The present Windhill Cricket Club came into being in 1863. However, competitive cricket was played in the area six years before under the banner of Windhill United with the first recorded match between teams representing Dumb Mills and Perrys on Baildon Green. Some years later Windhill Educational was established playing on Denby’s field. There was great rivalry between the two teams until they amalgamated to form Windhill Cricket Club.
There were no league matches or competitions in the early days and most games were played for the possession of the ball, each team paying equal shares and the winner taking the prize. Stake money was high and, at one important match between Windhill and Shipley the stakes were £5, which Shipley won. However, a Windhill player was not satisfied with the result and challenged one of the visitors to a single wicket match for a similar amount and won back the money for his club.
At this time, subscriptions were twelve and a half pence a year, payable over five weeks and membership totalled 35. Despite a financially successful year in 1862, the club disbanded with 12 of the members taking 30p.
Windhill was not long without a club for, the following year a special meeting was held at the house of Mr Denby at Bull Inn, Shipley and it was decided to form a new club. In 1878 it was decided to lay 1,600 yards of ground, Windhill Recreation Ground. The work was entrusted to John Grundy, a subscription was started and raised £11.
The start of the club’s successes came in 1894 when they went to the top of the Airedale and Wharfedale League, but support was not good and they decided to apply to join the Bradford League in 1904 and made their first appearance in the league’s third season - 1905. An improvement in support followed and they averaged between £7 and £10 in takings.
Windhill had two consolidation seasons from their Bradford League entry in 1905 before winning the Priestley Cup in 1907, beating Bankfoot in the final at Idle by 100 runs. After making 127, Windhill bowled out Bankfoot for a paltry 27 with F Halliday taking six for 14 and Cliff Keighley, four for 11. Keighley later formed a lethal bowling partnership with Cliff Elton. In the league a 4th position was achieved with F Halliday being their top bowler with 46 wickets at 7.86.
The following year in 1908 4th place was replicated with Arthur Hyde averaging 32.92 with the bat, and Keighley taking 63 wickets at 9.46 with the ball. By 1910 they were becoming a real threat in the league when they finished second. Windhill boasted a notable opening batting partnership between Arthur Hyde and Jack Hardcastle at this time.
The First Division championship was eventually won for the first time in 1911. They beat Idle in a play-off at Eccleshill by one wicket after the clubs had tied on points. It could have been even better when they reached the Priestley Cup Final. On the day Great Horton were far too good for them scoring 262 to Windhill’s 96.
Windhill were strong on bowling in 1911 with Elton topping the League Bowling Averages with 68 wickets at 8.05, and his colleague H Riley taking 92 wickets at 8.44.
Yorkshire Colt Sam Swithenbank was the leading batsman in 1912 with 34.70 as Windhill slipped back to third in the league. In 1913 they missed out on the title in another play-off. Windhill went into the final match against Laisterdyke three points ahead of their opponents, but Laisterdyke won the championship, after winning the play-off. Bradford beat Windhill in a Priestley Cup semi-final that season.
Despite these disappointments in 1913 Keighley and Elton achieved some remarkable bowling figures. They finished first and second in the league bowling averages with Elton taking 72 wickets at 8.26, while Keighley captured 76 wickets, average 8.69. The 1913 season was also memorable for a superb feat by Keighley, who took six wickets for seven runs to help to dismiss Farsley for 16.
One year later in 1914, this remarkable duo bowled out Baildon Green for ten runs, which remains the lowest first team total in the league. On that occasion, Elton took seven wickets for four runs while Keighley had three wickets for two runs. Elton’s final bowling analysis of 81 wickets at 8.28 ensured he would top the League Bowling Averages for a third time.
However, 1914 was a bittersweet season for Windhill who was indisputably a top side but came second in both competitions. The batting strength did not complement the bowling as they finished runners-up in the league, and beaten decisively in the Priestley Cup Final by Bradford Park Avenue to the tune of 61 runs.
Elton performed the hat-trick four times in two seasons while Keighley became the first bowler to take all wickets in an innings when he took ten for 36 in a Priestley Cup semi-final against Bingley in 1915. The match ended in a tie and, when Windhill reached 130 for six, rain caused the match to be abandoned. Windhill were declared the winners and so went into the final without actually winning the semi-final. However, their luck ran out in the final when Bowling Old Lane beat them by ten wickets after bowling them out for a mere 107.
Keighley ended the 1915 league season with a tally of 82 wickets at 8.30. The bowling exploits of Keighley and Elton continued in 1916. Elton took six for 12 when Tong Park was bowled out for 35 and Keighley took six for 14 when Saltaire were dismissed for 26. Keighley continued his great form capturing another six wickets when Windhill bowled out Pudsey Britannia for 30.Elton left Windhill after the 1916 season only to return in 1922.
Windhill signed one of the league’s all-time great left arm slow bowlers, Charlie Parker or Chorley Porker as he was affectionately known, for the following campaign. His best feat for the club was a bowling analysis of 9-31 v Bowling Old Lane in 1917.
Parker, who played at Windhill for one season only began his first class career with Gloucestershire in 1903 and when he retired in 1935 he had played in more than 600 first class matches and one Test. He took 61 wickets in league matches at an average of 9.96 and eight for 35 for a Bradford League side against a strong Yorkshire team.
After 1917 fortunes declined at Busy Lane with lowly positions up to 1923. In seasons 1920 and 1922 they were right at the bottom of the pile. Elton had returned in 1922 and although he was not the same bowler he was still good enough to take 9-20 against Eccleshill.
More competitive in 1924, Windhill lost against Bradford by 35 runs in the 1924 semi-final despite a five for 41 haul by their new signing, the South African right arm leg break and googly bowler Bert Vogler. In the league Vogler took 61 wickets at 12.90 and also scored 212 runs. He had played in 15 Test for South Africa taking 64 wickets at 22.73 with a best analysis of 7-94, and also had a top score with the bat of 65.
Despite being in a lowly position in 1925 they won the Priestley Cup again, captained by Pat Robson, beating Lidget Green by 41 runs thanks to eight for 70 by new signing Alf Morris, who had twice achieved eight wicket hauls in previous rounds. The following year Morris did even better winning the League Bowling Averages after taking 83 wickets at 8.63.
In 1926 Windhill moved to their present ground at Busy Lane, which they bought in 1923 after a bazaar raised £459. Arthur Hyde’s nephew A S Hyde gave great service to the club as secretary for many years and he was the driving force behind the move to Busy Lane and received great support from Treasurer Fred Illingworth.
Achievements on the field tailed off in the next ten years with just a few pockets of excellence.
In the 1931 season the team had a lowly position in the league but batsman J Drake produced the two top scores in the entire completion for that year- 138* v Lidget Green and 134 v Queensbury.
In 1932 Windhill finished 2nd in a season remembered for N Walton scoring 48 runs off two overs against Spen Victoria. All Rounder Fred Berry, who later played county cricket for Surrey, also lit up Busy Lane in 1932 with 37 wickets at 10.86, while in 1934 E L Cooper had a fine haul of 9-60 v Pudsey St Lawrence.
By 1937 Windhill were back with a bang and embarked on an unprecedented era when they won five successive league championships, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941.
Leading figures of those championship years included bowler Squire Render, whose league career spanned 21 years, and was a model of consistency. Render, whose cricket travels took him to Low Moor, Idle, Brighouse, Farsley, Spen Victoria, Pudsey St Lawrence and Bankfoot joined Windhill in 1934 and took 259 league wickets during his five-year tenure at the club. His most telling performance was in the first title triumph in 1937 when he took 48 wickets at 13.22.
Another Windhill hero was Leeds born Johnny Lawrence who bamboozled batsmen with his leg breaks and googlies. Lawrence, who was 23 when he joined Windhill in 1937, was seeking to establish himself in the game at that time and he played in three consecutive championship seasons before joining Spen Victoria. After the war he played in 281 first class matches for Somerset and then became a highly acclaimed coach. His contribution to Windhill’s titles was massive, particularly in 1939 when he took 63 wickets at 9.87.
A lesser known cricketer J A Swift was the most consistent batsman during the title wins. He usually topped the club’s Batting Averages, especially in 1937 when his 551 runs at 39.35 included a highest score of 108no. In 1939 the main man was A Davison who scored 275 runs at 30.55, and also took 44 wickets at 12.65. A similarly all round performance occurred in 1940 from L Bulcock who scored 378 runs at 31.50, and also took 47 wickets at 15.82.
