Despite James Lee scoring a very useful 46 runs the Cleck' total of 189 all out was insufficient in the end as our opening day opponents, Pudsey St Lawrence scored 190-6 in reply. Andrew Deegan took a wicket with his first ever ball for the Club and 2-9 off 3 overs was a useful cameo stint.
Week two of the season proved to be just as tricky with a three runs defeat against Gomersal. Our near-neighbours scored 237-6, despite a decent spell of bowling from Andrew Deegan who finished with figures of 3-34. Richard Gould was their top-scorer with 61. Cleck' tried to make a fist of it with a decent 32 runs from Jimmy Lee and 30 runs from Ian Wood and in the end we were just four runs short of victory, thanks largely to an innings of 31 not out from Man-of-the-Match, Deegan.
Cleck' First Team 2011 Back Row from L to R; Joe Robinson, Andrew Deegan, Iain Wardlaw, John Wood (Captain) James Lee, Ian Wood. Front Row from L to R; Ian Nicholson, Mark Cummins, Marcus Walmsley, Tim Jackson, 'Mally' Nicholson.
We lost our third game on the trot at Manningham Mills on April 30th and yet again it was a close affair with Cleck' being beaten by just one run! The home team scored 216-8 although at one stage they looked on course to score more. But needing just three runs off three balls to win, we ended one run short as Ian Nicholson was caught after a mis-cued skier and our final total of 215-9 left us at the foot of the League Table. Mark Cummins made 60 and John Wood scored 48 runs but there were few pluses in yet another defeat! In a rain affected 40 overs game at Undercliffe just a week later we gained our first win thanks largely to a magnificent 70 not out from Tim Jackson who was also brilliantly supported by Ian Nicholson who made 43 not out in a seven wickets win. The home side made 191-5, while Cleck' made 192-3 with a couple of overs to spare.
Saturday May 14th was a poor performance - full stop. 'Wardy' and 'Jimmy' Lee took seven wickets between them in Pudsey Congs' total of 135. We were all out for just 91 and only John Wood came out of the game with any credit, as far as the batting is concerned. He made 25 but the whole batting scenario was farcical and hopefully, never to be repeated? Fortunately, seven days later we had a much better result and performance. Bradford & Bingley were top of the division and had lost just once in five outings but some brilliant bowling from James Lee and Iain Wardlaw restricted them to 208. We were the bottom Club but the gap was never evident. Mark Cummins' 74 not out, supported by John Wood's 50 and Marcus Walmsley's 40 gave us a winning score of 208-6 and a 4 wickets win.
James Lee and Iain Wardlaw were in devastating form on May 28th as we blew away Hanging Heaton who were all out for 56. 'Jimmy' and 'Wardy' had identical bowling figures of 5-28. Cleck' had a few 'hairy' moments but finished as six wickets winners, scoring 60-4. At Woodlands the following Saturday we fielded poorly and allowed the home team to score 270-8 after we dropped five catches! Sarfraz Ahmed and Scott Richardson hit 80 and 74 respectively. We were 0-2 at one stage but recovered well with 51 runs from Mark Cummins, who had a splendid overall game, as did Iain Wardlaw who batted like a 'good 'un' for 37 and he had figures of 3-50 with the ball. Marcus Walmsley and Ian Nicholson were both unluckily given out as they were looking good at the time of their dismissals. They scored 42 runs apiece but our final total of 233 was not good enough on the day.
At East Bierley on June 11th we had an excellent 56 runs win. Cleck' were 199-7 with Mark Cummins hitting a solid 73 and he had good support from Tim Jackson who hit 37 runs. It looked as though we would not have enough runs but James Lee with 5-49 skittled the hosts for 143. The following Saturday we were indebted to Iain Wardlaw who obliterated Farsley with a tremendous spell of bowling, which gave 'Wardy' figures of 6-33 that included seeing four of our opponents wickets flying through the air! He also bowled dangerman Lorenzo Ingram who got a golden duck. The Jamaican-born batsman has already achieved over 800 runs. Farsley were all out for 177 and earlier we had posted an excellent 238-4 thanks to a wonderful 86 runs from John Wood. 'Jimmy' Lee made a quickfire and brilliant 62 runs with Marcus Walmsley also batting well for his 43. The day after we beat Woodlands in the Cup but more of that under our Priestley Cup heading under 2011 season.
'Jimmy' Lee is having an outstanding season both with the bat and the ball.
