Rain and Defeats


The season for Leeds Bradford MCCU has, to put it mildly, not started well.  At the beginning of the month the team travelled to play Worcestershire at Flagge Meadow, the Royal Grammar School ground.

No play was possible on the first scheduled day as both outfield and square were too wet. Heavy overnight rain caused the match to be abandoned early the following morning and the team returned to Yorkshire rain, sleet and snow.

We were due to play Yorkshire the following week but the match was cancelled as the Headingley ground was unfit. A few days later we welcomed Derbyshire to Weetwood but the weather was cold, damp and overcast and the ground was not drying. Early on the second morning the umpires decided that there was no real prospect of any play in the match.

Nine days cricket had now been lost and we travelled to Fenners for a BUCS National one-dayer and a MCC Championship 2 day game without any match practice in England.

Winter was left behind and summer had arrived in Cambridge – with a temperature over 22 degrees C. Skipper Steve Bullen won the toss and elected to field. The Cambridge openers, Palmer and Greenidge, batted steadily taking the score to 62 in the 16th over before the introduction of slow left-armer, Taylor Cornal, saw Palmer well stumped by Jack Potticary for 30. Another wicket for Cornall and one each for Max Maciver and Josh Holling had Cambridge rocking at 99 for 4 before a stand of 55 between Brierley and Handley took the total past 150 before the next wicket fell; Handley bowled by Ollie Graham for 30.

Reduced to 178 for 7 it looked as though Cambridge might struggle to get much past 200 but Cantrell’s 42 not out from 28 balls pushed the final total to 253 for 9 from the full 50 overs. Would the 23 extras conceded prove to be costly?

An asking rate of under 5 an over should have been well within Leeds Bradford’s capabilities but they lost Martin Andersson for 5 chasing a very wide one from Bulpitt and feathering a catch to the keeper. Next to fall was Jack Potticary LBW to Rippington from a very poor shot after scoring 51 from 35 deliveries when a big match-winning hundred was beckoning.

Steve Bullen was the next to fall leaving the score at 95 for 3 in the 17th over – well ahead of the required run rate. The two Ollie’s, Batchelor and Graham, took the score to 157 in the 31st over, before Batchelor was LBW playing a poor shot. The run rate steadily subsided through the remainder of the innings despite the best efforts of Darren Ironside with 29 from 25 deliveries. We finished 10 runs short in a match we should really have won.

The following day saw even higher temperatures peaking at around 28 degrees C. Cambridge won the toss and batted. At lunch they had progressed at one day pace to 140 for 2 from 31 overs against an all seam attack.

It wasn’t until the 40th over that the left arm spin of Taylor Cornall was introduced, unfortunately without success as he leaked 20 runs from his 2 overs. He was replaced by off-spinner Harry Killoran who started to slow the run rate before making the next breakthrough in his 6th over trapping Seabrook LBW for 42 with the score at 236.

Harry and fellow off-spinner, Max Maciver, bowled the 32 overs in the innings for just 88 runs with Harry returning the excellent figures of 6 – 47 in 19 overs. With the spinners having so much success on wonders why they weren’t introduced earlier. Cambridge finished on 323 all out.

Harry Killoran –  6-47 & 48*

The Leeds Bradford innings got off to a bad start with Taylor Cornall LBW to a beauty from left-armer Bulpitt for just 2 runs. Steve Bullen and Martin Andersson batted nicely taking the score to 75 before Martin was caught for 25. With only a few overs left in the day Josh Holling was promoted in the batting order;  no further wickets fell before the close.

The following morning Josh and Steve added a further 26 runs until Josh was caught by Brierley from the bowling of Bulpitt – 109 for 3 in the 35th over.  Wickets began to fall at regular intervals, including that of a decidedly unhappy Steve Bullen – LBW for a well-made 65 (including 11 fours), until, at 182 for 8 in the 64th over, Dan Houghton joined Harry Killoran.

These two began to give the team some hope as the runs started to flow.  By the time that Dan was caught at slip by Palmer for 59 (with 9 fours and a six), they had added 97, a record 9th wicket stand against Cambridge in the MCC Championship, and the total had reached 279 for 9.

The innings closed on 285 when Ollie Bocking was bowled by Cantrell for 1.  This left Harry not out on 48 (with 9 fours) and we had lost on the first innings by 38 runs.

Dan Houghton – 59

Against Solent University in the BUCS National on 24 April, Steve Bullen won the toss and decided to field first. Play was halted for rain just before lunch with Solent on 134 for 4 after 31 overs.

Interesting to note that Dan Houghton, Darren Ironside and Max Maciver each took a wicket in their first over. Continuous further rain ensured that there would be no further play and the match was abandoned just after 15:30 hrs.