In 1940 Windhill signed one of the all-time greats of the game in all-rounder West Indian Learie Constantine. In his book, Cricket in the Sun, Constantine said his contract with Windhill was the best he had ever had and he did not disappoint the large crowds, who came to watch him play. His first season brought him a hat-trick against Spen Victoria, 76 league wickets at an average of 11.80 and a batting average of 30.50 as Windhill won their fourth title in a row.
The following season, when Windhill won their fifth successive championship by one point from Idle, Constantine became only the second player in the league’s history to take four wickets in four balls- against Lidget Green. Apart from being a potent fast bowler he was a free-scoring attacking batsman and without peers as an outfielder.
The one slight disappointment about this 5-year glory period was Windhill’s inability to win the Priestley Cup to cement their place as the supreme team in the early history of the league. They came close in 1938 but lost out in the Final to Undercliffe who chased down Windhill’s score of 99 for the loss of six wickets.
They went close again in 1942 after the title reign had ended. On this occasion they were beaten in the Final by local rivals Saltaire who had a modicum of trouble chasing Windhill’s 94.
Windhill did not have Constantine’s services again until 1945, but they startled more people in the league by signing the Derbyshire bowlers, Alf Pope and Bill Copson for the 1942 season. Their run of championship triumphs came to an end as they dropped to second place.
The new signings did not disappoint. For, Pope, a hard-hitting batsman and fast medium or off break bowler had a batting average of 29.90 along with 52 wickets at 10.30 while Copson took 66 wickets at 8.42. Windhill also had a third Derbyshire player that season, batsman Dennis Smith and a Yorkshire man, who played for Worcestershire, Syd Buller, who became a world famous umpire.
Pope was a right-hand batsman who played 316 innings in 214 first class matches for Derbyshire with a top score of 103 and an average of 18.38. As a bowler he was versatile enough to bowl right-arm off-breaks or right-arm fast-medium. This obviously brought a vital balance to the team resulting in 555 first class wickets at an average of 22.54 and a best performance of 7 for 84. He took 5 or more wickets in 22 innings, and took 10 wickets in three matches.
Copson was a right-arm fast medium bowler, very quick by league terms, who took 1,094 first class wickets at an average of 18.96, with a best performance of 8 for 11. He also took 15 Test wickets. He was a right-hand batsman, and played 359 innings in 279 first class matches, with an average of 6.81, and a top score of 43.
Windhill also finished second in 1943, when they signed yet another top class player, England and Kent batsman wicketkeeper Les Ames, who scored two 50s that season and four in 1944, but it was in 1945 that Ames produced his most memorable performance. He scored 102 not out off the Spen Victoria attack, equalling a league record set in 1942 by George Senior of Queensbury when he scored 100 in 45 minutes. Ames received good support from stalwarts, Ben Hipkin (85) and Albert Audsley (52) as Windhill reached 250 for two.
In Test cricket, Ames is regarded as an all-time great having played 47 matches, scoring 2,434 runs with a batting average of 40.56, and taking 74 catches, and 23 stumpings. In first-class cricket, he scored 37,248 runs at an average of 43.51, including 102 centuries and 176 fifties, and took 704 catches and 417 stumpings. Unusually for a wicket-keeper, he also bowled over 200 overs, taking 24 first-class wickets with a bowling average of 33.37. Ames was the WisdenCricketer of the Year in 1929.
In 1944 Windhill contracted West Indian Ellis Achong who’s specialty was as a left-arm wrist spinner, but was often referred to as a "slow left-arm chinaman" . Whatever the description he was effective enough to take 57 wickets at 12.45 in a mid-table side.
Achong played in six Test matches for the West Indies against the English cricket team in the 1930 to 1935 period. In all, Achong took eight Test wickets at an average of 47.25, but his Test figures belie his much greater success at regional level in the West Indies between 1929–30 and 1934–35. In the final of the Inter-Colonial Tournament of 1931–32, he took 3 for 74 and 7 for 73 to bowl Trinidad to victory over British Guiana.
Constantine came back to the club in 1945 when Windhill also included George Dawkes, who played for Leicestershire before the war. He went on to play 392 first class matches for Derbyshire after the war and was also included on the 1949-50 Commonwealth tour of India. Other First Class cricketers who took the field for Windhill in 1945 were Joe Hulme (Middlesex), Fred Price (Middlesex & England) and James Langridge (Sussex). Despite this array of talent they could only climb to sixth in a table of ten teams.
Fast bowler Manny Martindale was the star of the 1946 season. He won the league bowling averages with 56 wickets at 9.80, while in 1947 Constantine (50 wkts) and Audsley (51 wkts) were the definite star performers. Constantine ensured the league bowling trophy would remain at Windhill when his wickets averaged out at 12.86. He also averaged 30.23 with the bat.
Emmanuel Alfred "Manny" Martindale was a West Indian cricketer who played in ten Tests from 1933 to 1939. He was a right-arm fast bowler with a long run up; although not tall for a bowler of his type he bowled at a fast pace. With Constantine, Martindale was one of the earliest in the long succession of Test-playing West Indian fast bowlers. During the time he played, the West Indies bowling attack depended largely on his success.
Critics believe that his record and performances stand comparison with bowlers of greater reputation and longer careers. Chosen for the West Indies tour of England in 1933 he took over 100 first-class wickets including over half of the West Indies' wickets in the three Tests played. He was the leading bowler when West Indies won their first Test series, against England in 1935–36, and had great success against the leading English batsmen. In the final game of the series, one of his deliveries broke the jaw of Bob Wyatt, the England captain.
Windhill won back the championship in 1948 by two points from Great Horton with Audsley averaging 52.66 with the bat and Constantine taking 45 wickets at 10.48. Both won the respective batting and bowling averages for the league. The memorable individual performance that season came in the Priestley Cup against Queensbury when Windhill scored 316, including 101 from Constantine in which he hit eight sixes and ten fours, including 28 in one over.
That proved to be Constantine’s last season at Busy Lane and his departure in addition to other quality players heralded a long spell of lean seasons at Windhill. Constantine, who captained Windhill in his later years, played his last match for the club on September 11th 1948 against Keighley at Busy Lane, taking four wickets, including the last Keighley wicket in the final over of their innings. He also took one slip catch and scored 69 not out, hitting a four to win the match which gave Windhill the championship.
Born in Trinidad, Constantine established an early reputation as a promising cricketer, and was a member of the West Indies teams that toured England in 1923 and 1928. Unhappy at the lack of opportunities for black people in Trinidad, he decided to pursue a career as a professional cricketer in England, and after the 1928 tour was awarded a professional contract with the Lancashire League club Nelson.
He played for the club with great distinction between 1929 and 1938, while continuing as a member of the West Indies Test team in tours of England and Australia. Although his record as a Test cricketer in 18 tests was less impressive than in other cricket he helped to establish a uniquely West Indian style of play. He was chosen as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Yearin 1939.
Other less famous cricketers at Windhill during these times were J Crowther, R Parkin, S Crabtree, and F Clayforth who all performed well on a consistent basis. Windhill were relegated in 1951 and suffered some fallow seasons where they were hovering just above the re-election zone.
During 1952 to 1955 the best performers were batsmen K Warnett, R H Sykes, A Hodgson, A Audsley, and A H Clarke who all had the distinction of topping 600 runs in a season.
In 1955 Albert Firth won the League Wicket Trophy with a total of 36 victims. The only bowler who made the league bowling averages on more than one occasion in this period was the quaintly named J D Snowball.
Good times were back at Windhill in 1956 when promotion was obtained as champions, mainly due to the consistency of 25-year-old West Indian Calbert Minott, who took 65 wickets at 12.67.
Promotion enabled the club to celebrate their centenary in Division One, but the season ended with relegation with the team bottom after winning just three matches. All Rounder A H Clarke had a productive season scoring 515 runs, and taking 33 wickets, whilst the consistent Audsley also battled well with 477 runs.
These were barren years, however, and Windhill were forced to apply for re-election in 1960 for the first time in the post-war years. In 1961 they had the services of the 46 year-old Arnold Hamer who had completed a fine county career for Derbyshire. He scored 620 runs at 38.75 to motivate a surprise promotion bid for his side. Hamer was a right-handed opening batsman who made 15,465 runs at 31.17 in 295 first-class matches. He had a highest score of 227, and made 19 centuries. Hamer scored 1,000 runs in 10 consecutive seasons. He was also a handy off-break bowler, and took 71 first class wickets at an average of 33.28. Another achiever in 1961 was Geoff Tempest who took 61 wickets at 13.08 and had many productive seasons at Windhill.
