Sunday, 25 June 2017

DALE WIN DENBY DERBY

DENBY DALE 263 FOR 7 V DENBY 81 ALL OUT
DRAKES HUDDERSFIELD CRICKET LEAGUE CEDAR CRT CONF @ WAKEFIELD RD
24 JUNE 2017 --- 1PM
DENBY DALE CC
This Kirklees derby saw the team from the 'Dale' victorious over their neighbours from Upper Denby by a big margin of 182 runs.  Much of that was thanks to a dominant 101 not out from Hayden Rose and a very stable 49 from Paul Hale that set up the total of 263 and when Denby Dale came into the field Fred Stower returned 5 for 29 to skittle Denby out for 81.
Following last weeks visit to Honley the plan was to visit Wakefield Rd all week that was until the weather on Friday and Saturday morning was showing rain coming over 'the tops'.  So with base departure showing a ticket to Sheffield with the intention of diverting to Sheffield Colleigate it was of immense joy that a final check of the weather forecast for Denby Dale at Sheffield station showed an improvement in prospects.  So I purchased an addition for the journey along the Penistone line, again, you know the story by now Barnsley, Penistone, Emley Moor TV mast etc.
A PORTION OF THE VIADUCT
Having viewed this village nestling below the viaduct that brings us north into the station I had never set foot on the streets of Denby Dale and at last today would do so for this cricket encounter between the two neighbours.  Departing the station at the return end of the platform you walk under the line and down a long steep incline and back under the viaduct not before getting a superb close up view of this work of art.  The current format sees 21 arches support the structure spanning the River Dearne built in 1884 and after a walk through the dale part of the village that takes you past Springfield Mill, famous for its production of silk for the Queen Mothers wedding dress, we climb out to Barnsley Rd to take a picture while observing the train departing to Sheffield rattling over the viaduct.  Back by the outward route and past the monuments to the famous Denby Dale pie two concrete slices of with additional crust of the delicacy.  The village is famous for an irregular production of massive pies for even more irregular reasons it all started in 1788 in celebration of the recovery from ill health of King George lll and went on to celebrate the repel of the corn laws and the last one was in 2000, the millennium pie.  The pie to celebrate the new century came in at 40ft long by 9ft wide by 3ft deep and weighed in a 12 tonnes I think even I would have needed a little help with that one.  As we approach the ground leaving the viaduct in our reverse view we pass The Pie Hall purchased by The Pie Committee with proceeds from sales for the good of the community and acting as a small community centre.
THE ENTRANCE TO DENBY DALE CC
A very short amble past the building brings us to Denby Dale Cricket Club and the ground itself is in a wonderfully situated bowl where to the left is the new style clubhouse pavilion which is a little opposite to many recent developments the changing rooms are upstairs alongside a function room and kitchen area with below the scorers room and entrance to the grounds man's store area.  Continuing around to the left is Denby Dale Bowls Club and we are now down behind the bowlers arm with the wickets set very much in the flat of this bowl.  We start to rise again towards the stone walled area which is wooded behind and rises sharply to houses atop the embankment.  This side features a small remotely controlled scoreboard and then we drop down towards the viaduct end, sadly not visible from the ground it would have made the ultimate photo.  The covers were of note if only for one of the sponsors 'Carfoam Warehouse' very clever.  Behind the bowlers arm at this end the River Dearne ripples away, in summer conditions anyway, under the ground and out by the side of the bowls club.  As we rise this time steeply the neighbouring houses offer a commanding view of proceedings and so does the double tiered viewing section which offers more wooden bench seating for spectators who are well catered for in this capacity.  An early look at the ground then and a very pleasant viewing arena it is the experience only disturbed by a neighbour nearby with a chainsaw which was in operation for an hour on this beautiful afternoon.
