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Elliott relishing Captaincy opportunity

For the 2019 season Elliott Hallas replaces Chris Dobson as the Second team Captain and he is delighted to be given the chance.

Dobby remains as a player at Cleck’ and the Club’s loyal servant is handing over the reins to yet another loyal Club member and player who spoke of his intentions for next year. Elliott wrote the following message.

I’d like to take this chance to publicly thank the Cricket Committee for giving me the opportunity to captain the 2nd X1 from 2019.

I came to Cleckheaton Cricket Club as a 15- year -old boy  from a recommendation from Mark and Sam Bailey to play under 17s and 2nd X1 cricket. From that moment on I’ve not looked back since.

I’m taking over a very strong and talented team that Dobby has spent a lot of time with and I hope to take this team from strength to strength.

Both myself and First Team Skipper Mally Nicholson - alongside various members of the Club’s committee - will be working hard over the winter months to bring in some players that’ll help improve the side on the field and also off the field too.

Once again thank you for the support that the Club have shown me and looking forward to getting down to it in 2019.

Elliott Hallas is a determined and a very popular character at Cleck'

Age no barrier for Woody

John Wood celebrated his 48th birthday on Sunday and his performance the previous day againstMethley showed he’s still an important player for Cleck’.

John revealed he will carry on playing First Team cricket for the Club for at least another season in 2019 and judging by his brisk knock of 59 and 2-12 at the weekend that’s good news for the Moorenders.

It has been well documented that Woody’s tenure at Moorend for the last 12 years or so has witnessed two Championship successes and a Priestley Cup Final place and a Club that prides itself on having a ‘happy ship.’

Mally Nicholson, who took over from John as Captain at the beginning of the season, is becoming a clone of a man whom he can still depend on. Woody’s family were and in many ways still are a massive part of the Club and Mally’s family and friends are taking up a similar mantle. John's brother Ian and his children were at the game on Saturday and no-one at Cleck' forgets Ian's fabulous role for years.

Woody created a solid team ethic, which continues, he had to make some tough decisions at times but with the backing of former Chairman Dave Worrall and the current Chairman Ian Gatenby and the committee the correct decisions were usually made.

Thankfully, we’re not writing John’s ‘playing obituary’ for some while.

His performances on the field are still class – even if he does creak a little more afterwards these days!

John Wood will play on for another season at Cleck' and his legacy will be of a loyal servant as was his brother Ian

Galey tips Kohler-Cadmore for international honours!

Yorkshire CCC first team coach Andrew Gale tips Cleck’s signing Tom Kohler-Cadmore to become a top-class performer at international level!

Tom is of course contracted to Yorkshire CCC but he has been allowed to join Cleck’ when available to develop his game even further, which is a massive plus for the Moorenders and a help to both the player and his County.

Former Cleck’ star Galey remains close to many players, members and friends at Moorend and he gave the Club’s website the following comments; “Tom is an excellent player and I believe he has the potential to gain international honours in white ball cricket,” revealed Galey. “He is finding out his own game in red ball cricket but I am confident he’ll be a success for Yorkshire. Playing at Cleckheaton allows him to keep up his good form from the cricket he is playing midweek. I am certain everyone at Cleck’ will be entertained!!”

Galey has had tremendous success with Yorkshire over the last few years as a player, Captain and now a coach and his opinion carries a great deal of weight and his appraisal of Tom’s ability can only benefit all concerned.

Cleck's relationship with the County outfit and Galey in-particular is about trust and when the Club's Captain Mally Nicholson and officials from Moorend met with Tom it was obvious from the outset his attitude towards his role with Cleck' was that he'll be a great guy in the dressing room as well as an astute signing.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore is tipped for international honours by Galey

Cleck’ tie keenly fought contest

Cleck’ tied the friendly game at Undercliffe on Saturday and there were more pluses than minuses in the forty overs a side game.

Mally's side batted first and posted 190 with the loss of five wickets and in reply the hosts made 190-8 with Toby Thorpe hitting the stumps for a run out off the last ball of the match.

The Skipper made 53 not out before retiring and Vice-Captain Nick Lindley retired also after hitting 51 runs. Toby scored 26 runs on his return to his former Club before being given out LBW.

The bowling for Cleck’ was a mixed-bag but 14-year-old Alex Midgley excelled capturing 2-28 off six overs as well as taking a splendid catch. Nick took 2-33 off his eight overs with Johnny Whiteoak andAndrew Deegan taking a wicket apiece. Ethan Lee had credible figures also of 1-31 off 4.3 overs whilstJohn Wood was the most economical with just fourteen runs coming off his five overs bowled.

Woody's economical bowling at Intake Road was instrumental in the tied game

It was vital for the lads to play on grass at long last following the recent wet weather and in bright sunshine the game didn’t disappoint a fairly sizeable crowd.

Although not too much should be read in to a friendly match and with four would be First Team regulars that didn't play at Intake Road set to play at New Farnley next Saturday, the keenly fought game was entertaining and both teenagers Alex and Ethan can be extremely pleased with their performances. Neither of the young men looked out of place and if they continue to work as hard at their game in the future as they have already, they can look forward to good careers but they have a long haul yet but so far, so good.

