Drighlington/Whitehall's second team season finally got underway at a windswept, chilly Baildon, against one of the teams relegated from Division C last season.
Drig were only able to field 10 due to the bank holiday weekend and having won the toss elected to bat first and try and set a target for the depleted bowling attack to defend. The innings atarted cautiously with new signing Malcolm Robinson and Tom Farrar, setting themselves well against a disciplined opening pair from Baildon.
A steady start of 10 from the first 8 overs was disrupted by Farrar being bowled, which brought Martyn Reilly to the crease to join Robinson. Martyn's arrival also saw the scoring rate pick up with the first boundaries of the day, on what was a very slow outfield. This pair put on 24 in five overs, before Reilly was unlucky to be run out having been called through for a quick single, which was always going to be risky.
This setback was quickly followed by the wicket of Wahid Shafiq, who popped a sharp caught and bowled chance to Cottle, who took it well, the first of four wickets to fall to him. Malcolm and James Cause started to rebuild until Robinson was unluckily given out caught behind. Cause added a lovely straight six but joined him shortly afterwards back in the pavilion. They were followed in short order by Taylor, Christie-Smith and Dransfield, who all failed to trouble the scorer. It was left to new captain Petch and Andrew Keyworth to try and give the bowlers a score to defend.
They added 17 for the last wicket, with Keyworth defending well against the tricky slow left arm bowling of Stuart Jolly. The innings ended as Petch was bowled off an inside edge for 6.
The total of 65 was never going to be enough to defend and Drig's only hope was early wickets, which unfortunately didn't materialise. A couple of chances, which may have been taken on a different day, didn't go to hand.
However the effort and enthusiasm in the field could not be dimmed by the lack of a breakthrough, which bodes well for the rest of the season. As do disciplined opening spells by both Keyworth and Calum Christie-Smith, backed up well by Martyn Reilly. James Cause took a wicket with his opening ball, with a smart catch by Keyworth in the covers to gain Drig a bowling point but by this time at 58-2 the result was not in doubt.
Overall an encouraging start to the season, with players to return who will strengthen both bowling and batting, so that the second's can build from here to challenge well in Division D this year.