PAUL GOODMAN TAKES ONE OF HIS 3 WICKETS FOR DENBY CC
So cricket wise and these two sides last week were at the opposite end of the scoring spectrum Denby totted up 425 for 4 with Birkby Rose Hill bowled out for 326 a remarkable accumulation of runs.  Meanwhile Denby Dale knocked of Upperthong's score finishing on 63 for 5 to win in a low scoring game.
Denby Dale won the toss and batted with Hywel Senior hitting a quick fire 25 the home side were scoring at 10 an over after 3.  They were though to see 3 wickets fall quickly and at 44 for 3 Denby bowler Paul Goodman was the man responsible.
PAUL HALE CALMLY BUILDS DENBY DALE'S TOTAL WITH HIS 49
Wicketkeeper Paul Hale came to the crease and he built a stable backbone for later proceedings before falling one short of his half century.  Jack Firth contributed 28 and number 8 Jordan Geldart 26 but the second half of the innings was all about Rose who bludgeoned some big boundaries totalling 12 x 4's and 5 x 6's in his 101 not out.
HAYDEN ROSE LIFTS ANOTHER ONE AWAY ON HIS WAY TO HIS CENTURY
It was good to meet Hayden's granddad just after the tea interval he had arrived just in time to watch his grandsons knock, we had an entertaining chat all things sporting of course, thank you.
HATS OFF TO HAYDEN
With 263 for 7 posted it was time for tea and the option was taken to have a little walk out to the nearby 'Londis' with the option of some hoppers food was sampled, sadly the chip shop does not open for Saturday tea time or evening otherwise it would have been a definite call, did they not know I was coming?
The ground also features two original sight screens which are set of the floor within their own railed transportation system which was a really great way of getting them moving unlike some of the big cumbersome varieties at other grounds also interesting to note that 3/4 of the slats were taken out at the end of the game.
UNIQUE SIGHT SCREENS
Denby must have known this was to be a challenge but once again I fancied a close affair at 0-1 then 4 for 2 and 9 for 3 it convinced me otherwise the 1st and 3rd wicket it has to be said featured fantastic catches from Senior and Stower that stuck like glue to the Denby Dale players hands.  The reply staggered on and at 39 for 7 in the 25th it was just a case of which train I would make back on the hourly departure back down south, well south of Sheffield.
ITS ALL GOING WRONG EARLY ON FOR DENBY
The visitors reached 44 for 8 before a minor recovery, that always seems to happen, saw them reach 81 all out with George Potter reaching 25 not out.  It had been a good day for Stower with his 'five for' and also for Rose not only a century maker but 3 catches at the end of the Denby innings to complete a very satisfying day for the Dale.
Having finished at around about train time I decided to sample a further bottle of the orange fizzy stuff sit at the ground overviewing our four legged friends chasing cricket balls around and take in the last drop of what had been an enjoyable visit to Denby Dale and its cricket club.
FRED STOWER RETURN 5 FOR 29 AND HERE IS ONE OF THEM
A slow meander back towards the station allowed a further look at the pie monument, back across the road to look in the book shop window and staggering like a drunk, I wasn't, to look at the information board on the other side.  I opted to climb back up to the station by the road and took in a few views around the station with about half an hour still to wait.  Denby Dale station is on a single line and by clear definition is of a single platform in the stopping and departing stakes even more baffling then to here the announcer call the 1941 with 'the next train at platform 1 is....'. somebody tell them there is only 1 platform! 
Our lovely pacer train rattled and jolted its way into Sheffield and with a quick change we were soon at base station just before 9pm from what had been another enjoyable journey into the delights of the Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League.