Progress was maintained in 1962 when promotion was obtained. Hamer was the star batsman again with 672 runs, but the bowling was the real asset that season with Dick Sherred (66 wkts) and Tempest (58 wkts) making inroads into most sides early batting.
Sherred became one of the best post war seamers in the league and he won sundry individual and team awards on leaving Windhill. Later Sherred’s brother Martin, who some would say was almost as good joined in 1981 and took 42 wickets.
Survival was the name of the game in 1963 with Sherred (49 wkts) again excelling with the ball in tandem with Tempest (43 wkts), whilst the Firth brothers Albert and Gordon carried the batting. It became too much the following year when relegation beckoned despite Tempest’s 53 wickets.
Fortunes dipped further in the lower division with only Albert Firth showing consistency with the bat. Tempest found an excellent partner in Eric Rollinson who topped 50 wickets in 1966, but when he followed that up with 41 in 1967 it was a fruitless exercise as Windhill finished bottom. It was a disastrous season with just one win and the second time in the sixties they had to seek re-election.
In 1968 the legendary league cricketer Dennis Bateson was signed and he helped to propel his side into mid-table after taking 35 wickets. However, Rollinson was again the best bowler with 54 wickets.
In the latter part of the decade Tempest’s consistent wicket-taking gave way to vital runs with the bat in the autumn of his career. There was trauma and triumph at the start of the seventies with re-election bids in 1971 and 1972, followed amazingly by a Second Division title winning season in 1973. New signing Tony Stilgoe was the major influence in the promotion team as he took 96 wickets at 9.81, and scored 495 runs at 32.50. Stilgoe was a top player in the league and feted by the big clubs in subsequent years. Wicketkeeper Geoff Wilkinson captured 34 victims and won the league’s wicket-keeping trophy, while Rollinson was the top bowler again taking 62 wickets.
Once again the First Division proved to be too strong for Windhill and they were relegated in 1974 with only three wins. They fell away to a lowly position in the Second Division and had to seek re-election for the fifth time in 1977. There was improvement at the back end of the decade with the recruitment of several players with a Laisterdyke connection.
Swing bowler Eddie Halliwell topped 40 wickets in four successive seasons with a best tally of 50 in 1979. His former Laisterdyke team mate David Jones scored steady runs and had a best season with the ball in 1976 when he took 49 wickets with his left arm spin.
In 1979 Mick Robinson took 73 wickets. He was infamous for bowling from a long run-up before hesitating when in his bowling stride. Despite this he generated enough pace with his stock `short of a length’ ball to bother the best of batsmen.
Another former Laisterdyke player at Windhill was left-handed David Worrall who helped to assist his side to a top half position in 1981 with 629 runs. He was a hard hitting batsman who had a yen for the straight hit six. One of the few highlights of the 1980s was an outstanding season by batsman Tony Clarkson in 1982. The former Yorkshire and Somerset batsman became the first Windhill player to top the 1,000 runs mark – he made 1,233 runs in 26 innings at 68.50, including one century and 11 half-centuries, and in doing so topped the Second Division Bowling Averages.
Clarkson was a right-handed opening batsman and off break bowler, and played his early cricket for Harrogate, for whom he opened both the batting and the bowling. After first playing for the Yorkshire Second XI in 1958, he made his debut for his native county in 1963, playing when the Test stars were away. He moved to Somerset in 1966 and played until 1971, winning his Somerset cap in 1968. In 110 matches he scored 4,458 runs at 25.18, with two centuries and a best of 131 for an average of 25.18. Clarkson also took 13 wickets at 28.25. He played 50 one day games, scoring 752 runs with a best of 102* at 16.93, and taking two wickets.
In 1982 two seamers came together at Busy Lane that could compare with most in the division- S Myers taking 61 wickets, and Paul Wiseman 46. There was batting strength in abundance at Windhill in 1983 with Phil Sant (871 runs), Clarkson (740 runs) and Brian Hodgson (558 runs) scoring freely in a season that ended in mid-table. Clarkson continued his form into subsequent seasons with 931 runs in 1984, and a more moderate haul of 539 in 1985.
1985 was all about opening bowler Paul Wiseman who had his finest season in his career with 86 wickets at 13.05. Quick and aggressive, he was not known to take prisoners and bristled with competitiveness. He topped 50 wickets again in 1987 and later in his career starred for Idle.
Indian all-rounder Vijay Hariharan, who joined the club in 1986 as the registered overseas player turned in some outstanding performances, including taking 61 wickets in his first season as well as averaging 31.79 with the bat. He didn’t disappoint in his next season scoring 601 runs and taking 47 wickets.
After finishing third bottom in 1987 and 1988 it got even worse in 1989 when re-election was the name of the game. Only the steady batting of Howard Stead (551 runs) retained credibility to their season. The early nineties saw seamer Kevin Tighe top 50 wickets in successive seasons, and Stead recorded a season best of 695 runs.
Windhill’s fortunes took a turn for the better when they sold a corner of their ground for house building and invested the proceeds in team building and ground improvements. The arrival of free scoring Mark Gilliver, West Indian paceman Tony Martin and wicket-keeper batsman Mark Gill heralded a new era where the re-election days were a thing of the past.
Gilliver scored 750 runs at 39.47 in 1991, while Gill contributed 401. Martin bagged 71 wickets in a team that should have pressed for promotion.
The club strengthened further and won the Second Division championship in 1992 and in subsequent seasons became a major power in the league. Australian David Lovell proved to be a free scoring batsman and recorded the highest league score in the 1992 season- 184 against Manningham Mills and scored 1,061 runs at a staggering average of 81.82 to win the Second Division Batting Averages. Lovell could not quite break through into First Class cricket, but he did play in numerous county second teams.
Other achievers in the 1992 promotion season were batters Neil Nicholson (729 runs) and Gilliver (606 runs), with Neil Gill and Martin both taking 46 wickets. Nicholson played five games for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1988 and 1989 which included a total of 134 first-class runs at 26.80, with a best of 56 not out, and he also took five catches. He also appeared for the Yorkshire Second XI from 1983 to 1990.
Mark Paynter, grandson of Eddie, was captain and he managed to attract top players to Windhill as they sought to be one of the major players in the league. A fourth place in 1993 was real progress with Nicholson (649 runs) and Gilliver (861 runs) still the main batsmen. Martin took 71 wickets for the second time in three seasons.
In 1994 Windhill were title contenders but missed out as runners up despite having two more victories than East Bierley who won it. The batting was strong with Mark Gill (755 runs), Gilliver (764 runs) and Nicholson (528 runs) supporting opener Russell Evans who scored 955 runs at 56.18 with a top score of 139*.
Evans made his first-class debut for Nottinghamshire against the touring Pakistanis in 1987. He made 5 further first-class appearances for Nottinghamshire, the last of which came against Cambridge University. In his 6 first-class matches for the county, he scored 112 runs at an average of 18.66, with a high score of 50 not out. He then had a lengthy career in Minor County cricket with Lincolnshire.
That season they had the quickest pair of seamers seen in a Bradford League attack for many a year- Neville Lindsay (40 wkts) and Tony Martin (55 wkts). They also had useful back up in Mark Bradford who matched Martin’s 55 wickets.
During 1995 it appeared that Windhill would go one better and win the First Division title. With a seam attack containing Tony Martin (36 wkts), Neil Gill (37) wkts and Mark Bradford they had no trouble bowling sides out, and had sufficient batting to compete with most sides. In a tightly contested championship they missed out by one point to a strong Hanging Heaton side, but could count themselves unlucky. Jonathan Proud scored 1,175 runs at 61.84 to win the First Division Batting Averages.
Unfortunately this was as close as they would get despite a fine array of cricketers at their disposal. Another notable signing was Ian Botham’s son Liam who was trying to forge a county career at the time. His feats were unremarkable at Windhill apart from his liking for a huge straight hit reminiscent of his father. His first class record consisted of 19 matches for Durham with a top score of 145.
Another solid season in 1996 when they finished 5th saw Proud (862 runs), Nicholson (617 runs) and Evans (518) take the plaudits with the bat. Left arm seamer Gill had his best year with 64 wickets, while Mark Bradford won the First Division Bowling Averages with 36 wickets at 12.64.
The most interesting cricketer in 1996 at Windhill was West Indian pacemen John Maynard who took 72 wickets. Known as `the dentist’ for obvious reasons Maynard built a fearsome reputation playing for the Leeward Islands and excelled against test touring sides without breaking through himself.