Toby and Nick seem like they could forge a strong opening batting partnership whilst one or two bowlers looked a little ‘rusty’ but that’s only to be expected.

Overall, thanks to Undercliffe for staging the game on a wicket that appeared to be in excellent condition.

Nick Lindley had a busy afternoon at Undercliffe!


Former Chairman Reviews pre-season

Dave Worrall may have relinquished his duties as Chairman of the Cricket Section after a stint of well over twenty years but he remains an integral part of the Cricket Committee.

Dave alongside Chairman Ian Gatenby and the committee have supported newly installed CaptainMally Nicholson, who has been busy bringing in new faces, which is applauded but those departing are not forgotten.

“It’s been a really hectic and fascinating close season,” admitted Dave. “So much activity, we haven’t seen anything like this I don’t think since we appointed John Wood as Captain over eleven years ago.

The format adopted when looking to bring new players in hasn’t changed though and we have all the new signings joining for all the right reasons. Mally has been nonstop during the winter and having had the opportunity to have a drink and a chat with everyone so far except for Nick Walker and our overseas I am really impressed and if they can gel quickly we could be in for a fascinating summer....weather permitting.

Mally and his men will be hoping to erase the memories of last season's relegation fight!

Sadly we are losing three of our stalwarts in Curtis FreeSam Wilson and Ian NicholsonCurtis joined us from Doncaster and he immediately made an impact on the field, in the dressing room and along withSam they both bought in totally to all the activities and fund raisers we need to do every year.

Curtis’s girl friend Chelsea and his mum Roz and dad Jem also joined in and were always there to support him. Curt’s performances didn’t go unnoticed and he had a couple of County trials during his stay. He will be back at Doncaster next season with the opportunity of some Minor counties cricket as well. We wish Curt and his family all the best and they all know they will be made very welcome back here whenever they are passing junction 26.

Dave Worrall can be seen in the background in the Long Room at Lords with Keith Johnstone in the foreground and both men are 'proud' of their Club side - Dave's comments pre-season show that he respects the loyalty so many players have shown

With Sam it’s a case of music was my first love !! and we have had several music nights at Cleck’ with him and he has gone down a storm...he has a real talent but he can also play cricket and he took on theIan Wood role when Ian had to retire and became a real established member of the team, he left nothing on the field and as with Curt he was well supported by his parents and again we hope to see the Wilsonfamily on a regular basis.

We also have to say a huge thanks to Ian Nicholson who has also hung up his boots after eleven seasons with us and was an integral part of the most successful Cleck’ team in the Club’s history he was twice a League Champion and so enjoyable to watch when he was flowing...but along with his family he will be here to support Mally and the boys so Eor there will be roller duties at the tea interval.. drinks after 25 overs..We’ll keep him busy !!

Fingers crossed for some sunshine and good luck to the new guys and all our teams.”

Sam will always be a ‘top man’

Sam Wilson has decided to leave Cleck’ in order to fulfil his commitments to his music career.

Sam joined the Club from Pool a couple of years ago having been at Moorend some years before and as a genuine, determined and ‘gritty’ all-rounder he’s made a massive contribution at Cleck’ not only on-the-field but off it - as Sam and both of his supportive and extremely plausible parents Steve and Viv – have attended many fund-raising events and the Club is appreciative of their support.

Sam is a gifted guitarist and singer and he is very much in demand on the music circuit. On a number of occasions he's overseen gigs at the Club and very much as a favour to Cleck'.

He will though continue to play Cricket and for Clayton CC, which is nearer to his home but he leaves with everyone’s best wishes. “Sam’s a great lad in the dressing room; he’s done well for Cleck’ and we’ll all miss him but wish him well and thank him for his contribution to the side,” commented Skipper Mally Nicholson.

Sam leaves Cleck' on good terms and with everyone's best wishes for the future

Confident Keith washes away cancellation talk.

Cleck’s groundsman Keith Johnstone is confident that a decent wicket can be prepared in time for the opening day of the 2018 season on Saturday April 21st, despite recent heavy snowfall and rain aplenty!

There has been talk of cancelling the opening day fixtures and moving them to another date in the Cricket calendar, which is an idea dismissed emphatically by the League’s hierarchy and Cleck’sexperienced groundsman agrees with the sentiments.

“I admit that the outfield at Cleck’ is saturated at the moment but the square’s not too bad,” revealedKeith. “I honestly think unless the rain continues we’ll get some cricket in on the 21st of this month. You have to realise that some Clubs aren’t as fortunate as us and go away in September and don’t come back until Easter, whilst John Hawkesworth and me have been able to put in a lot of preparation work over the winter. If the weather’s been too bad we’ve managed to oversee maintenance work such as painting the benches and sight screens. There’s two weeks to go and the covers won’t go on if they’re needed for another ten days.”

Keith pictured alongside Steve Midgley and John Archer is confident his hard work will see cricket played on the opening day of the season at Moorend

Weather takes its toll on friendly fixture

On Saturday April 14th Cleck’ were due to play Kirkburton CC in a friendly fixture at their home ground, which has been cancelled.

Due to severe weather of late the groundsman at Kirkburton CC has understandably pulled the plug on the contest citing there would be very little chance of preparing a wicket to the required standard in time.