Monday, 19 June 2017

HONLEY COMFORTABLE LOCAL DERBY WIN

HONLEY 238 FOR 8 THONGSBRIDGE 105 ALL OUT
DRAKES HUDDERSFIELD CRICKET LEAGUE PREMIERSHIP @ FAR END LANE
17 JUNE 2017 --- 1PM
FAR END LANE HOME OF HONLEY CRICKET CLUB
Honley secured a comfortable derby victory over Holme Valley neighbours Thongsbridge by 133 runs after a workmanlike batting performance saw them reach 238 aided by Timmy Taylor [85] and overseas player Brett Randell [59] and when the visitors slumped to 55 for 5 the writing was on the wall as the Honley victory was completed just before 7pm on a blisteringly hot afternoon.
Having departed Honley station on a few occasions for Underbank Rangers and Holmfirth the research into local cricket clubs off the Peninstone Line had led me to mark down a visit to Honley who with their newly refurbished pavilion, clubhouse and changing rooms plus a glorious summers day forecast meant the time was now.
Early departure from base was greeted by the proverbial toddler using the bus into base station as an adventure playground but a slightly stressed exit towards Sheffield saw the blog pick up the previously mentioned Penistone line and again once top side of the town on a bright summers day the beauty of the area becomes self evident all overviewed by Emley Moor TV tower.
HONLEY SOUTHGATE LOOKING TOWARDS WESTGATE
Upon skittling down the station steps the Motts 911 service was waiting just for me and instead of departing at Honley Bridge for the Holmfirth connection I continued into the village passing the delightfully named 'Get Stuffed' sandwich shop and departed by the library for a little walk back through the main shopping street before diverting off to the Far End Lane ground.  Anybody that knows the Holme Valley area or the famous TV show, we wont mention again, will be aware of the make up of many of the buildings and Honley is no different with so many quaint back streets making the whole area aesthetically pleasing.  There are a couple of chippy's but today during my stay I made a hat trick of visits to the local Coop saving the warm food for another day!  Sadly with a 1pm start and finish that would have probably been around 8pm if we had viewed a close game there was not too much time to explore the village but the little I saw was seen in good light on this glorious day.  Turning onto Southgate the tranquil nature of the village was evident before turning right into the main entrance of Honley Cricket Club with an immediate declaration of 'bar open'.
NEW AND REFURBISHED SIDE BY IMPRESSIVE SIDE
The immediate impression is of a tidy very well appointed ground with the proud new buildings of the club already overviewing proceedings.  The pavilion sits between to its left the new changing rooms block and to the other side a smart refurbished clubhouse offering a superb internal view of proceedings outside.  From the top deck of the pavilion there are commanding views of play plus the surrounding hills and countryside.  The improvements and building work has taken 5 years of hard work and planning and as ever its is of great credit to many hard workers in community sport that these achievements are seen by many well done one and all.  To the front of these buildings the area as been smartly paved off with additional smart new green railed fencing offering a very attractive finish to the upgrade here at Far End Lane.  Back to the main entrance and to the left we have a almost continuous collection of two slatted low wooden seating scattered with spectators own more plush seating in attendance.
VIEWS EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK
There is a chance to overview some of the lovely gardens and houses that back onto the ground before we arrive at the scoreboard which is a functional affair but with a 1970s feel it feels a little out of place in this stone village.  Coming behind the bowlers arm, as at the other bowling end the stone walls have been white washed for additional sight screen cover.  Back towards the business end and more seats in a slightly raised area are available with behind the club the local recreation area offers a wide expanse of playing area.  Past the clubhouse and back towards our entrance and many cars are parked up here in the space provided away from the outfield and by the time we are an hour into play a fair crowd are in attendance taking up many vantage spots.  The views from the clubhouse side are fully in visible today on this fantastic Yorkshire day back towards the railway station can be seen Victoria Tower at Castle Hill being the highlight.
HONLEY BATTING AMID THE WHITEWASHED STONE WALLS
Back to the cricket then and this local derby sees Thongsbridge from just 2 miles down the road secure 2 early wickets [18 for 2] in what was a keenly contested and confidently appealed for opening session.  Without the innings getting away from Thongsbridge they seemed to be containing Honley however the home side were moving the score along at acceptable rate and the glue in the order was Timmy Taylor who was finally dismissed 15 short of his century.  While walking round I of course was aware it was highly unlikely I would see anybody I knew here, that was until I spotted on the balcony Brett Randell New Zealand U19 international who last season had played for Denby in The Derbyshire Premier League and the blog had caught up with at Eckington.
HONLEY'S NEW ZEALAND OVERSEAS INTERNATIONAL BRETT RANDELL
The 22 year old right arm medium paced bowler is looking for a good summer to get a contract with Northern Districts back home while helping out the progression of Honley CC.  As per last year thanks Brett it was good to catch up with you before you went out to bat and for a moment when you returned after striking leather around the outfield and beyond for your 59 off of 46 balls, wishing you well in your season with Honley.
RANDELL GUIDES ONE AWAY
The resolute innings from Taylor and swashbuckling efforts of Randell got the home side to a very respectable 238 for 8 and we looked to be on for a close game Thongsbridge had certainly been buoyed up during the 50 overs with some very enthusiastic appealing showing the importance of the game for them.
 RESOLUTE DEFENDING FOR HONLEY C C
A brief respite at the previously mentioned food emporium and we were back to the action and with a close finish signalling a late return it was time to settle back and relax to the game.  However the visitors were soon in trouble and when they reached 55 for 5 in 15 overs it was all but a foregone conclusion and although the battled on into the 33rd over they were soon all back in the pavilion all out for 105, Sam Denton had secured 4 for 39 in his 12 overs with Randell picking up 2 wickets for 27 off 7 overs.
RANDELL RACING IN ON A HOT HONLEY DAY
Third visit of the day for hoppers delight pastry roll and pop for the 15 minute walk to Honley station before once again admiring the views this time back towards the ground for what had been a very enjoyable visit to Honley and a debut game in The Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League named after James Haigh's with Christine's maiden name and here former family textile business, the league has carried the name for 25 years a great achievement all round.
Todays picture selection was hard work but in the end features the views and delightfulness of the ground plus 2 influential players on the outcome of the match, always difficult to select.
With a quick change at Sheffield base station was arrived at just before 9pm a long day for a cricket match but an entertaining day in beautiful surroundings in Yorkshire.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