For a cricketer who managed just 13 first-class matches and never played in an international, Maynard achieved quite a reputation. A cricket writer wrote in 2007: "One might even go so far as to suggest he is the most famous West Indian fast bowler never to have played a Test”.
Having just missed out on the title and having little fortune in the Priestley Cup they had a wonderful opportunity to win silverware when they reached the Heavy Woollen Cup Final in 1996 at Liversedge. Their opponents Spen Victoria were too good for them on the day setting a score of 242-7 before bowling Windhill out for 147.
In 1997 Windhill at last won a trophy when they would go one better and win the Heavy Woollen Cup beating their old adversaries Hanging Heaton at Liversedge in the Final by 34 runs. In a tense final Windhill scored 236-7, and limited their opponents to 204 on a good wicket. This made up for a league season that proved disappointing when they hovered above the relegation places after losing key players in the close season.
Back in the top half of the league in 1998, they had a team of all round talent. 21 year old Amol Muzumder was a classy performer who became an attraction in the league for those who enjoyed the wristy technique of an Indian master batsman. He topped the First Division Batting Averages, scoring 976 runs at 65.07. Muzumder went on to join a select band of batsmen in the league to repeat this feat when in 2000 he scored 851 runs at 65.46.
On his first-class debut for Bombay, Muzumder scored 260 against Haryana at Faridabad in a Ranji Trophy match in the 1993–94 season. This was a record for any player on their debut in first-class cricket. He went on to score 11,167 runs in First Class cricket at an average of 48.13.
Another key batsman for Windhill in 1998 was Durham’s Darren Blenkiron who scored 748 runs. He went on to score 630 runs in 1999. His first class record consisted of 19 matches for Durham with a top score of 145. Seamer Greg Colehan had his best season at Windhill taking 52 wickets, along with Neil Gill who took 50. Colehan went on to play for Idle and Bankfoot and was on the verge of a career 1,000 wickets by the end of 2014.
In 1999 times were more difficult at Busy Lane with a lowly position in the table, despite Mark Gill’s 719 runs. The most colourful cricketer was 19 year old Lou Vincent from Auckland who scored 479 runs at 34.21. Right handed batsman Vincent played in 23 Test matches for New Zealand with a top score of 224. His panache for scoring quick runs led to him being something of a one-day specialist for club and country. In a spell at Lancashire he scored a Twenty/20 century in 63 balls.
The writing was on the wall for a fading Windhill as they hit financial problems. The leading players gradually departed and they were relegated at the end of the 2000 season. It was a cruel irony that these players could have been replaced by a crop of highly- promising under-17 players at Busy Lane had they not chosen to go elsewhere-. Craig Wiseman, David Clow, Mally Nicholson, Ian Nicholson, Ajmal Shahzad (future county player) were all in unison and ready for promotion to the senior ranks.
In 2001 they had to seek re-election after finishing bottom of the Verity section with only nine points. Not one of their predominantly young and untried team made the league averages. Windhill’s malaise continued through to 2007 when they had further re-election pleas in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006- four occasions in bottom place. Amongst some very weak sides they had several worthy overseas players:
2002 A U Rehman 798 runs at 46.94
2005 A Iqbal 746 runs at 39.26
2007 Amar M Khan 642 runs at 42.80 & 32 wickets
During these dark days Gordon Binns was honoured with the Sir Leonard Hutton Trophy in 2002 for his services to cricket. He had devoted a lifetime of playing, serving on committees and ground work at Busy Lane.
In 2009 there was a revival at Busy Lane with 3rd place obtained in a promotion run with Bankfoot who just about edged it. Fine batting from Farakh Hussain (695 runs), Neil Johnson (677 runs) and Mohammed Altaf (521 runs), complimented the bowling of Sadaqat Zaman (49 wkts), Josh Wheatley (39 wkts) and the returning Craig Wiseman (40 wkts).
The following year in 2010 they were still very competitive with Ashan Butt scoring 1,042 runs at 65.13, backed by the emerging Fahid Rehman who contributed 596 in a team developing a real Asian influence. Rehman would join Saltaire and join the illustrative band of cricketers in the league who would score 1,000 runs in a season.
Key players departed from Windhill and in 2011 they had to apply for re-election for the sixth time this century. Despite the hard times the outfield and square had an immaculate look about it thanks to Colin Gatenby and his helpers. Respectability was obtained in 2012 with Hassan Mehmood the most productive player with 664 runs at 55.33.
Despite Jack Holland’s 783 runs in 2013 his team survived re-election by the skin of their teeth. Things got worse the next season in 2014 when re-election was a reality again with just two league victories and consequently bottom place.
In a season when not a single local player made the league averages, the only redeeming feature was the moderate success of overseas player Salman Ali who recorded 479 runs at 31.93. The lowest point was on May 31st 2014 when they were bowled out for 35 v Idle.
Encouragement came from the 2014 League dinner when Colin Gatenby was deservedly awarded the Sir Leonard Hutton Trophy for services to cricket, and the club received the Albert Smith Spirit of Cricket Trophy for sportsmanship in the field.
A marginal improvement in 2015 saw three victories and a second bottom placing as player shortages negated progress. The one highlight was the performance of overseas player Muhammad Yasin who scored 701 runs at 41.24, and took 43 wickets for an average of 16.16. This secured him the Jack Lee All Rounders Trophy for the Second Division.
Just prior to the 2016 season, Windhill resigned from the Bradford League citing a lack of volunteer workers. With the start of the season approaching they had no scorers, match-day helpers and ground personnel, and also a limited playing squad.
Main committee man Ian Holdsworth worked tirelessly to save the club, and continued to strive for survival even during the season of non-playing activity. After a series of meetings the club negotiated assistance from two Mutual Sunday School clubs VVS Laxman and Cross Roads/Daisy Hill to re-enter the league at Conference level for 2017.
A complete statistical history of the club is unfortunately impossible due to records having been lost but the first record we have is of a meeting on the 25th October 1897 of Daisy Hill Cricket club as it was then known. At this meeting what we do know is that the club would play in the West Bradford Alliance League with the following officers elected Mr Issac Smithurst (President) Mr Tom Rowling (Chairman and Financial Secretary) Mr E Beedham (Treasurer) Mr Ernest Lee (1st team Captain) Mr Walter Noble (1st team Vice Captain) Mr E Rowling (2nd team Captain) Mr H Haigh (2nd team Vice Captain)
We believe this was the first competitive season of the club and the minutes show that the match subscriptions were 3 shillings per player with the umpires and scorers being paid a shilling each.
The club resigned from the West Bradford Alliance League at the end of the 1898 season and joined the West Bradford Sunday School League for the 1899 season. Unfortunately, the club was declared bankrupt in 1900. The last entry in the minute book was on the 29th May 1900 when a men only trip was arranged to Bramham Cricket Club whether or not this trip caused the financial downfall is unknown.
On the 3rd May 1901 the club was reformed under the name of Daisy Hill and Heaton Road Primitive Methodist Cricket Club with the first action being to pay off the debts of the old club and take their place in the West Bradford Sunday school League. The following officers were elected for the new club Mr S Beecroft (Chairman) Mr B Craven (Secretary) Mr K Riddiough (Treasurer) Mr F Wilson (1st team Captain) Mr R Trefall (1stteam Vice Captain) Mr W Pickles (2nd team Captain) Mr E Pickles (2ndteam Vice Captain)
The subscriptions were 2 shillings and sixpence per game with any player not helping to get the ground ready on match days being fined tuppence.
In 1903 the club re-joined the West Bradford Alliance League and in 1904 Heaton Road was dropped from the club’s name and the club became known as Daisy Hill Methodist Cricket Club.
In 1907 the club re-entered the West Bradford Sunday School League and were First Division Champions that season.
Mr A Beecroft became secretary in 1902 and served the club in that position for the next fifty years
Records show that Daisy Hill Methodist Cricket Club joined the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League in 1913 and spent the next ninety years in that league until the merger with Cross Roads at the end of the 2003 season. Unfortunately, we have not traced specific records until the Telegraph and Argus started reporting local cricket results from 1945. However, records show that the club won the Group B (second division) title in 1933 although we have no photo or record of the individual players from that team
In 1945 the war was still ongoing and Daisy Hill Meths competed in a one division Bradford Mutual Sunday School League and finished 17th out of 25 teams. The following year we were in Group B the second division of the league but were relegated to Group C at the end of the 1947 season where we remained until 1952 when we were relegated to Group D.