Dobby praises his loyal troops!

Every year we highlight Chris Dobson’s loyal service to Cleck’ and the experienced but unassuming Skipper of the Seconds always comes up with the goods.

Dobby highlights those players and members who have already and will continue to play their part in the 2018 season.

“After missing out on promotion by four points in 2016 we were again challenging last season finishing fourth.  To be honest we did better than I expected after losing Sam Gatenby and Joe Wood from the previous year and if it hadn’t been for a combination of injuries, holidays and first team calls meaning we lost three or four games that we would have expected to win we could easily have ended up higher.

Atta Rehman started the season bowling exceptionally well - we certainly didn’t see a better bowler all year – and then unfortunately injured his back for the second half of the season.  Hopefully he’ll be fit again this year.  His elder brother Shahid had another successful season playing many crucial innings with the bat and also picked up a few wickets with his off-spin.

Richard Noble had a good first season opening the batting and hopefully he’ll be able to kick on this year and turn more good starts into bigger innings.  Brother Steve also played some important knocks and will be given plenty of opportunity for more of the same this year. Joe Robinson made major contributions with both bat and ball all season and I have no doubt will do the same again this year. Elliot Hallas started the season as number six batsman and wicket keeper and ended up as an all-rounder with some amazing bowling figures in a couple of games.  He also did a great job as Captain when I was unavailable. Craig Blackburn, as always, made good contributions with bat and in the field – sometimes with the keeping gloves on as well. Sam Bailey, again, could always be relied on to pick up some early wickets for very few runs and bowled some important spells.

Chris Dobson is highly regarded by outsiders as well as those at Cleck'

Probably the biggest plus for us last season was the way that Ethan Lee and Alex Midgley stepped up.  We knew they were good players but I don’t think we could have expected them to have done quite so well on the field and fitted in as well in the dressing room as they did.  There were a number of times where both Ethan and Alex made major contributions in games with both bat and ball and this year I intend to give them both plenty more opportunities to show how good they are.  The way the rest of the lads batted last year I ought to be able to move myself down the order on some occasions this year and give Ethan and Alex more chances batting higher up. There is a development plan being put in place to ensure that young talented players like Ethan and Alex are allowed to develop their game correctly and to enhance their future progress. We mustn't forget Atta and Shahid whom I know are ambitious and they too will be monitored closely as will the Noble brothers who have performed well.

All in all I think we can look forward to another good season – although as I’m writing this and watching the snow fall we could probably do with a big improvement in the weather over the next couple of weeks!

Finally a few thank yous for last season – Liz Bailey for our excellent teas, Antony Lee and Russ Noblewould always help out by playing (at one point Antony must have got a text from me every Friday afternoon for a couple of months!) or get hold of some juniors to help us out. Steve Midgley was always willing to help us out scoring and umpiring and Ian Gatenby who helped organise scorers, umpires and anything else we needed - usually at the last minute.”

Steve Midgley, Antony Lee and Dobby play major roles at Cleck'

Incredible recruitment drive from Mally!

Prior to his first full season as Captain Mally Nicholson has used all his contacts and influence to bring in seven new players for the coming season during what has been a busy winter.

John Wood stepped down as Captain at the end of last term but thankfully remains as a player and still a genuine influence around Moorend.

However, with the full backing of the committee, Mally has proved to be shrewd and pro-active in re-shaping a team that only just stayed in the ECB Premier League last season but is confident of making a genuine challenge for the Title this term.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore – Johnny Whiteoak – Toby Thorpe – Josh Thurwell – Dave Paynter – Tayyab Tahir – and now all-rounder Nick Walker joins current members; Mally – Nick Lindley - John Wood – Andrew Deegan and Sam Wilson not forgetting there’s the likes of Andy Gorrod and Joe Robinson to name but two waiting in the wings!

Kohler-Cadmore and Walker in-particular are quality signings that have come out of the blue but testimony to the determination of the Cricket Section to bring some silverware to Cleck’ this year. There is quite naturally doubts about whether or not Kohler-Cadmore will play many games for Cleck'. The Club guarantees nothing as his Yorkshire commitments and potential success will determine what he does atMoorend but the feeling is Tom is not a 'gimmick' signing but a genuine and potential match winner for the Club.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore could be available for Cleck' more often than some opponents may think?

Cleck’ acknowledges strength in depth

The Club’s First Team nearly always takes the headlines simply because they are the pinnacle of the Cricket Section but so many others are equally important.

We must acknowledge the work done by the likes of Cricket Chairman Ian Gatenby, who for longer than he’ll care to remember nurtured the younger players coming through the ranks and now Russ Noble has taken the mantle but with Gats still very close by. Seconds’ Skipper Chris Dobson is a true stalwart atMoorend and so many other coaches and family members play their part.

For any aspiring young cricketer the First Team has to be the aim but playing at the top level of local cricket it’s not an easy task. Never-the-less, Cleck’ has a number of gifted young players rapidly improving and showing their worth and the hope is that at least one player will make the First Team in the next couple of years or so.

