The season started on 15th April on a cold & showery day & our 2nd team started with a home fixture against the first team from Edgerton & Dalton. This was always going to be a tough challenge & this proved to be the case with the visitors totalling 285 for 4 in their allotted overs. Shepley staged a spirited response, albeit, falling short with an all out total of 194, leading scorers being last season's captain Dominic Lynn 53 & new recruit Will Ward 39. The first team travelled to nearby Honley & posted a respectable score of 169 for 9, Josh Ardron leading the way with an excellent 58. The Honley reply was interrupted at one stage by rain & their innings was eventually curtailed by bad light at a score of 150 for 8 with a few overs remaining, opening bowler Nasir Jamal showing the way with 4 for 21. A few moments uncertainty then arose whilst the umpires retired to the changing rooms to double check who had actually won the game, courtesy of the rain rule. Shepley were deemed to be the victors by a margin of 4 runs after appropriate adjustments - a very close game which reflected well on both teams, the home team perhaps being a trifle unfortunate to be on the wrong end of the result.
The following weekend saw the 1st X1 at home to Scholes in what proved to be another close game. Shepley batted first and scored 197 all out, new recruits Nadim Hussain & Kiwi Brenton Thompson scoring 52 & 38 respectively. Nadim carried on with the ball taking 3 Scholes wickets, but the visitors proved to strong in a tense finish, running out victors by 5 wickets. The 2nd team journeyed to Almondbury, dismissing the home side for 83, Ali Reza 5-15 plus wickets for 3 of our teenagers George Booth, Sam Sykes & Jake Lynn. Thanks to an undefeated stand between Nigel Hoyle 36 & Phil Booth 27, Shepley won by 5 wickets. On the Sunday, the first team played Heavy Woollen champions New Farnley, in that competition & were soundly beaten by a very good side.
On 29th April, Marsden were the visitors to Marsh Lane for a 2nd X1 game & were restricted to 194-5 in their 45 overs. Thanks to half centuries from Steve Sullivan & Ali Reza, Shepley gained the points by a 5 wicket margin. In a low scoring game at Moorlands, another close finish saw a defeat for Shepley by 6 runs despite an outstanding performance by Oliver Davidson who took 5 wickets for 28 then top scored with 32.
On Sunday 30th April, the 2nd team had a home tie against Delph & Dobcross in round 1 of the Paddock Shield competition. The visitors scored 281-5, but in reply, an outstanding knock of 123 from captain Phil Marsh kept us in the game before we were bowled out for 247. Despite the defeat, this was a most creditable performance by our boys. In the Sykes Cup, the first team played at Slaithwaite & dismissed the hosts for 175. Under most circumstances, captain Danny Glover taking 3 for 48 would be an important factor, but not really so on this occasion. Young Archie Greaves, in his mid teens & in his first season with Shepley, bowled 10 overs, six of which were maidens & took 3 wickets for a paltry 5 runs. An unbelievable bowling performance & we hope a taste of things to come for this talented young man. Thanks to a very solid opening partnership by Tom Denton 40 & Dan Wood 88, we ran out easy winners by 5 wickets.
On 6th May, the first team were at home to Skelmanthorpe & again thanks to our openers, Tom Denton 82 & Dan Wood 70, we posted a total of 232 for 8. Our opponents were dismissed for 104, Nasir Jamal claiming 4 for 43. A good day was maintained by the 2nd X1 at Nortonthorpe. Father & son, Dominic & Jake Lynn scored 76 not out & 67 respectively in a total of 212 for 7, the home team being dismissed for 185 with 4 wickets for Nigel Hoyle & 3 for Will Ward.