We won Group D in 1954 under the leadership of Louis Mann with telling contributions from Harry Kitson, Frank Mann and Arthur Jennings. Unfortunately, relegation back to Group D came at the end of the 1957 season
Group D was the fourth and bottom division of the league and the club needed to rebuild. The Daisy Hill ground located next to West Bradford Golf Club between Lynfield Mount Hospital and the Haworth Road Council Estate had its square cut out of a sloping field and the fielder on the bottom boundary needed to be over 6 feet tall to see the play on the square. Although not an ideal cricket field the club had the foresight in the fifties to purchase the cricket field and an adjoining field from the local farmer who owned it.
The pitch was somewhat lively and good fast bowlers always came to the fore. The team was being rebuilt with quick bowlers A. Robertshaw 7 for 8 against Yews Green in 1958, B.Mercer took 46 wickets in 1959. Peter Kirby destroyed Sandy Lane with the clubs best ever bowling feat of 9 for 10 including a hat trick on the 27th June 1960. In 1961 Peter Kirby and Ralph Attack took 62 wickets each a staggering 124 wickets for an opening pair of bowlers. Ralph Attack took 7 for 22 including hat trick against YMCA in 1961 as he and Peter Kirby took 41 wickets each that season
Peter Kirby continued to be prolific in those early sixties and would go on to take 7 wickets on three more occasions for the first team as well as repeating the feat three times for the second eleven towards the end of his career.
It was however, Peter Kirby’s new ball partnership with Dennis Oliver who joined from Allerton for the 1962 season ably backed up by Geoff Lumb that brought success to the club. In 1963 Dennis Ryder captained the team to win the Group D title with strong batting from himself and the Vines brothers, Clay and veteran Kitson but it was the bowling of Kirby (50 wickets), Oliver (58 wickets) and Lumb that did the damage that season Oliver producing the best figures of 8 for 16 against Dirkhill Meths.
1963 also saw the then highest score by a batsman for Daisy Hill when P.Vines playing for the 2nd X1 smashed 93 not out against Tetley Street.
This was arguably the clubs best period as the team followed their success in 1963 with back to back promotions in 1964 finishing runners up to Wyke Westfield on run rate. M. Vine producing a then club highest score of 88 not out against Lower Wyke Moravians. Kirby, Oliver and Lumb once again devastating with the ball. Oliver showing his all round talent with 72 against Great Horton Meths.
Cricket was exceptionally strong across Bradford in the sixties and Group B proved too strong for Ryder’s team in 1965 resulting in relegation back to Group C. One highlight was the bowling of Geoff Lumb producing his best figures of 9 for 25 against Salem MC
It was back to Group C and although Peter Kirby was coming towards the end of his first team days, Dennis Oliver was emerging as Daisy Hill’s most prolific bowler in his time at the club 1962 to 1974 he took 7 wickets or more in a game a phenomenal eleven times an era where he shared the new ball with the likes of Peter Kirby, Geoff Lumb, George Garland, Barry Thomas, Sam Roomes, Stewart Bairstow and his own younger brother Peter Oliver all of whom took 7 wickets or more in a game for Daisy Hill. Dennis Oliver’s best figures were 8 for 6 against Denholme Clough in 1968
1968 was the season the club once again achieved promotion from Group C and yet again only missed out on the title to Shipley Providence on run rate. Dennis Ryder and Eric Wilson scored half centuries with the bat but Dennis Oliver now captaining the side took 7 wickets or more twice with George Garland a top order batsman and change bowler taking 7 for 40 against Lower Wyke Moravians
In 1966 four players who had come to England from the West Indies joined the club Barry Thomas, Sam Roomes, Frank Barnett and Eric Clarke all four were to play a significant role in 1969. Thomas and Roomes were flamboyant all rounders who contributed significantly to the team finishing runners up in Group B and achieving promotion to Group A for the first time. The two Dennis’s Ryder and Oliver led the way with bat and ball Ryder hitting a then career best of 70 not out against Idle Baptist with the devastating Oliver taking 8 for 20 against Cambridge Place. Harry Atkinson came on as a part time spinner and took a hat trick.
From 1945 right through to 1969 Daisy Hill Meths 2nd X1 were always in Section Two the bottom division for second teams and were not the strongest in fact in 1952 the seconds had their worst ever season when they played 18 lost 17 and drew one leaving them with just the one point for the whole season. Notable performances during this era were J.Garner 52 wickets and George Bunn 44 wickets in 1961. Louis Mann 43 wickets in 1962, two half centuries from Jack Simpson in 1964 However 1969 saw a bowling attack of the veteran Peter Kirby in partnership with George Bunn who was a wily second eleven bowler who took over 7 wickets in a match four times in his second eleven career at Daisy Hill. The outstanding bowling performance came from M. Proctor who took 7 for 18 against Union Croft seconds. This attack together with the all round skills of Frank Barnett, flamboyant batting from Eric Clarke together with solid batting efforts from Dave Rowan Gordon Barraclough and Ian Hammond clinched the runners up spot in Section Two meaning that both the first and the second teams achieved promotion in 1969
The euphoria of 1969 was quickly extinguished in 1970 when both teams were relegated back down to Group B and Section Two respectively. The only achievements of any note that season was a half centuries by Colin Pell and George Garland for the firsts against Great Horton Meths and George Bunn who took 7 for 24 against Park Chapel for the seconds
Over the next few seasons the first eleven performed consistently well in Group B without getting promotion. 1971 saw a couple of half centuries from both Barry Thomas and George Garland together with a further half century from the consistent Dennis Ryder. 1971 also saw the lowest score by a Daisy Hill team as the 2nd X1 were all out for 13 against Great Horton Meths
In 1972 only Dennis Oliver scored a fifty but Peter Oliver took 7 for 45 against Greenfield with Barry Thomas showing what a class act he was when he took an incredible 7 for 7 against Haworth Road Meths. Peter Oliver took 52 wickets that season.
1973 saw Sam Roomes take an impressive 7 for 18 against Sunbridge Road Mission in the June only for Dennis Oliver to better it in the return fixture at the end of August when he took 8 for 15. Dennis Oliver took 61 wickets that season with Peter Kirby taking 53. George Garland, Sam Roomes and John Broadbent scored half centuries that season. The club also started its first Junior team in 1973
1974 saw George Garland score another two half centuries with Sam Roomes once again hitting a fifty. On the bowling front a young Stewart Bairstow took 7 for 20 against Idle Upper Chapel but it was Dennis Oliver again leading the way with 7 for 28 against Bingley Road and 8 for 24 against Park Chapel as he took 58 wickets that season.
Notable 2nd X1 performances over this same period were George Bunn 7 for 25 versus Cambridge Place in 1972, the evergreen Peter Kirby 7 for 6 against Baildon Meths in 1973 and Ian Hammond with his china man getting a career best 7 for 54 against Union Croft
1975 saw the consistency of the previous seasons pay dividends when the first team gained promotion back to Group A by finishing runners up in Group B. The Daisy Hill square had improved season upon season and in 1975 six half centuries were scored by the first team, two apiece for Dennis Ryder and Sam Roomes with John Broadbent and George Garland adding the others. Peter Oliver and Sam Roomes both took seven wickets in a match.
Dennis Oliver and Sam Roomes left the club to join Union Croft for the 1976 season and with Barry Thomas already gone to Crofts in the Bradford Central League the club was back in Group A but facing a rebuilding process.
1976 and 1977 saw the club hold its own in the top division. In 1976 Dennis Ryder and Colin Robinson both scored half centuries and Stewart Bairstow took a career best 7 for 7 against Bolton Meths. In the seconds David Rowan with 85 against Cambridge Place and Frank Barnett with 7 for 9 against Bradford Falcons were the stand out performers. Another standout performance that season was that of the juniors who finished runners up in the league and reached the final of the cup only to be beaten by Low Moor. The 1976 junior team was Andy Nichols (captain) Mick Pascal, Bryan Greenwood, Richard Butterfield, Andrew Broadbent, Steven Roberts, Kevin Broadbent, Derek Bailey, Andy Craven, Robert Ryder and Stephen Brown
1977 was an outstanding season for George Garland he got the best bowling performance that year with 7 for 24 against Central YMCA hit 55 against Great Horton Meths and an agonising 97 against Salem Athletic falling three runs short of becoming the first Daisy Hill player to ever score a century. George was a school teacher and due to changing schools 1977 was his last full season with Daisy Hill before moving to Glusburn midway into 1978 but his contribution to the club was significant and at the time of leaving he had scored the most half centuries (eight) for the club.