In the past Eddie and Marcus Walmsley were juniors at the Club and they’ve carved out a good career in local cricket and we should remember Joe Robinson also who won a Championship medal having been with the Club since nine year’s of age. Joe had a brief spell with Scholes but remains a squad player at Cleck’ and a reliable player in the wings.

First team players Nick Lindley and Sam Wilson returned to Cleck’ having previously been part of the set up and just to show how tough it is to make the First Team, Sam Gatenby left to enhance his career and gained promotion with Scholes last season to show what a technically gifted batsman he is.

It is hoped to acquire the thoughts of Dobby who will appraise the Seconds’ and promising juniors at the Club.

Joe Robinson, who is pictured with his Dad Mark, has won a Trophy with Cleck' in the past - but not the one in the photo' we might add!

Former Cleck’ star’s predictions for 2018

Tim Jackson was a popular and very successful opening batsman at Moorend for several seasons before joining Woodlands as their Skipper a couple of years ago.

Tim has kindly agreed to share his thoughts for the coming season.

“The ECB Bradford League Premier Division One continues to strengthen as we are still seeing the effects of the merge some seasons ago. Methley have deservedly worked their way through the divisions and I can see them establishing themselves as a first division side. Scholes who have always been a Bradford League side have done well to beat the aforementioned Methley and a historically strongWrenthotrpe to secure promotion to Div One - they too will be tough to beat especially on home soil where it can be tough place to score runs.

It has been interesting reading the Cleck’ website this winter with so many changes to the first team and I think it was necessary for Cleck’ to get some new blood into the side (having narrowly survived last campaign) and particularly to bring in some young talent that can start to form the next generation atMoorend.

I believe that Cleck’ are in a rebuilding process and whilst some of the signings have promise I think the team needs to be given time and be shown some patience. It is difficult to bring in several players when ideally one or two changes is what would be expected.

The difficulty for Cleck’ is gelling as a team and working out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully from Cleck’s point of view it will bring in hungry players who are keen to challenge themselves but also prove their ability to the league. The marquee signing of Tom Kohler-Cadmore is a big plus forCleck’; his quality and professionalism along with the experience of Mally NicholsonJohn Wood andAndrew Deegan and Dave Paynter mixed in with the younger talent bodes well for the future.

Andrew Deegan is one of a number of experienced Cleck' players that Tim Jackson praises

I expect Tom to win games for Cleck’ which alone will ensure survival in the division but could help them produce some upsets and who knows maybe result in a good cup run. Tom should score heavy runs at home and on good wickets but it will be interesting to see how he fairs in the Bradford League when conditions are perhaps not what he is used to. His availability will bring its own problems but I know this is something that will have been heavily considered at Moorend.

I think it is hard to argue with what is currently on the website, saying that Hanging HeatonPudsey St Lawrence and ourselves Woodlands are favourites. Heaton deserved their Championship success and I believe they have been a bit unlucky previously not to win a title. There is no doubt that they have been the best team in the last three seasons in terms of performance. Lawrence will be keen to reignite a Championship challenge after what they might consider a disappointing season. The addition of Jordan Thompson will be a big improvement and with a strong opening partnership as well as some fire power in the middle order it could be back to winning ways for Lawrence.

Will Tom Kohler-Cadmore produce runs on alien wickets, questions Jacko'?

I feel that we will be difficult to beat this season, we have had few changes but strengthened with the addition of a proper overseas batter. As we all know this can be a risk but what is guaranteed from a professional cricketer is that they are an exceptional talent and have the ability to single handed win games. I also feel that we are better placed this season. Scott Richardson has spent a whole winter in Australia, The arrival of Bilal who was successful at New Farnley with over 40 wickets will add to our bowling options; he has pace, great variety and being left arm will bring a different dimension. Bilal is also destructive with the bat and will keep in theme that all eleven Woodlands players can score useful runs.

Arguably Woodlands possess the best three spinners in the league and this could be a decisive factor in securing honours this campaign. Having won the Priestley Cup and Heavy Woollen Cup in the last two years and showing more consistency in the League also.

Dark horses for the league have to be FarsleyNew Farnley and Townville. A lot will depend on whatFarsley’s new overseas player has to offer. For Townville it is the way they gel as a team and the difficulty of beating them on home soil that could see them challenge

New Farnley always seem to be talked about an d fancied pre-season but have yet to produce a serious Championship challenge. Not mentioning anyone else is not being disrespectful to other sides but the competition will be strong and any team that starts the season well will be confident of landing the prestigious Title.”

Jacko' remains a respected figure at Cleck' despite nowadays being the Club's fierce rival!

What odds for Cleck’ to win Title?

Sport fans love to predict their teams’ outcome especially pre-season when everything in the garden is rosy and each team is on an equal footing.

As for the Bradford Cricket Premier League Cleck’s followers appear to have a side with a particularly strong batting line up and some big-hitters out there and yet the bowlers might have something to say on that subject.

Josh Thurwell and Johnny Whiteoak who are just two of the Club’s six new signings are young fast bowlers with a lot to offer and they’ll be keen to outshine the batsmen, who on paper look capable of making runs and in addition there’s a younger look to the side with fielding always a vital component.