SPONDON COMFORTABLE WIN IN LOW SCORING GAME

SPONDON CC 98 FOR 4 V MAREHAY CC 96 ALL OUT
DERBYSHIRE COUNTY LEAGUE PREMIER @ THE HSG OVAL
10 JUNE 2017 --- 1230PM

THE HSG OVAL IN FULL SWING
Spondon made short work of overhauling a total of 96 posted by visitors Marehay, Michael Mitchell with 43 the main stay of their 98 for 4 in 27.2 overs.  Earlier the visitors were struggling at 21 for 5 at one stage before some qualified late hitting from Tom Burke [42] secured a total that got near defendable.
Onto the cricket shortly as ever the day started leaving base this time early to avoid the ensuing road closures due to the Women's tour cycle race around the north of the county and with a change of buses made in Derby we were soon in Ilkeston.  Ilkeston I hear you say that's not Spondon well exactly the intention of the day was to pop along to take a further look at Derby City RL at their Stute ground in Kirk Hallam.  Having arrived in the town around noon I discovered by accident Kerry's fish and chip shop proclaimed winner of best chippy in Ilkeston, so for research purposes the blog sampled.
MMM FISH AND CHIPS
The first sign of a good chippy is a large queue and a wait of over 10 minutes to be served but it was worth it they would certainly be troubling the top of the fish and chip league.  Having covered something of the history surrounding the ground I was looking forward to popping a little of 'Ilson' on record but this will have to wait as you are about to find out.
The ground is a little out of Ilkeston so after hopping a bus to The Bull and walking down to the ground it was a comfortable arrival at 1.30pm with an hour to go to kick off the cricket was in full swing on an adjoining pitch but not too much sign of rugby players.  After an enquiry in the club it appears the game had been switched to Amber Valley Rugby Club, you can imagine the frustration, to say the least, Saturday is sport day and we were now in trouble.  Disappointingly the club operate a Twitter and website page but had not posted to inform of any venue change, it really is no wonder clubs struggle to get support there maybe only a few hoppers around watching summer sport but it doesn't convince you about the future of certain sports in the area.
HSG OVAL ENTRANCE TO SPORTING ACTION
Anyway minor rant over the walk back to the bus was a calm [!] controlled [!] search of the nearest cricket available and thankfully Spondon were at home a club I had on the 'to do list' who had started about an hour early in their game versus Marehay.  Having departed the latest bus at the junction of Sancroft Rd a sharp walk through the estate saw arrival at the Locko Rd ground to see the visitors in trouble.  A dark overcast day certainly not summer cricket weather did not help picture quality and it appeared not to be making batting to easy either.
CAUTION FROM MAREHAY
With the innings underway I will take a look at the ground after describing the closure of the Marehay innings.  The visitors were soon at 61 for 7 and then 8 and it was time for Tom Burke to rescue the innings with 4 x 6's ad 2 x 4's in his 42 that finally got the total onto 96 all out in 37.1 overs.  What would you expect from the reply was this going to be a good total on a difficult day?
JUST HOME AS MAREHAY SAVE ANOTHER WICKET
So the romantically named HSG Oval a ground that Spondon had occupied for just over a decade having moved from their former home close by Royal Hill Rd.  The latter ground saw the uncovering of the base of a windmill a symbol that is now included in the clubs simple but effective badge that well describes the former times in this attractive edge of Derby village.  There are some excellent videos on the clubs website which were undertaking by Taking The Field a project that covered the club with some superb contributions from club officials, well worth a watch.
FORMER GROUNDS WINDMILL REMEMBERED ON THE SPONDON CC FLAG
So from formation in 1883 the club has a rich history a superb back story which is well documented on their website and new ground within which its clubhouse has pictorial record of most eras.  It has to be said that the ground has a feel of love and care for it because on entry you can see good order is well the order of the day.  Walking around to the left and behind the bowlers arm is a fair drop to surprise a second pitch a great asset to the club and moving around to the smart store cabins there is a second electronic mini scoreboard for the main pitch and a further similar one for the second pitch.  Around this boundary are a wide selection of park style seats available for viewing.  Coming towards the business end and at the side of the clubhouse is a dedicated patio area and then the star of the day a double tiered beauty.  At ground level the changing rooms and above the social side with bar, toilets and lift to reach both levels for the less able, once again though this gives off the feel of the club.  On asking I couldn't believe this had been built over 10 years ago the place is immaculate well cared for clean and tidy and a credit to its committee and volunteers plus I hope visitors who clearly look after it and respect the efforts that go into any community club.

JOSHUA BREAR LOOPS UP A CATCH TO ROBERT PEAT
The balcony offers a commanding view of the game, surrounding countryside and Locko Park it also features the scorers box oh yes and the main scoreboard.  Here another major plus the club operate a public address system which keeps you up to date all through the game alongside the well operated scoreboard throughout the play, big well done and a great effort.  Back towards the main entrance and a further collection of pitch side car parking and seats are available to enjoy the proceedings.
STRONG KNOCK FROM MICHAEL MITCHELL
After the obligatory cricket tea, for the players, time for the Spondon reply and under the guidance of openers Michael Mitchell and Joshua Brear its moving along nicely until the latter falls for 12 with the score on 35,  caught looping one up to Matthew Bailey.  The previous ball had seen some controversy as Marehay believed Brear had edged Robert Peat to Mitchell Robinson behind the stumps, however after a moment or two consultations the umpires remained unconvinced.  Marehay felt the ultimate response had come from above with the next ball dismissal.  A minor wobble accoutred moments later when Nick Rigg was lbw to James Kyte for 1 and the fightback was on.  Marehay were now making it difficult for the home side with many a ball passing closely to the edge of the bat but slowly and carefully Spondon battled their way through this period.
NOT TOO CLOSE THIS TIME
Oliver Baum stuck around with Mitchell to record 20 before he fell with the score on 79.  Sadly opener Mitchell couldn't see Spondon over the line when he skied one with the score going to 92 for 4 but there was no doubt his work had been done to steady the ship to see the home side over the line which a few overs later wicket keeper Rory Christopherson and Ben Ashdown did in the 28th over.
OOOCH

