel to Pudsey Congs, while they are involved in the pick of the Heavy Woollen Cup first round ties on Sunday when they entertain first division newcomers New Farnley.

Cleckheaton’s challenge match at Central Yorkshire champions Townville was abandoned five overs into the home side’s innings, in which the hosts had reached 17-0 in reply to Cleck’s 169-9 from 40 overs.

Woodlands have the exciting prospect of seeing Duncan Snell in action, following his close season move from York.

Snell has been one of the most prolific batsmen in the Yorkshire League over the last decade and will certainly boost the Woodlands top order as they seek to regain the championship crown.

Woodlands begin at home to a Hanging Heaton side, who could have four players making their debut.

Heaton, who will be captained by former Yorkshire man Gary Fellows, have signed opening batsman Nick Connolly, all-rounders David Paynter and James Byrne together with spinner Ben Elvidge.

Following Saturday’s trip to Oakenshaw, Heaton begin their Heavy Woollen Cup defence at home to Jer Lane on Sunday, when Woodlands entertain Hartshead Moor.

Another intriguing Heavy Woollen tie sees Gomersal at home to Moorlands, who now ply their trade in the Drakes Huddersfield League and won promotion last season.

Spen Victoria will look to mount a promotion challenge from Division Two and they begin their campaign with a tough trip to Bowling Old Lane on Saturday.

Spen have lost the services of all-rounder Tosh Baker, who originally joined Morley but has since switched to the Aire Wharf League, but they have re-signed George Deegan after a year at Scholes.