Traditionally, Cleck’ look after their players and despite his decision to step down and play when needed don’t be surprised to see Andy Gorrod come to the party. Andy is arguably one of the League’s best fielders and a batsman who may have had a difficult time of things over the last couple of years but he is a very talented cricketer and to have him waiting in the wings is a fantastic plus and the Cricket Section is mindful of Andy's loyalty.

There is a great deal of positivity surrounding the Club with the newcomers (that is highlighted below) but there’ll be a number of other sides feeling exactly the same way and to have a punt at Cleck’s odds for the Championship. You’d have to say we’re around 10/1 and Hanging Heaton odds on favourites withPudsey St Lawrence and Woodlands not far behind them?

Johnny Whiteoak will be a key figure for Cleck' in 2018

Former Skipper offers successor best wishes

For over a decade John Wood was a pivotal figure at Cleck’. He built a playing squad from scratch and achieved great success winning two Championships and reaching the final of the Priestley Cup.

Not only was John a leader and a successful player in his own right but he brought his brother Ian Woodin to the Club who became an integral part of the team for many years until a knee injury curtailed his involvement. His mum Anne Wood and many members of John’s family gave incredible support and will continue to do so. Woody can be proud of his achievements and the Club is delighted he continues as a player whilst in typical fashion he wishes his successor Mally Nicholson sincere best wishes in his role as Captain.

John commented; “Last season was extremely disappointing especially as it was my last as Captain. It is certainly not the way I wanted to end my tenure at the club. I think a change in personnel within the team was needed and that is exactly what has happened over the winter months. Six new faces will arrive and I believe that Mally has recruited extremely well.

The players he has acquired all seem to want to come for the right reasons and to develop their game and improve. The team feels much more youthful now and with that comes a desire to succeed. I am sure it will take time for the new faces to settle however the camaraderie we have built over the years will help to minimise the time this takes. I am really looking forward to playing with the new lads and seeing what they are capable of over the next couple of seasons, hopefully we can push again for a title before I retire.

Mally will have many up’s and down’s over the next couple of years however he has lots of support from within the team and the Club in general, he has certainly thrown himself in to the role over the winter. Who would ever have thought Mally would be sat at committee meetings every third Monday offering ideas to push the Club forward, well done pal, keep it going.”

John Wood is a 'winner' in so many ways

Cleck’ capture star County batsman

Yorkshire and former Worcestershire batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore has joined Cleck’.

The 23-year-old right hand batsman who bowls right-arm off spin also is expected to play around a dozen games for the Moorenders subject to his County commitments but the Chatham-born star is a superb prospect and a player who will be able to realistically assist Cleck’s quest for honours.

He won the Walter Lawrence award for the fastest domestic hundred scored in a first class innings and he is renowned as a destructive big hitting batsman.

Skipper Mally Nicholson simply said; “He is a fantastic signing for the Club.”

Former Chairman Dave Worrall, who remains a major part of making new signings alongside Mally and Chairman Ian Gatenby, is delighted at the Club’s sixth newcomer for the 2018 season. “We had a really good meeting with Tom last week and explained how we operate and we felt he appeared happy with our approach,” commented Dave. “He came across as a real team man and will be delighted to take part in our social side and he’s coming to our Annual Dinner on March 2nd. He wanted to do things properly and speak to other Clubs who had been in contact with him, which he obviously has done. Tomannounced to Mally to let us know the good news and he’s a real coup for us.”

There has been a great deal of hard work gone in to not only the latest signing of Tom Kohler-Cadmorebut capturing five other fresh faces who all have a great deal to offer.

No-one at Cleck’ is arrogant enough to shout the odds because the ECB Bradford Cricket Premier League has quality teams throughout the League and in 2018 it’ll be as tough as ever.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore is welcomed at Cleck' and recognised as a team player as well as a future star in County Cricket

The new lads signed provide a youthful look to the team and fresh faces bring fresh ideas and without doubt the batting line up especially looks very strong but as we all know no-one can ever take anything for granted, hard graft, determination and focus are needed at every level and the hierarchy at Moorendare not getting carried away but pleased at their hard pre-season work.

In addition to the latest signing other new faces includes; Toby Thorpe from Undercliffe, Josh Thurwelland Johnny Whiteoak from Carlton and Lightcliffe respectively, experienced Dave Paynter and another big hitter in overseas Tayyab Tahir.

Signing Tom is a real 'coup' for Cleck'

Good cop and not a bad cop!

Chairman Ian Gatenby and former Chairman Dave Worrall are forming quite a ‘dream team’!

The latter isn’t one for in-depth meetings and too much protocol whilst the former has a good tolerance level - but both men are fantastic stalwarts and knowledgeable cricket people.

The recent fund-raising evening with the Rod Stewart tribute act highlighted the so-called ‘good feel factor’ and the afore-mentioned gents are very much at the pinnacle of everything that’s good aboutCleck’.

Add to the mixture the newly appointed and enthusiastic Captain Mally Nicholson and the wise and loyal former Skipper John Wood and you have a recipe for success with a number of brilliant new signings and current loyal players and committee people.

If, and it’s a big IF – a much-sought after capture joins the Moorenders success for 2018 becomes even more realistic. The player has held talks and a decision is anticipated within a week or so.