A fairly comprehensive victory for Spondon with a finish just before 5pm it certainly felt a strange day for the blog but thankfully not only did Spondon Cricket Club rescue the day the little gem of a club that is based on Locko Road was thankfully discovered.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

UNDERBANK SWEEP AWAY WARRIORS WITH SECOND HALF SHOWING

UNDERBANK RANGERS 60 HUNSLET WARRIORS 6
NCL 1 @ THE CROSS
4 JUNE 2017 --- 2.30PM
UNDERBANK UNDER WAY WITH CRAIG WILLIAMS GOING OVER
A stunning display from Underbank Rangers swept away their Leeds visitors with a 50-0 second period return after a tight first half had seen the home side go into the break 10-6 to the good.  The 'bank' completed 4 tries in one 7 minute period early in the second half and with pace playing a major factor Hunslet were swept away by the flow of Rangers play.
After making a rugby league debut in the Midland League last weekend by taking in Derby City today was the opportunity to make this seasons opening appearance in the NCL and is there a better place to watch the game than Underbank Rangers?  I was lucky enough to meet some of the officials and supporters last season at Milford and after visiting Underbank a couple of times in that period and following their super start to this new campaign, that sees them sat top of the first division, the pull on a sunny day was always going to be Holmfirth.

OBLIGATORY HOLMFIRTH PICTURE
As with cricket and football their are always clubs that make an impression on you and Underbank have always been a welcoming club with excellent views around this beautifully set ground, friendly people, a superb programme and excellent social media including a chap [Stephen] taking some superb pictures they are right up their in the well run stakes.
Departure from base at just before 11am would see a change at Sheffield with arrival at Honley meeting the 911 Stotts service awaiting for departure down the hill to Honley Bridge for the connection to Holmfirth.  As last year a day ticket at £3 allows travel to the ground and today there would be no time, sadly, for fish and chips in Holmfirth just a quick photo op before jumping the 310 up Dunford Rd which continues onto Scholes, Hepworth and Jackson Bridge a collection of villages that I intend to take a look at on a future visit.  Having set foot in the vicinity of the ground there was a little time to take in some of the views with an hour to kick off.
VIEW THROUGH THE POSTS
A nice welcome was received as ever with admission and programme claimed there was a short time to get the teams from the ever busy Neil Farrell and do a quick trip of the ground.  I wont repeat last seasons description except to say set on the top of Holmfirth, undulating pitch, quirky dug outs, sunny days must visit ground.
RICHARD KNIGHT CONVERTS THE OPENING TRY
Before the kick off it was lovely to catch up with Michael Nasey who remembered the blog from last season along with his former school mate Michael Crawshaw as ever we engaged in conversation about all things but mainly Underbank Rangers of course.  Of course much of the joy of arriving is the travelling and the beauty of the train journey from Penistone onwards is the open views of Emley Moor and Denby Dale from the viaduct but once atop Holmfirth it just continues and as both sides warm up families are congregating and playing behind the sticks.
CASEY CLARK INFLUENTIAL IN TODAYS PLAY