1977 was also the year for the 2nd X1 when they finally tasted silverware under the captaincy of Harry Atkinson by winning Section Two. Keith Holdsworth, John Hagerty and David Brown all scored half centuries. Ian Hammond and Gordon Barraclough made regular contributions along with Eric Clarke. Billy Freeman was prominent with the ball but it was the all round dominance of Frank Barnett that made the difference especially with the ball where he took 7 for 10 against Park Chapel and 7 for 17 against Great Horton Church. Frank finished with 71 wickets for the season. It was also a year where the clubs junior policy began to pay dividends with Stephen Watson, Andy Nichols, Bryan Greenwood and Steven Roberts all getting games
Although the youth was making the club stronger, it is always difficult to replace key players and this was the case in 1978 when George Garland left during the season. Jack King made the only half century that season against Bolton Meths as a youthful first team which included Andy Nichols Bryan Greenwood and Kevin Liney were relegated back to Group B. The 2ndX1 managed to hold their own in Section One despite losing Keith Holdsworth who was replaced as wicket keeper by Graham Langton. Half centuries from Billy Freeman who also took 55 wickets, Eric Wilson and Steve Hainsworth were significant for the second eleven.
1979 saw Winston Bull arrive at the club from Shipley Providence. Dave Greenwood was prolific with the ball taking 8 for 28 against Haworth Road and 7 for 27 against Great Horton Church. Stewart Bairstow also scored a half century in the match against Great Horton Church but it was the return fixture against Great Horton Church on the 18th August when history would be made as Winston (Winnie) Bull became the first Daisy Hill player to ever score a century hitting a magnificent 100 not out
1979 was also a record breaking season for the second eleven as Frank Barnett contributing a half century against Clayton Meths and seven wickets against Low Moor ensured a solid season in Section One but it was eighteen year old Andy Nichols who delivered a devastating spell of bowling against Great Horton Meths on the 12th May when he bowled 4.4 overs 3 maidens 7 wickets for one run. His opening partner Billy Freeman took 3 for 4 as Great Horton Meths were bowled out for a record breaking 5 runs a fitting revenge for 1971
1980 saw a consistent if unspectacular season for both teams with Dave Greenwood the standout bowler with 7 for 34 against Great Horton Meths. Jack King contributed another half century but Colin Robinson was now established as the main batsman scoring 83 not out against Grange and 51 not out against Wyke Westfield. Dave Harney and Steve Close (another product from the juniors) scored half centuries for the 2nd team.
1981 saw the first team once again captained by Dennis Ryder win promotion to Group A by finishing second in Group B. Andy Nichols and Eric Wilson scored half centuries but it was the bowling attack of Nichols, Dave Greenwood and Winnie Bull that made the difference Greenwood taking 7 for 12 against Grange with Bull taking 8 for 24 against Greenfield only to better that with 8 for 23 against Muff Field. The second X1 once again performed well in Section One with Bryan Greenwood switching from opening bat to opening bowler and taking 7 for 15 against Clayton Meths.
The Eighties at last saw consistency for both teams as the firsts established themselves in Group A and the seconds maintained their position in Section One
1982 saw Winnie Bull hit three half centuries with Colin Robinson adding another and then on the 4th September against Idle Upper Chapel Colin became the second Daisy Hill player to score a hundred when he hit 107 not out. In the seconds Stewart Bairstow took 7 for 32 against Idle Upper Chapel but it was the second team batting that excelled that season with Brian Bell (on debut) Alwyn Clapham, David Tessyman (another junior product) Frank Barnett and Ken Lines (twice) all scoring half centuries
1983 saw some strong bowling performances in the first team with Winnie Bull 7 for 21 against Greenfield and 7 for 39 against Clayton with Brian Bell taking 8 for 24 against Odsal. In contrast the second team saw some strong batting performances with Henry Daff Andy Watson (another junior product) Dave Greenwood and Steve Hainsworth all scoring half centuries
1984 saw another very good season for the first team as in a very competitive season the team finished 4th but only 3 points behind the champions that year Great Horton Meths. Colin Robinson hit another 100 as well as scoring six half centuries as he won the League averages amassing 653 runs for the season which was a record for the top division. Winnie Bull was the other half century maker that season. The seconds finished mid table in section one with Frank Barnett taking 45 wickets and scoring two half centuries alongside Mark Brogden another youngster who hit two half centuries that season
The start of the 1985 season had seen Jack King and Dave Greenwood leave to join Salem Athletic and despite a further 100 from Colin Robinson plus a maiden century from the now veteran Dennis Ryder the first team had an average season. Robinson with two and Ryder contributed half centuries as well as Winnie Bull and Steve Roberts hitting fifties for what was a strong established batting line up. It was the second team that almost delivered silverware that season finishing 2nd in the league by just 2 points to Bingley Road. John Penny winning the division batting averages that season as he, Dave Rowan and Andy Nichols all hit half centuries with wicket keeper Graham Langton hitting a seasons best 82. Bryan Greenwood taking 50 wickets
1986 saw a change of direction as Colin Robinson changed the makeup of his side by opting for the expressed paced Bryan Greenwood and the often unreadable medium pace of Junior Boyce to spearhead the new ball attack as well as bringing in young paceman Andy Roberts as the change bowler alongside veteran Winnie Bull. This group of bowlers delivered with Roberts (1st) Greenwood (3rd) and Boyce (5th) in the league bowling averages and Greenwood (59) and Boyce (58) taking 117 wickets between them nearly bowling the club to the title but in the end having to settle for runners up the clubs highest ever position as a previously successful batting line up floundered with only three half centuries that season from Robinson, Boyce and Steve Roberts. The second team had a mid-table finish with two half centuries from Andy Watson and veteran Frank Barnett winning the divisional bowling averages.
The near but yet so far 1986 season led to Colin Robinson and Ken Lines leaving to join Salem Athletic with Steve Roberts opting to join Sandy Lane in the Bradford Central League. A mid-table season followed in 1987 with Winston Bull (81) and Andy Watson the only ones to score half centuries and the bowling once again was the team’s strength with this time Winston Bull 45 wickets leading the way. Bryan Greenwood’s career best 8 for 28 against several of his former team mates was the highlight. The seconds were once again mid-table with half centuries for Peter Daff and Omar Mussa the highlights
It is worth noting that up to the mid-eighties the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League was on a par with the Bradford Central League but that the Central League was now attracting better players through the improved facilities of their grounds whereas the Sunday School League was accepting more clubs that used council owned grounds with limited facilities. In an attempt to gain access to the Central League the club had developed its second field by excavating it from a sloping field into a an Odsal type bowl giving a large flat cricket field within the bowl. The club had encountered problems through the excavation work which resulted in flooding the gardens of the adjoining houses and its completion was stalled and was not playable until 1989
The club lost Bryan Greenwood to Sandy Lane and Junior Boyce to Bradford West Indians who were famous for having a Sunday team but had now decided to enter a Saturday team in the league for the 1988 season.
With the bowling attack weakened it was veteran Dennis Ryder with three half centuries plus two from Andy Watson and one from Omar Mussa which enabled a struggling team to finish 5 points clear of the relegation zone. Sadly half centuries from Frank Barnett and Steve Hainsworth could not prevent the seconds from being relegated from Section One
Relegation followed for the first team in 1989 as the team finished bottom of the table, two half centuries from Tim Clarke plus a fifty from his brother Dave (DC) Clarke and 51 not out from Bryan Greenwood who had returned to the club halfway through the season being the only performances of note. The second team also struggled in Section Two but three half centuries from Zaheed Bashir and further ones from Peter Lawton plus 82 not out from Stewart Roberts who had joined from Greenfield gave hope for the future.
Bryan Greenwood opted to go back to the Bradford Central League for 1990 and the first team suffered successive relegations as they finished second bottom of Group B despite picking up Dougie Binns and Gus Norde from the now defunct Bradford West Indians both scored half centuries with Dave (DC) Clarke adding a further three and the promise of Zaheed Bashir coming to the fore with two fifties. Whilst it was a disaster for the first team, the seconds had a much better season winning Section Two in style. Veteran Winnie Bull, Abid Bashir and Stewart Roberts scoring half centuries but this was long serving Steve Hainsworth’s moment in the spotlight as he hit 358 runs including two half centuries, one of which was an agonising 99 not out.