Cricket Chairman Ian Gatenby would be delighted to achieve a 'Trophy' in his tenure

Fantastic Saturday night at Cleck’ – in more ways than one!

The Rod Stewart tribute act on view at Moorend on Saturday was absolutely brilliant and he performed in front of an enthusiastic crowd of over 130 guests, who danced the night away to a superb performer.

The newly refurbished function room enhanced a fabulous occasion and organiser Dave Worrall should be delighted at what was on view and the former Cricket Chairman made sure the act was sponsored, which assisted the Club’s coffers.

It was good to see a number of players at the event as well Club officials – and of course members and their friends.

In addition, current Club main sponsors Stanley Cars have renewed their deal for the 2018 season. Mr Tony Stanley and his wife Susan attended the fund-raising event and confirmed on the night continued support.

Dave Worrall can now relax after overseeing a fantastic fund-raising night

The following bullet points are relevant to Cleckheaton Cricket Club

  • Curtis Free and Joe Wood have left Cleck’ to sign for Doncaster Town and Spen Victoriarespectively, with thanks for all they’ve done for the Club and genuine best wishes for the future.
  • Anne Wood retires from kitchen duties and once more with thanks to Anne for her brilliant teas and overall commitment for over a decade.
  • John Wood steps down as Skipper but remains a vital member of the First Team as Mally Nicholsontakes his place as Captain.
  • Mally Nicholson has had a busy winter and the Captain/wicketkeeper/batsman will continue to be at the forefront of matters during the summer months!
  • Long serving batsman Ian Nicholson has retired from cricket due to family and work commitments and he leaves Moorend with sincere thanks from everyone connected at the Club for his loyal service.
  • Five new signings have been made to date; Toby Thorpe an opening batsman from Undercliffe CC,Josh Thurwell an opening fast bowler captured from Carlton CC and another opening bowler,Johnny Whiteoak signed from Lightcliffe CC. In addition, overseas batsman and spin bowler Tayyab Tahir arrives from Pakistan before the season starts having been a success in First Class cricket in his homeland. Dave Paynter became the Club's fifth signing.
  • First and Second team nets sessions commence at Tong School on Tuesday Feb’ 6th until Tuesday March 27th – two nets available between 7-15pm and 8-15pm.
  • Junior nets to be held at Woodlands CC from Friday January 5th between 8pm and 9pm.
  • Cleck’ have drawn Morley at home in the Priestley Cup.
  • Previous stories can be found on the Home Page in the Archive Section including Deegs' article


Johnny Whiteoak is one of five new captures for Cleck'

Deegs' tribute to the ‘old guard’

Andrew Deegan starts his seventh season at Cleck’ in 2018 after joining from Bankfoot as a potentially good prospect -but relatively raw – all those seasons ago.

He has developed brilliantly in to one of the best spinners in the ECB Bradford Cricket Premier League if not at times a little underrated. Everyone at Moorend recognises Deegs’ ability and his strength of character. He is one of the few bowlers that puts to one side negativity if he goes for a few runs, Andrewjust gets on with his game and he’s always got wickets up his sleeve and he is a very popular man atCleck’.

He’s also astute when it comes to the game in general – if not with more than a hint of ‘dry’ humour. “With the season still 133 days away, at the time of writing, I have not thought too much about the coming season,” admitted Deegs. “I’ll enjoy Christmas before I start to moan about having to go to winter nets. After what was a very disappointing season I know there have been a number of changes at the Club for next season. It’s a shame that some of the lads have chosen to move on to other Clubs but I am sure it is what’s right for them.”

Curtis Free has re-joined his old Club Doncaster Town whilst Joe Wood has signed for Spen Victoria, and Ian Nicholson has retired from the game whilst Andy Gorrod’s future is in limbo but they all part withDeegs’ best wishes. “I want to wish Curt and Joe all the best at their new Clubs for the coming season,” he added. “It is also sad to see a couple of lads call it a day. I think Eor (Ian Nicholson) will be a big loss – he was a great fielder and a handy spinner!! I am sure that when he is dragging himself around the Trafford centre next April shopping for cushions on a Saturday he will wish he was back in the dressing room. I am fairly certain Andy G can be convinced to play again so I don’t want to give him a send off – just yet!”

Ian Nicholson's fielding abilities will be a big loss, according to Deegs!

Like so many at Cleck’ the loss of the Club’s star turn in the tea room has disappointed one of her best customers. “Whilst the players that have left will be greatly missed their loss pales in to insignificance in comparison to the loss of Mrs Wood’s chocolate covered rice crispy buns," admitted a man who expects to be in trim condition next season," – "And Saturdays will never be the same again.”

Finally, Deegs admits that former Skipper John Wood has been a major influence on his progress. “The coming season will be the first time the Captaincy has changed whilst I have been at Cleckheaton asJohn signed me six years ago,” he commented. “I have always said that John has a good eye for picking talent! He has done a fantastic job over the last 10 years or more in building a team that managed to win Trophies and compete year in and year out. I am certain John will be on hand to help out new SkipperMally Nicholson when he needs it. Mally will do a brilliant job as the Captain although his main priority should be learning how to toss a coin! I look forward to seeing the new guys play and they can hopefully bring success back to the Club. Wishing everyone a fantastic Christmas and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year at Cleck’.”