Table toppers Underbank are looking in good shape as is coach Richard Knight who was out practising his kicks and with American Casey Clark in todays line up I was a game that was already building up in atmosphere as the home side looked to continue their run.  The visitors were straight off of a loss to Shaw Cross Sharks a game that I part attended while covering Hunslet FC on an adjoining pitch two weeks ago.
HUNLSET IN POSSESSION FORGE FORWARD
The home side were quick out of the traps and took the lead on 9 minutes thanks to Craig Williams going over and Knight converting.  Much as you expected Underbank pushed on but they came under pressure from Hunslet and Garry McLelland went over allowing Daryl Gaunt to add the two points to level the scores on 25 minutes.  Ten minutes before the break Alex Chatterton's assist allowed Sam Ansell to go over in the corner this time Knight couldn't convert form a tight angle.  At the break it was 10-6 and all rather tight but many believed Hunslet may not be able to keep up their excellent first half performance.
BATTLE ROYALE
Well they were right as Underbank completed a sequence of tries all in close succession, here I have to say hopefully I'm not far off the mark with camera and note pad the 4 points were coming thick and fast!
It was Chatterton who went over the whitewash first 7 minutes in to make it 14-6, two minutes later Clark broke through from the half way and his pace gave him no need to off load before knight converted between the posts.  On 51 minutes Knight was putting the ball between the posts again following a pacey break from an Owen Restall try and as the remarkable sequence of scoring continued Williams got his second again breaking with pace and Knight converted to make it 32-6 and we were only on 53 minutes.
KRIS HARROP IN CONTROL FOR UNDERBANK
Ansell added 4 more points five minutes later before Luke Roberts went over between the posts for Knight to complete maximum points, 42-6.  Still Underbank were not done and Courtney Allette went over on the left with Richard Pogson taking on the kicking duties to convert.  As play meandered for 5 minutes we wondered had the scoring finished the answer came quickly Ansell went over again before Pogson topped up the total with the conversion and then with a minute remaining Billy Rogers got on the score sheet after a quick feed from Pogson who stepped up to do the honours and make the final score 60-6 in favour of Underbank.
UNDERBANK STARTING OFF FROM THEIR OWN HALF
Wow a whirlwind second half from the home side who were relentless you often don't see in sport teams that take a comfortable lead they regularly rest back on their laurels, not here Underbank under the coaching of Knight looked so determined.
The return journey to Honley is superbly catered for with the bus stop 20 yards outside the ground and the 10 minutes was spent in the company of an elderly gentleman and his daughter [sorry I didn't get your names] our conversations went around sports, travel and even Queens Park Chesterfield which had been attended for Yorkshire Cricket Club games versus Derbyshire, anyway as ever it just proved the friendly nature of this club and the people surrounding it.
BILLY ROGERS UNDERBANK RANGERS
Departure at Honley Bridge allowed for time to visit the Coop for some re stocking of hoppers delight sandwiches and pastries before the gentle incline to the station were the commanding views around Honley were admired before awaiting the train back to Sheffield and with a connection to base station we were arriving back over the border at 7pm.
As most will be aware Holmfirth is well worth a visit and you might as well tie a visit into Underbank Rangers on a match day too you wont be disappointed.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