A trip to second from bottom Baildon on June 25th was a potential banana skin and it looked that way when we hobbled to 153-6 with Mark Cummins carrying his bat for 69. The home side looked to be coasting at one stage but James Lee ended with figures of 5-51 to rip the heart out of the home team who were bowled out for 132. Andrew Deegan with 2-2 and John Wood with figures of 2-24 off 13 overs also bowled brilliantly. We now lie fourth in the table. Seven days later Cleck' secured a brilliant 14 runs win against Pudsey St Lawrence, John Wood set the pace with a wonderful innings of 97 runs, James Lee struck 54 in 36 balls and Mark Cummins chipped in with 38 runs in a final total of 260-8. Adam Waite scored a 114 runs for the visitors and his side were in a winning position at one stage being 180-3 until Mark Cummins came in to the reckoning and ended the game with figures of 5-18 that wiped out the opponents for 246 and takes Cleck' in to second place in the First Division.
Saturday July 9th and we finally overcame our 'bogey' team Gomersal with a straightforward 57 runs win. Cleck' posted a healthy 264-6 in 45 overs, the game lost 10 overs because of a damp surface, and it was our Skipper John Wood that led from the front again with a brilliant knock of 93 runs. James Lee made 52 runs and Tim Jackson chipped in with 39. Ahsan Zia made his First Team debut and bowled well for his 2-25, 'Jimmy' had figures of 2-39 but the pick of the bowlers was Andrew Deegan who took 3-53 and he took advantage of a wicket that helped the spinner as the hosts ended on 207-8. Our next game was a routine home win against Manningham Mills who were all out for 74 thanks to explosive bowling from 'Jimmy' Lee, who had figures of 5-29 and also our Skipper, John Wood who bowled just four overs and took 4-5. We knocked them off with the loss of one wicket and ended on 78-1.
On Sat' July 23rd we beat Undercliffe at home by 4 wickets. Callum Geldart made 97 in the visitors total of 240-6. Thanks to 54 and 53 runs from Mark Cummins and Tim Jackson respectively we reached 241-6 with two overs to spare. Ian Nicholson batted well for his 45 runs as did Marcus Walmsley who score 34 runs. We have now won seven games in succession to remain second.
Ian Wood has found his best form as the season has progressed
Pudsey Congs away on July 30th was second against third with Cleck' just five points ahead of last season's Champions. Despite a couple of bad decisions we limped towards a total of 183 with 'Mally' Nicholson in brilliant form with an excellent knock of 45 runs. It appeared as though the home team would be favourites to win but once more, James Lee with 4-48 was in brilliant form with the ball and he was ably supported by Ian Wood who bowled tight for his 2-10 off 6 overs. Congs were all out for 125 and the 58 runs win boosted our Title hopes although Woodlands remain on top.
August began with our first defeat in nine games at home against Bradford & Bingley. They lost the toss but after being 46-4 at one stage the visitors ended on 197-8. Cleck' were never at the races and were all out for 111 with John Wood being our top scorer with 24 runs. One week later normal service was resumed as we brushed aside Hanging Heaton for the second time this term. Cleck' made 240-4 with Tim Jackson leading the way with 98 not out and he was ably supported by Marcus Walmsley who hit a splendid 74 runs. The home side were all out for 120 thanks to some excellent bowling from the two Wood brothers. Ian took 3-11 from 4.4 overs and John had figures of 3-40 off 9 overs.
Sat' Aug-20th will not be remembered with any pride. Against League leaders Woodlands we were given a real hiding. Cleck' were all out for 64 and our opponents won at a canter ending on 68-3. Sarfraz Ahmed took 5-20 and only Tim Jackson showed any resistance scoring 24 runs. Our Title challenge was in effect - over! The week after we suffered another disappointing home defeat against East Bierley who won by eight wickets. Chasing our total of 130 they had no problems and ended on 133-2. Only James Lee with 45 runs showed any kind of hint that we might make a decent total.
The penultimate game of the season ended in a high-scoring affair at Farsley. The home team scored 312-6 and declared with three overs left following a magnificent knock from Joe Greaves who scored 140 runs. Although we were without 'Mally' and Ian Nicholson, who were missing because of injury and a family wedding respectively, the Cleck' boys still made a fight of the run chase and we finished on 299 all out and just 13 runs short of the required total. Skipper John Wood made a magnificent 91 runs and stand in wicketkeeper Tim Jackson also did his bit with the bat notching 54 runs. Mark Cummins batted brilliantly for his 67 runs but we could not quite make the winning post!
Saturday Sept' 10th saw Cleck' play our final game of the season at home to already relegated Baildon and we suffered our fourth consecutive defeat. We were all out for 169 in reply to the visitors total of 210-7 to lose by 41 runs. Andrew Deegan was the pick of the bowlers and he had figures of 4-54 but only Mark Cummins, who was playing his last game for Cleck' before joining Sheffield United, made any impression with the bat and he scored 47 runs. It was a disapponting end to a season that at one point had promised so much as we finished seventh in the First Division Table.