Oh brother! Barkers and Gales lead Walsden surge to victory

Fetch that! Joe Gale during Sunday's whirlwind knock. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald
Fetch that! Joe Gale during Sunday's whirlwind knock. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald

The Barker and Gale brothers stole the show as Walsden made a winning start to their Central Lancashire League campaign at home to Unsworth last Sunday.

Last year’s runners-up looked in trouble against their promoted rivals at 38 for four.

However, Nick and Steve Barker figured in an excellent stand of 148 which ended when Steve was out for 68.

A platform was now in place for Joe Gale to cut loose and he crashed an 18-ball half-century.

Joe finished on 68 not out, off 24 deliveries, and Nick Barker laid the foundations for a good average this season with 100 not out.

Walsden finished on 275 for five with Jack O’Brien taking all the wickets for Unsworth.

The visitors mustered only 112 in reply with paceman Jamie Shackleton knocking over the top three.

Josh Gale then completed a miserable day for visiting pro Chris Williams by trapping him leg before for a duck on the way to figures of five for 45.

With two wickets for pro Umesh Karunaratne, Walsden had run out convincing winners after their early struggle.

James Rawlinson’s side go to Heywood on Sunday and will be interested to see who lines up against them.

Heywood were given special dispensation to play centrally contracted England player Kate Cross in an eight-wicket win at Clifton last weekend.

She took three wickets butthe suggestion was that league officials might have another look at their rules this week.

Heywood were also awaiting the arrival of their pro Rob Nicol, an experienced New Zealand international all-rounder.

Walsden seconds won by six wickets after bowling out Unsworth for 69.

Hebden Bridge will look to improve in Saturday’s second match of the season against Scarborough side Bitter and Twisted at Salem Fields (1.0).

They were no match for Fothergill & Harvey in a game sponsored by Il Mulino.

Bridge elected to bat but only totalled 73 with Richard Tranmer (23) and Mudassir Hussain (19) the only ones in double figures.

Fothergill’s openers knocked the runs off. Eric and Iain Powell looked lively with the ball but had no luck.

However, the day was about cheering on Lawrence Massey in his 31st season and enjoying the ground improvements and playing for a community team.

Bridge will play friendlies to mid-September and their pink cricket balls were a hit.

Tomorrow - Foster’s Halifax League, Premier Division: Blackley v Queensbury, Booth v Southowram (R Huck & M Summerscales), Mytholmroyd v Triangle (M Rothwell & K Hartley), Sowerby Bridge v SBCI, Thornton v Copley, Warley v Jer Lane.

Division One: Bradshaw v Low Moor, Luddenden Foot v Oxenhope (R Wade & P Butterfield), Sowerby v Bridgeholme (B Kershaw & J Senior), Stones v Northowram.

Division Two: Great Horton v Outlane, Old Crossleyans v Greetland, Old Town v Cullingworth (M Barnett & D Mollan), Shelf v Denholme Clough, Upper Hopton v Clayton.

Premier seconds: Copley v Thornton, Jer Lane v Warley, Northowram v Blackley, Southowram v Booth (G Griffiths), SBCI v Sowerby Bridge, Triangle v Mytholmroyd (K Campbell).

Division One seconds: Bridgeholme v Sowerby (P Taylor), Clayton v Stones, Greetland v Old Crossleyans, Outlane v Great Horton.

Division Two seconds: Cullingworth v Old Town (M Walker), Denholme Clough v Shelf, Low Moor v Bradshaw, Oxenhope v Luddenden Foot (M Reppion), Queensbury v Upper Hopton.