BACON COMPLETES CENTURY BEFORE THE RAIN ARRIVES AT KIMBERLEY

KIMBERLEY INSTITUTE V ATTENBOROUGH
NOTTS CRICKET BOARD PREMIER @ 2BM GROUND
29 MAY 2017 --- 12 NOON
KIMBERLEY INSTITUTE CC AND THE TOWN
For the second day running a well appointed century was the order of the home sides innings, following Jordan Lemons for Morton yesterday, today it was Kimberley's former Notts CCC player George Bacon who set his side well on the way to a commanding score before the rain arrived and called a halt to proceedings with the score at 237 for 2.
Bank Holiday arrived and as ever the weather forecast had gradually deteriorated over the proceeding days to the darkest of murky days with of course plenty of the damp stuff, indeed in the area around the ground people were discussing last night thunder storms.  So the blog set off with little hope of any play I envisaged this premier league fixture would suffer with at least 'bad light'.
COME ON UMPIRES LETS GIVE IT A GO
Heavy rain on the initial bus to Alfreton left little hope as the change of bus was made but as Eastwood was passed by it became a little and I mean a little lighter but positively the rain had stopped.  By the time the Rainsbow 1 service was pulling up the hill into Kimberley I had convinced myself to get off and take a look at the ground whatever. 
While the blog always tries to cover over sports the main chance of this is in the close season for football and it generally features rugby league and cricket and this weekend would give both sports a highlight with todays ground having remained a hidden gem for too long.  As I wandered up the delicately name Newdigate St hoping for play very shortly the right was taken that had a tight driveway leading to an opening 100 yards later that shows this beauty of a ground.
TOWARDS THE CLUBHOUSE
Its quite amazing that I had never discovered The 2bm set up before but I guess most of my cricket watching had taken in Derbyshire sides in this short hiatus before non league football starts again.  Today the weather for photos was really poor and it does not show this ground of to its best but I hope to cover Kimberley again this season on a lovely day and get the full experience in north west Nottinghamshire.  Having arrived the covers were of course on but positively the umpires were hovering and the players changed and chomping at the bit.  Having completed a circuit for some photos I don't know where to start with a ground descriptor well may be the entrance, coming across the small parking area to the left is and angled old style clubhouse and pavilion changing rooms, all very comfortable and practical.  As with many rugby league grounds the stats and history of cricket clubs are often proudly displayed on the walls and Kimberley Institute CC is no different a wide collection of memorabilia is on show, even though I only spent a short time in the club house it was great to see a former poster for a Harold Larwood testimonial game held at the ground in the mid 30's with admission a 4d!  Moving back outside the hanging baskets were readying for bloom on the exterior and a wide selection of dedicated seats were in place for spectators next and in a separated viewing hut a separate area for the scorers.
LONG WAY BACK TO AVOID THE HILL
So far I have missed describing the playing area because it is the most difficult to do justice too, Morton Colliery CC has a very undulating outfield all around and there is a consistency too it but here at Kimberley its wonderfully idiosyncratic and matches up the pure eccentricities of the game.  Delayed enough here goes from the wickets the walk back to the pavilion involves an climb up first a sharp probably 5 foot incline before the outfield plateaus out onto a steady rise towards the boundary, indeed the fast bowlers run up takes him down the incline before flattening off on his last few strides to approach the umpire.  Back to the cover boundary and this offers a constant high rise towards the pavilion side boundary.  Moving around the boundary edge drifts In and out of small inlets towards the terrace houses of Noel St that back onto the ground and yes and the boundary is liberally scattered with white moulded seats often accompanied by neatly trimmed trees, believe me a cricket lovers joy!  The opposite cover boundary features a large smart remotely controlled scoreboard and the boundary edge once again meanders back and forth as it dips away.
THE SECRET GATE
Here is another little gem with a full size gate that had I approached from Victoria St offers and secret garden entrance into the ground.  The ground offers views of the former Methodist Church and on the hill side the church building associated with the hillside cemetery.  By the time the circuit was near completion the covers were coming off and we were about to get underway with Kimberley batting, oh yes and I forgot to mention don't come here hungry, why?  Well as I discovered when watching at the nearby Stag Ground if you arrive at the of a shift the Hovis bread factory on Main Rd emits its smell of fresh baking bread over the town and its sports grounds another positive bonus making Kimberley worth a visit is there any nicer smell than baking bread?
GEORGE BACON ON HIS WAY TO A TON
To the cricket the rain had stopped but it was still very murky and you feared it may be a difficult time to bat but it wasn't to be Kimberley moved gently onto 31 before the first wicket fell and then 71 for 2 with Bacon building his total all the time.
TOM ROWE ON HIS WAY TO A QUICK FIRE 25
He was now joined at the crease by Sam Johnson and how he made it move with a danger at varying stages of him catching up the opening batsman Bacon.  Johnson went to his 50 in the 37th over with the 50 overs reduced by 2 due to a small delay at the start we were now very much entering the business end and by the time the rain saw the sides off at around 3.15pm we had seen 41.5 overs and Kimberley had amassed 237 for 2.
BACON STILL ACCUMULATING THE RUNS
It was Johnson who secured a very exciting 78 from 70 balls including 12 x4's and 1 x 6.  But lets look at Bacon who was the builder in this innings with some equally exciting shots he finished on 122 with 13 x 4's, 2 x 6's.
GEORGE BACON ADDING TO HIS TOTAL
With the rain falling sharply and a check on the weather for the rest of the day I made the decision to depart it proved the correct one with no more play possible and an abandoned result being the unfortunate outcome.  Its always disappointing not to see a full result but this enjoyable ground and club is one I hope to cover again soon but on a nice day to enjoy its full benefits.