Andrew Deegan is as wily on the field as he is witty off it!!

Overseas capture concluded!

Pakistan-born Tayyab Tahir is set to join Cleck’ for the 2018 season.

The 24-year-old right-hand batsman and right hand leg break spinner is currently playing for Lahore Eagles in his homeland and although an opening bat, he comes to Cleck’ to bat at number three behindToby Thorpe and Vice-Captain Nick Lindley.

Born July 26th 1993, Tayyab arrives at Moorend highly-rated. Former Cricket Chairman and Cricket Committee member Dave Worrall admits that the Club's Skipper Mally Nicholson endorses the latest signing. “Tayabb is having a good season so far,” revealed Dave. “Mally is pleased with his stats and we hope that his bowling is as effective as Tanzeel Altaf’s was when he was at Cleck’.”

Although signing an overseas on recommendation and stats doesn’t always guarantee success it’s fair to say that over the years Cleck’ have been fortunate to be well looked after by the agent and in Tayabb’scase every check possible on his ability has been made.

Tayyab Tahir is Cleck's new overseas signing for the 2018 season

TobyJosh Thurwell and Johnny Whiteoak have already signed for the Club with at least one more player on the way. “We are hoping to sign one or may be two more new players,” added Dave. “A Senior Bradford League official recently told me that he felt Toby is an astute signing from Undercliffe and he rates him highly.”

Thankfully, every player signed has come to the Club for cricket reasons and signings to date look promising as Cleck’s aim is to avoid last season’s relegation dog-fight and build a side the way that former Captain John Wood so successfully managed over a fantastic period of ten years plus but underMally’s stewardship this time around.

Mally Nicholson has a lot of work ahead of him in 2018, batting, stumping and being the Skipper!!

The haves and have not’s

In the event of some potential knuckle rapping, which has happened to Cleck’ in the past, we’ll keep names intact and comment in cryptic fashion - but the more that members and supporters at Moorend talk to others around the Bradford League circuit the more it appears a gulf is forming between the few that can afford players’ demands and those that cannot.

It’s been a bone of contention for many years but the problem’s now escalating.

Some Clubs have benefactors, many fund-raise in pro-active fashion, Cleck’ included, quite a few Clubs are on their uppers financially. One high-profile Bradford League outfit by all accounts hasn’t a clue where players or funds are coming from for the 2018 season!

And does every Club adhere to the minimum standards that were set by the League, four sight screens and juniors set up etc?

There are a great deal of unanswered questions and it looks like the level required to stay at the top is whittled down to several who can afford to ‘splash the cash’ – on players - and allegedly not on minimum standards - and even then they’ll be in denial!

Cleck’s Cricket Committee and Captain Mally Nicholson are doing their utmost to wield together a successful side on minimum resources and thankfully the Club is one of few that has the required number of sight screens and the Clubmark accreditation and the required juniors sections in place – it’s quite some time now that those rules were put in place – have they been adhered to elsewhere - Only the authorities will know and if not why not?

Cleck's facilities at Moorend are in keeping with Bradford League standards

Three new signings sorted with additional trio anticipated!

Toby ThorpeJosh Thurwell and Johnny Whiteoak have signed from UndercliffeCarlton andLightcliffe respectively with a further three new signings expected to be announced in the near future.

Two experienced batsmen and an overseas are targets but nothing can be announced until everything is rubber stamped. Previous stories can be found under the archive section.

Mally Nicholson is 'on the case' and he rarely misses a chance!

Bonfire night bonanza best yet?

According to Cleck’s groundsman Keith Johnstone, Sunday’s traditional bonfire night celebrations were arguably the best yet?

As ever the Sports Club holds a firework display and much more besides for members and their families and guests and the plot night evening is always a great success but this year’s surpassed all expectations! “It was superbly organised,” commented Keith. “Congratulations to everyone involved and the numbers attending seemed to be larger than ever and it was probably the best we’ve ever seen”!

Credit indeed - from a man who’s seen it all at Moorend down the years.

*The Cricket Section’s annual dinner speaker will be announced soon*

Keith Johnstone has 'led the line' at Moorend quite a few times over the years!

Chairman advocates positivity

Ian Gatenby has taken to the role of Cricket Chairman with his usual gusto and he’s experienced and knowledgeable about the game to put forward worthy opinions.

“I feel very positive about the new acquisitions as we are looking to sign young players who are hungry for success and want to improve,” commented Gats. “It is important that we get the balance right so we are hoping a couple more signings to add experience in addition to our existing players will bring stability and they can work with the younger lads.”

Johnny Whiteoak is one of a superb trio of signings with three additional newcomers anticipated!

Ian is very much at the forefront of the Presentation Evening selling sponsorship for the race night and this year’s was arguably the best ever. “The Presentation Evening was very successful and it was nice to see the room full of juniors, their parents and grandparents plus members of the Senior team,” he added. “The race meeting went down a storm particularly the Auction where at one point Antony Lee was bidding against Mrs Lee! Who in turn was bidding against their son Ethan.”