The club built on the success of the second team when the first team finished runners up in Group C in 1991. Winston Bull defying the years to score 470 runs in the season including two fifties. Dave (DC) Clarke added another and Andy Nichols finally got the wickets he deserved with 54 that season. The seconds struggled in Section One but Abid Bashir, G.Fareed, Harry Line, Gus Norde and Stewart Roberts all hit half centuries
1992 saw several players join the club from near neighbours Greenfield who had folded and the first team had a mid-table season with the highlights being two half centuries from Tim Clarke the second being 90 not out and Winston Bull once again contributed another fifty. The second team in what was now the newly resurrected Group D were within a whisker of taking the title and ended up with the same points as United-Crescent only to finish runners up on runs/wickets averages. Abid Bashir and Gus Norde scored three half centuries a piece with Tim Clarke also scoring fifty
1993 saw the first team finish runners up in Group B earning promotion back to the top division. Andy Nichols once again led the bowling attack with 54 wickets but it was Winston Bull who rolled back the years scoring 106 not out fourteen seasons after he hit the first hundred for Daisy Hill. Winnie hit two further fifties. Peter Daff (2) Omar Mussa (2) and F.iqbal also hit half centuries. The second team managed to finish a respectable mid table with another veteran Gus Norde amassing 469 runs including two fifties. S.Robertson and Dave Rowan also scored half centuries and Dennis Ryder 30 years on from captaining the team to the Group D title scored a majestic 77
Sadly the return to the top flight was short lived as the first team were relegated in 1994 finishing 8 points from safety. Dave (DC) Clarke hit three half centuries with further fifties from S.Ijaz (2) and F.Iqbal being the only other highlights in a disappointing season. The seconds were once again mid-table in Group C. Abid Bashir 94 and 80 not out with Gus Norde 81, M.Hussain 73 and S.Rehman 50 the others to contribute.
Further issues hit the club before the start of the 1995 season resulting in the club only able to field one team in the league that season. The team struggled and finished second bottom of Group B and only survived a second successive relegation due to a restructure of the league the following season. The only performance of any note in 1995 was Graeme Crabtree with 81 not out
The Bradford Mutual Sunday School League celebrated its centenary year in 1996 and Daisy Hill managed to get back to two teams for the season. The first team finished 5th in Group B Jonathan Barnett son of Frank leading the bowling with 41 wickets and half centuries were scored by Peter Daff, Dave (DC) Clarke, Matt Barron, Graeme Crabtree and S.Bashir. The second team ended up bottom of Group D by just one point with again DC and J.Saddique hitting fifties.
Sadly the league was still haemorrhaging clubs and a further re-organisation for the 1997 season saw the club back in the top division. Clearly out of their depth the team finished bottom of the division. R.Smith leading the batting with 424 runs in which he scored a fifty and Graeme Crabtree once again contributing with two half centuries. The second team had an improved season ending 4th in Group D
Once again more clubs folded at the end of the 1997 season one of which was Sunbridge Road Mission whose remaining active players joined Daisy Hill for the 1998 season. The league in an effort to keep the clubs with the better facilities and who ran two teams formed a Premier Division and a Premier Seconds of which Daisy Hill were founder members. However, the extra players joining the club from Sunbridge Road enabled the club to run a 3rdX1 in Group B which effectively was the third division.
Despite the influx of new players all three teams struggled the first team fourth bottom of the Premier, the 2nd X1 third bottom of the Premier Seconds and the 3rd X1 second bottom of Group B. The notable performances came from a young Haroon Rashid taking 42 wickets for the 3rd X1 as well as scoring a fifty. Ian Thompson who had joined from Sunbridge Road hit two fifties for the 3rd X1. Michael Downey hit a fifty for the 2nd X1 and Matt Baron and B.Smith hit fifties for the first team
The club lost some players for the 1999 season and reverted back to two teams with the league persisting with the Premier League idea. The first team once again struggled finishing third from bottom whilst the second team finished bottom of the Premier Seconds. Graeme Crabtree with two half centuries and further fifties from Matt Baron, John Hamilton, Ian Kerrison and H.Khan were the contributors for the first team with Nick Parker scoring two half centuries for the seconds.
Further clubs leaving the Premier League saw the league revert back to three divisions for the millennium season with the first X1 in Group A and the seconds in Group C. The first team had an average season with Matt Baron, John Hamilton, Nick Parker and M.Khan all contributing half centuries. The seconds finished bottom of Group C despite Adam Smith scoring 109 and half centuries from Stewart Roberts, Michael Downey, Andy Wilson and S. Ahmed
2001 was the most significant year in the club’s history and summed up the highs and lows of cricket. The first team finished bottom of Group A and were relegated despite Nick Parker scoring 107 plus another half century, Ian Thompson 80 and two solid fifties from Graeme Crabtree. The second team although finishing mid table in Group C also had a century maker in Ijaz Khan as well as fifties from Michael Downey (2) A.Gouws (2) Andy Hainsworth and Nick Parker. What made the year so significant was that first team got to the final of the Sir James Roberts Cup where they then beat the favourites Cambing to win the cup. Stewart Roberts was man of the match in Daisy Hill’s finest hour
The team was Graham Langton (captain) Stewart Roberts Andy Nichols Graeme Crabtree John Hamilton Matt Baron Nick Parker Dave Clarke Steve Hainsworth Naheem Khan Andrew "Oggy" Smith 12th Man Andrew Hainsworth
2002 saw a resurgent first team narrowly miss out on promotion from Group B by finishing third although the seconds struggled finishing third bottom of Group C. Graeme Crabtree leading the way for the first team with 405 runs which included three half centuries. Stewart Roberts and Andy Nichols also scored fifties with Andy Nichols 41 wickets and Nick Parker 35 making the league bowling averages. In the second team Graham Langton led the way with 383 runs including a fifty and there were further half centuries for Adam Smith and Sean Parker.
Despite the recent success the club was fractured as several players turned up on a Saturday five minutes before the game started and left immediately it finished this prompted the club’s chairman Graham Langton to instigate a cull which saw most of the none workers leave the club. This meant that the club went back down to one team for the 2003 season and as the team contained several players who had been playing second team cricket it was no surprise to anyone when the team finished a distant bottom of Group A although, there were fifties for Graeme Crabtree (2) Matt Baron and Steve Hainsworth.
At the same time Daisy Hill were struggling with players turning up five minutes before the start etc, Cross Roads Cricket Club currently in the Bradford Central League were suffering the exact same fate and to such an extent they had decided enough was enough and would have to go to just one team for the 2004 season. This would cause issues with the once strong Bradford Central League as they were losing several clubs themselves to the Craven League. Ex Daisy Hill player Bryan Greenwood was now at Cross Roads who played at the Bronte School in Oakworth. Bryan was aware of Daisy Hill’s situation and knew that they wanted to play against teams with better facilities and raised the prospect of a merger with Graham Langton. A few meetings later Cross Roads/Daisy Hill CC was formed and accepted into the Bradford Central League for 2004 with the club playing at Daisy Hill as the ground was owned by the club unlike the Bronte School field.
The loss of so many clubs in the West Bradford area to the Craven League was the beginning of the end for the Bradford Central League and although Cross Roads and Daisy Hill were looking towards a more secure future other established Central League clubs like Shelf, Jer Lane and Clayton were looking for an escape.
The 2004 season saw Cross Roads and Daisy Hill first team hold their own finishing mid-table in the 2nd Division whilst the second team found it a little harder and finished second bottom of the 3rd Division. Graeme Crabtree was the main stay of the batting with 356 runs that season in which only Craig Pullen scored a half century. Andy Nichols showed why he should have played at a higher standard earlier by taking 48 wickets this included two 7 wicket and one 6 wicket hauls. Andrew “Oggy” Smith and Matt Baron also took 7 wickets in a match whilst Gary Hopkins and veteran John Pullen had 6 wicket hauls. John Moffat was the second teams leading bowler with 14 year old Byron Greenwood winning the league fielding trophy that season.
2005 was a tougher season for the first team and although finishing mid-table had been weakened by the loss of Warren Knowles to Oakworth. Graeme Crabtree had another fine season with the bat amassing 539 runs including three half centuries. Sean Parker hit 86 not out and 71 whilst Matt Gilmartin with a majestic 85 and Andrew “Oggy” Smith also hit fifties but the standout batting performance for the first team that season was Matt Baron who was stranded on 99 not out when heavy rain ended the game at Salem Athletic. Andy Nichols was once again the leading bowler with 35 wickets which included a seasons best 8 for 40. The second team had an improved season finishing outside the bottom two with veterans John Pullen 38 wickets and Graham Beaumont 36 wickets rolling back the years. Sean Parker with 137 recorded the highest century scored by a home player at Daisy Hill.
