Following on from last month’s report, the first team visited Barkisland on 16th May & dismissed the home team for 107, Shahzada Khan leading the way with 4-39, being well supported by Nasir Jamal, 3-26. Nasir at one time bowled 7 consecutive maidens & had the impressive figures of 3-0. On a difficult wicket, Shepley scored the winning runs for a 4 wicket victory. Meanwhile, the 2nd X1 were at home to highflying Hoylandswaine & thanks to a fine knock of 58 from Mark Floyd & an unbeaten 33 from captain Dominic Lynn, we reached a very respectable 197-5. The visitors reached the target for the loss of 6 wickets, but Shepley gained a valuable bonus point. On the Sunday, the 1st X1 were at home in the Sykes Cup to Championship side Meltham who were dismissed for 137, Amar Rashid 3-30, but a woeful batting performance then followed, with the exception of a battling knock from captain Danny Glover, 31 not out, Shepley being dismissed for 69. Without taking anything away from an excellent performance by the visitors, this really was too bad to be true from our batsmen.
The following Saturday, the 1st X1 had an opportunity to remedy things with a home game versus Broad Oak. Shepley batted first & amassed an impressive total of 270-6, Tom Denton leading the way with 67, Oliver Davidson 61 not out, Christian Smith 54 & Amar Rashid 37. The visitors were then dismissed for 143, Nasir Jamal 4-19 & Danny Glover 3-27, to keep our league challenge on track. On the Bank Holiday Monday, over 500 runs were scored at the first team game at Marsh Lane, with Shepley taking the spoils in an excellent close game with Moorlands. Tom Denton maintained his good form with 83, Danny Glover 59 & an unbeaten 57 from Christian Smith & then 4 wickets for 56 from Oliver Davidson being the major contributions. Over the same weekend, the second team visited Slaithwaite & then Cawthorne. Despite a good start on the Saturday, Jamie Dearnley 42 & Mark Floyd 41, we were all out for 165, Slaithwaite were the victors for the loss of 5 wickets, Rob Denton 3-19. On the Monday, the lads recorded a much needed victory by dismissing Cawthorne for 98, Mark Floyd 3-33, Josh Ardron 3-21 & Ian Walker 2-22 & runs from all the early order saw Shepley home for a decisive 7 wicket win.
On 30th May, the first team went to local rivals Skelmanthorpe & batted first amassing a very respectable total of 233-9, in-form Kiwi Christian Smith leading the way with 76 & being well supported by Danny Glover 51 & Amar Rashid 38. Impressive bowling by Danny Glover, 5-28, then saw the home team dismissed for 162 to complete a Shepley victory. The 2nd X1 had a day to forget, batting first on a difficult wicket against Delph, we were dismissed for a paltry 62, despite a battling knock of 35 not out from the evergreen Stuart Greaves. In reply, Mark Floyd took 3-14, but the visitors recorded a comfortable 6 wicket victory. The following day, Shepley hosted a Heavy Woollen Cup game against current league champions Hoylandswaine. Heavy rain through the night put the fixture very much in doubt, but eventually it was agreed to play a 20 over game. Shepley batted first & posted a total of just over 6 runs per over & following a solid start to their innings, Swaine were always in the driving seat to record their win.
On 6th June, the first team batted first against Elland & scored 192-9 in their allotted overs, Tom Denton 57. The visitors were dismissed for 107 to leave Shepley in 3rd place in the league standings. The second team went to Golcar & scored a fine 241-8, thanks mainly to a superb unbeaten 117 for local lad Huw Ellis (a good way to greet his newly arrived son Isaac – congratulations to Tahnee & Huw). Unfortunately, Golcar spoiled the party by chasing down our total to record a 4 wicket win, but Shepley came away with a valuable bonus point.