Gats took over as Cricket Chairman from Dave Worrall last year but for more years than he will care to remember the Club’s former wicket/keeper and Rugby stalwart has overseen matters with the juniors. “At present the Club structure is built on solid foundations,” admitted Ian. “We have a pro-active Committee, a progressive Juniors Section and Senior teams that are hoping to show that we are competitive in both First and Second team Leagues. We do have changes to consider, not least how do you replace the irreplaceable in Anne Wood whose teas are legendary but I am sure we will face any dilemmas and overcome them.”

Gats is a genuine Club man who has the experience, nous and interest to lead Cleck’ to further success.

Ian Gatenby is a winner in every aspect

Cleckheaton Cricket Club is saddened by news of the death of Ken Gill the father of Cleck’s one-time wicket/keeper batsman Mark Gill and his brother Neil, who is also a Bradford League cricketer.

Ken regularly came to Moorend with his wife Margaret to watch games in addition to going around the league to see his sons play.

Sincere condolences go to Ken’s wife Margaret and their sons and all of their family for their sad loss.Ken will genuinely be missed by everyone at Cleck’ he was a true gentleman.

Johnny on the spot!!

Lightcliffe’s opening fast bowler Johnny Whiteoak becomes Cleck’s latest capture.

The talented young quick bowler joins Josh Thurwell another opening bowler from Carlton and opening batsman Toby Thorpe from Undercliffe as the Club’s trio of pre-season captures.

The latest signing is crucial especially after the departure of Curtis Free and Skipper Mally is delighted to have Johnny at Moorend. “He’s a good signing," he admitted. “He will do a great job for us and it’s also a great opportunity for him.”

Johnny has played for the Yorkshire U19s and represented Durham CCC in three second team games. He is a tall right-handed  bowler with a trick or two up his sleeve, which includes an effective Yorker and the odd bouncer now and again.

The newcomers doesn’t stop there with an overseas signing still on the agenda and at least one more player, who is understood to be an experienced all-rounder who’s more than likely coming as a batsman. The core of the team is in place and there's enough experience in the side to assist the younger players in what is expected to be an exciting Cleck' team for 2018.

Former Chairman Dave Worrall added; "Johnny is a fantastic signing for the Club, he's a superb bowler."

Dave Worrall is confident that Cleck's newcomers will be a success at Cleck'

Cleck’s latest capture commented on his move to Moorend. “I am looking forward to joining the lads atCleckeaton CC,” commented Johnny. “I felt it was a good opportunity to take to keep progressing and also to help the Club move forward. I loved my time at Lightcliffe CC but felt it was the right time to move.”

Johnny Whiteoak has joined Cleck' to become the Club's third pre-season capture

Mally makes no secret in that he wants to 'freshen things up' and young players will be given what is a real chance to shine at the top level of local cricket.

Footnote: Johnny – Josh – and Toby have joined Cleck’ for the ‘right reasons’ and that’s about enjoying and developing their game and great credit goes to them – and to Mally and the Cricket committee for making astute signings and with more to come.

Cleck's latest signings receive the 'thumbs up' from members and supporters

Free family are real ‘Jem’s’!

Curtis Free has returned to his former Club Doncaster Town and not only does Cleck’ lose a superb player and a top-man but supportive parents who’ve assisted our Club enormously but there’s only positivity following his departure.

Curt’s Dad Jem’ has emphasised how both he and his wife Ros’ and their son are sad to be leaving but needs must. “Curt’s departure is genuine and nothing to do with money,” revealed Jem’. “Due to work and increased hours he wouldn’t be able to make nets’ practice next season as well as missing some games and because of Saturday morning shift work he’d be late for some matches - so his move is probably for the best all round.”

Everyone at Moorend accepts that Curt’ had little option but to leave – but he goes on the best of terms with he and his family welcome back at Cleck’ any time and with open arms.

No ‘Curt’ response from Cleck’!

Opening fast bowler Curtis has returned to his home town Club Doncaster Town whilst Josh Thurwellarrives at Moorend with at least two more players on the way!

Curt decided to re-join his former outfit due to work commitments and he leaves Cleck’ with the Club’s best wishes. The opening fast bowler has played his part both on and off-the-field and alongside his parents Jem and Ros also - who have followed their son’s fortunes both home and away and have supported events at Cleck’ as well as Jem' helping out with match day tasks.

Curtis and his family will be a big miss but they leave with genuine best wishes from everyone including former Chairman Dave Worrall. “We are obviously disappointed to see a good player like Curtis leave the Club but he goes with our thanks for all he’s done and best wishes for the future,” commented Dave. “I‘m sure we’ll be catching up with his family especially when Doncaster Rovers play Bradford City.”

The good news is; Josh Thurwell has signed from Carlton to become Cleck’s second capture with opening batsman Toby Thorpe arriving from UndercliffeJosh is a left-arm quick bowler and rated highly by Skipper Mally Nicholson. “Josh is a talented young bowler who took 50 wickets for Carlton last season and we’re hoping he’ll carry it on with us,” said Mally.

There could be further good news next week with the capture of a current ECB Bradford Cricket Premier League opening fast bowler to replace Curt whilst an experienced and highly-rated performer remains a target with the likelihood of a talented overseas being sought.

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