The club was now running under 15’s and under 13’s junior teams and the future was looking brighter but once again more clubs left the league. Adwalton, Jer Lane, Eldwick and Westwood Park all departed for pastures new. As a result 2006 was a much tougher season for the club as the Central league were now down to one division for first teams and one division for seconds.
2006 was without doubt a disastrous season Andy Nichols had retired at the end of the 2005 season and his opening bowling partner Neil Kennedy had decided to join Long Lee in the Craven League as a result most of the clubs under 16 juniors were thrown in to both teams. Heavy defeats especially for the second team were constant throughout the season. Only Sean Parker, Graeme Crabtree, Bryan Greenwood and Craig Pullen managed half centuries as both teams finished bottom of their divisions.
As a result the club decided that it would be wrong to continue in the Central League if we wanted to allow our young juniors to develop and with Shelf, Low Moor and Clayton all joining the Halifax League there would only be 9 clubs left in the league so the club decided to resign siting that we could only raise one team for the 2007 season. Our resignation was accepted allowing the club to re-join the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League in Group C with one team.
The only plus point from 2006 was that Bradford Council had removed both the current and the old cricket field from the green belt enabling the club to look for buyers of the land enabling them to build a new ground with brand new facilities elsewhere in the area. A prospective multi million pound offer was made for the land and the future looked very bright. After considering several options the club decided to explore the possibility of building a ground at Salem Rugby Union club who were happy to let us have their second eleven pitch as our potential new ground with the promise that once the money came through we would build them a new second team pitch on adjoining land.
The arrangement looked ideal for both clubs and conscious of the need to lay a cricket square the club accepted a short term loan of £25k to lay the new square in 2006.
Although a mid-table finish was achieved in 2007 the return to the Sunday School League had proved to be the correct decision as Graeme Crabtree amassed 476 runs including a career best 134 as well as two other half centuries. Dave (DC) Clarke contributed two fifties whilst his son Wayne a third generation Clarke contributed a fifty. Matt Baron led the bowling with 35 wickets.
Unfortunately the 2007 Financial Crash put paid to the multi million pound offer for the land and the club had to decide whether to leave the Daisy Hill fields and move on to the new ground at Salem Rugby club a telling factor was the recurring vandalism at Daisy Hill as well as potential future delay to selling the field currently being used for cricket if cricket continued being played there. As a result the club moved to Salem Rugby club for the 2008 season.
The 2008 season saw the club back to two teams in a restructured Sunday School League with the first team in Group B and the seconds in Group C. The first team had an excellent season finishing third in the table. Graeme Crabtree with 317 runs once again leading the batting. Crabtree, Bryan Greenwood, Matt Baron and Wayne Clarke with two all contributed half centuries. Matt Baron led the bowling with 38 wickets. Sadly the second team struggled and finished bottom with Graham Langton’s half century the only highlight.
The 2009 season saw the first team finish a respectable 4th place in the division and the seconds had an improved season finishing mid-table. The highlight for the first team was 124 not out by Wayne Clarke against Mandhata. Graeme Crabtree with 95 and a further two half centuries was once again the leading batsman and Ian Clayton announced himself on the first team stage with his first fifty. In the seconds there were fifties for Steve Close and Andrew Hainsworth but they were overshadowed by a returning Adam Hussain who scored four half centuries. The second team got to the final of the H Broadbent trophy that season only to lose to West Bowling by 29 runs.
Problems with the rugby club around access to the changing rooms caused issues off the field in 2010 and these manifested themselves onto the field as the first team finished second bottom and were relegated from Group B, the second team also struggled and finished next to bottom of Group C. The highlights from a disappointing season were around Chris Hartley who hit 132 against Mandhata plus a further two fifties and the feat of taking four wickets in four balls against Great Horton Meths. Bryan Greenwood was the only other batsman to pass fifty that season with 66 against Mayfield. Bilal Mughal showed his promise with 62 for the second team
2011 was another poor season on the field as the first team narrowly missed relegation by one point and the seconds finished a distant bottom of Group D. The plus points were the emergence with the bat of Ian Clayton who amassed 552 runs which included four half centuries including an 86 not out and an 87 and Byron Greenwood with the ball who took 56 wickets. Byron also scored a career best 84. Bryan Greenwood with two half centuries and Graham Crabtree were the other contributors. In the seconds the highlight of a disappointing season was Bilal Mughal who hit 102 not out against Mayfield.
The club was struggling both on and off the field. A buyer for the old fields was no nearer being found and was reliant on member loans to survive . The move to Salem Rugby Club was not bringing the benefits that everyone had hoped as other than Dean McNicholl no rugby players were interested in playing cricket mostly because of the poor facilities and the standard of the league. The move away from the grass roots of Daisy Hill where the surrounding housing estate had always attracted juniors had come back to bite as the club no longer had a junior section. The subsequent retirements of Graham Beaumont, Graham Langton and John Pullen meant that the club would have to run just the one team in 2012 and gain some much needed income from leasing the ground out on alternate weekends.
Byron Greenwood took the captaincy for 2012 and the team transformed just missing out on the title to Bowling Baptists but achieving promotion back to Group B. Ian Clayton again led the way with the batting but it was the bowling partnership of Byron 46 wickets and Chris Hartley 41 that led the way on what was a rain effected season that had 6 games lost to the weather. Byron’s 46 wickets actually took the Leagues G F Terry Bowling Trophy for the most wickets in the season becoming the first Daisy Hill player to win the award. Ian Clayton’s 51 and Shaun Briggs 78 were the batting highlights that season
The step up for 2013 proved just too hard not helped by losing Chris Hartley to Thornton as the team finished second bottom and were relegated back to Group C, Adam Hussain 78, Bryan Greenwood 68, Shaun Briggs 57 and Byron Greenwood 54 were the only players to pass fifty.
Gary Hopkins took the captaincy for 2014 and the team proved yet again that it was too good for Group C by finishing second and gaining promotion. Despite winning promotion nobody passed fifty that season with Byron Greenwood 44 not out and Bilal Mughal 42 not out being the best. On the bowling Alex Wood with 5 for 17 and Adam Hussain 5 for 36 were the standouts.
Bryan Greenwood agreed to take the captaincy back in 2015 with the understanding that Ian Clayton would be vice and would take over the season after, the team ended its yo-yo years by surviving in Group B the standout performance with the bat was a welcome return to form for Graeme Crabtree with 105 not out against Girlington. Byron Greenwood was the only other player to score a fifty that season but Ian Clayton with 6 for 45, Byron Greenwood two five wicket hauls and Bilal Mughal with 5 for 24 spearheaded a very strong bowling line up that also contained Josh Butterfield, Adam Hussain and Gary Hopkins.
Off the field relations with the rugby club were becoming strained. Bradford Council in its attempt to cut its recreation budget had effectively made the rugby club the cricket clubs landlords. Rugby training was taking place on the outfield leaving it damaged for the start of each season and on one occasion the rugby club deliberately marked out a second eleven pitch across a freshly cut cricket outfield even though the rugby season had finished weeks earlier. It was clear the relationship would not work long term. The plus point for the cricket club was that a buyer for the old ground had been found and although no longer a multi-million pound offer it would be sufficient to secure the clubs long term future.
At the start of the 2016 season Windhill announced that they were withdrawing with immediate effect from the Bradford League due to no scorers, no tea ladies or off the field help that could sustain the club. Cross Roads and Daisy Hill felt that this could be an opportunity to leave Salem and ensure that a famous club and ground at Windhill did not disappear and approached Ian Holdsworth at Windhill with a view to playing there in 2017
Meanwhile Ian Clayton as agreed took the captaincy for 2016 and the team had a good season finishing a comfortable mid-table. Bilal Mughal, Adam Hussain and Josh Butterfield all got 5 wicket hauls with a notable mention to Byron Greenwood who took 4 for 1 against Cambing. Byron was the only player to score a league fifty but the batting highlight was an unbroken stand of 134 for the 8th wicket between Ian Clayton 66 not out and Josh Butterfield 57 not out in the cup defeat to Bradford Gymkhana which was played on the Windhill ground
The talks with Windhill were a success and Cross Roads and Daisy Hill resigned from the Sunday School initially being joined by players from VVS Laxman to enter the Bradford League for 2017 as Windhill and Daisy Hill CC
The Cross Roads name has remained for the Evening League team.