Super Kelly Went Ballistic - Denby Were Atrocious!
This week was the penultimate of the Mirfield League season and with things hotting up all round the greens I’ll try to cover all the divisions to some extent.
In Division 1 Lower Hopton ‘A’ just have the edge over Thongsbridge going into the last game. Six points clear, it should be enough, but the lads from Nora Batty Country won’t be giving up just yet. Last Tuesday Hopton entertained Pudsey BC behind the Mirfield & District Pigeon Fanciers’ Society hut. Hopton had suffered a disappointing result in the recent rearranged Covid-affected fixture with the Fly. Losing 5-7 at home to the bottom club must have felt like a real fly in the ointment. Back to Tuesday, Hopton’s fancy Dans homed in on the title against ‘Top Club Not Just Geography’. Mordues Josh and Chris (both 21-17) and Stuart ‘Stamper’ Hanson (21-18) battled to 21 for Pudsey, but otherwise it was convincing stuff from the champions elect. ‘Sir’ Robert Hitchen (21-8) took the home sweep, closely followed by another legend of our game, Graeme Wilson (21-9). Before you could shout, “Te….quila!!” up popped another living leg-end, the Bradford Mexican bandito, Stuart ‘Juan’ King, with a 21-9 of his own. Lower Hopton ‘A’ 9 Pudsey BC 3. Hopton have a tricky final away fixture at Crossgates on Tuesday. If they share the points the title is theirs.
Speaking of Crossgates, the chicken chompers put a real dent in Thongsbridge’s title hopes, returning home to east Leeds with 6 away winners. Croggy weren’t far off stealing the aggregate as well, which would have killed the title race once and for all. Chris ‘Super’ Kelly’s 21-9 for Thongs was their winning ticket. The sight of Nora’s ankles resplendent in tan tights won’t have provided much comfort for Thongsbridge on a night that really belonged to the away team. For Crossgates resurgent Gaz Lally continued a strong run of sweep wins with 21-12. Thongsbridge have the difficult trip to Dearne Sports next Tuesday and must use their South Yorkshire contingent’s knowledge to the full. With Crossgates entertaining Hopton behind the KFC on Tuesday, they again have a real say in who can scream “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!” Thongsbridge 6 Crossgates 6.
At the other end of the table Lower Hopton ‘B’ struggled away at Littlemoor. Only Paul Arthurs (21-16) and Ian Newby (21-17) managed to get over the finish line for Hopton. Nathan Dobson’s 21-8 secured the Littlemoor kitty. Littlemoor 10 Lower Hopton ‘B’ 2. Littlemoor sit comfortably mid-table. Hopton ‘B’ are level on points for the second relegation spot with Denby Grange, who they play at home next week!
Speaking of Denby, it was another disappointing home performance from the lads from Overton. That said, Crosland Moor played an unfamiliar green superbly to avenge the home defeat suffered in the reverse fixture. Mike Sweeney is probably the Moor player most familiar with the track and it showed in his 21-10 victory, relentlessly hammering line and length. Stephen ‘Licker’ Walker has been class on glass this season and he cleaned up the Denby kitty with a 21-10 of his own. Denby Grange 4 Crosland Moor 8. Denby visit their closest rivals next week for a relegation battle 24 pointer!
A final thought for Ossett Flying Horse. Bottom of the league all year, the lads from Dewsbury Road are finishing the season as the in-form team! Visitors Dearne Sports managed a creditable four winners at Fly. South Yorkshire’s slowest player, Ernie ‘The Tortoise’ Wearing, came out of his shell but will still have taken a good hour to smash the Dearne kitty with 21-13. For the Fly, Paul ‘Goose’ Wildgoose responded with 21-5, West Yorkshire’s slowest player Ian ‘The Hare’ Shuttleworth sped to 21-4 in a good hour and a half, but both were trumped by an extraordinary 21-0 from Barnsley Chopper, Darren ‘The Eagle’ Atkinson. Ossett Flying Horse 8 Dearne Sports 4. Dearne enjoy mid-table safety. Fly sit only 5 points adrift but with a hard away fixture at Pudsey to complete the season. After being so far off the pace, the Fly lads must be scratching their heads. One more result and they would have been right in the mix!
Positions after 17 games:
Lower Hopton WMC ‘A’ 131
Thongsbridge C&BC 125
Pudsey BC 119
Crossgates BC 118
Dearne Sports 108
Crosland Moor 92
Denby Grange 79
Lower Hopton WMC ‘B’ 79
Ossett Flying Horse 74
In Division 2 promotion is already finalised. Vibrant young Huddesfield side, Kirkheaton Con, sit atop with a final game at home to bottom-club and already relegated, Low Moor Harold. Kirkheaton have three lads in the league averages top 10, including the top two, Yorkshire stars Dave ‘Wasp’ Fox and Josh ‘Browny’ Brown. Joining them back in the big time will be Alverthorpe WMC, where everyone calls everyone else ‘Dougy’. It’s great to see my former club, Alverthorpe, back where they belong. Dougies – what did I tell yer?! When I leave a club you are guaranteed instant success!! There are also three Alverthorpe lads in the top ten….namely Dougy, Dougy and Dougylad……..that’s Mark Brain, John Webster and the original Dougy, Dave Cowsill, to the uninitiated.
In Division 3, table toppers Dodworth MW shared the points away to Ossett C&AC. Six away winners is a great return at such a difficult venue, David Mallinson’s 21-13 being the top card for Dodworth. Crucial for Ossett Cricket were two 21-3 victories that secured the aggregate, one from Rob Dunford and another from Stuart Daniel. We’ve seen enough of Rob this season in this blog and I know Stuart has been keen to see his fizzog on here, so before you can shout, “You could drive a bus in theer, Stuart!” here you go. Bowled lad! And credit to Dunf for the…ahem…photos.
With Dodworth’s season finished, Shipley look set for promotion, needing 3 or 4 winners at Cleckheaton Sports to secure their passage. Rothwell have an outside chance to sneak one of the promotion spots from Dodworth or Shipley but must win heavily at Littlemoor ‘B’. At the bottom Horbury WMC and Milnsbridge continue their battle to avoid the wooden spoon. Milnsbridge have the home fixture and so the upper hand.
Division 4 looks a certainty for Thornhill, now nine points clear and with a final game at their fortress. Farsley look certain to go up with Thornhill, sitting eight points clear of third placed Lowerhouses and with the comfort blanket of a home fixture to complete the season. We’ve followed Ossett Flying Horse ‘B’ this season in this column and they look safe as long as there is only one club relegated from a nine-team division. Alas, Denby Grange ‘B’ can’t say the same, sitting too far adrift. I have to mention 11 year old Denby starlet, Charlie Fisher, at this juncture. He won again last Tuesday. Gooo on, Charlie lad!
It’s fantastic to see that great old club, Morton House, on its way back and running away with Division 5. Division 6 already belongs to Thongsbridge C&BC ‘B’ and Division 7 to their neighbours, Shepley.
Tune in next week, folks, for the final fling! I can’t believe I’ve got away with the same jokes every week and you good people still read it! One week to go! Phew!