Westmorland Cricket League season has been a huge success despite the shadow of Covid-19

There was some doubt in the spring about whether the cricket season would start on a time.

By Tim Mansfield
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:16 am
Sedgwick Seconds with the Division Three league trophy
Sedgwick Seconds with the Division Three league trophy

Although a number of games were lost when players tested positive or had to isolate, the Westmorland League season was a success.

Carnforth won their third consecutive Westmorland League Championship, not counting their title in last season’s truncated competition.

Their win was built on the runs of their ‘three muskateers’, Ryan Nelson (852), Chris Parry (708) and Shane Dixon (696).

Their wickets came from Tom Parkinson (43) and Darren Nelson (41) despite the latter only returning to full fitness in the last weeks of the season.

The shrewd captaincy of Brad Hoyle shouldn’t be overlooked nor the work of Dixon behind the stumps.

Heysham will bemoan a fallow period in mid-season when they lost a number of key players to injury.

Otherwise they could have pushed Carnforth all the way. Sam Calverley swapped from pace to spin effectively and was the leading wicket taker with 43, followed by Graeme Cassidy (34) and Jamie Cassidy (30) who returned from Morecambe in July.

Opener Lee Calverley (556) topped the run scoring chart, with brother Sam (553) just behind.

Captain Damon Keegan (348) brought his experience in the Lancashire and Central Lancashire Leagues to bear, and if he can retain the side that finished the season then Heysham will be favourites for their first Westmorland League title since 1961.

Shireshead have been in transition since their two titles last decade, but won the Hackney and Leigh Cup, narrowly beating Trimpell in the final after disposing of Carnforth in the semi-final.

With the bat it was pleasing to see Joe Cunliffe (492) start to fulfil his undoubted ability, Tom Jacques (482) was consistent and Dave Jack (442) on his day is as destructive as anyone and also took 35 wickets.

Joe Oliver with 354 runs and 37 wickets is an improving all-rounder. They will hope to challenge Heysham next year.

Westgate missed the runs of Craig Buchanan. Gary Tattersall (463) was consistent, but only Andy Hill (334) joined him in passing the 300-run mark.

Dylan Conroy had a lean season with the bat, but took 46 wickets, ahead of Zak Buchanan (44). Freddie Whatmuff showed promise and Westgate will want to introduce some of their young stars who won the Under-16 competition.

Sedgwick had a major find in Tom Ridley. The southerner was the leading wicket taker in the division with 51.

Richard Hanson weighed in with 37, and with Aaron Lomas scoring 617 runs and Chris Evans 314 and Carl Bevan 313, the future looks bright.

They could probably do with another consistent run scorer, but like Westgate have talent in their second and third teams that they will be looking to promote.

Ben Lenton, Adam Richardson (315), Mike Shepherd (312) were the main run scorers for Arnside.

On their day, they were a match for anyone but need new blood, particularly in the bowling department where David Birch (33) led the way and Jim Crawford and Rob Shepherd both took 30 wickets.

Warton defied expectations with a seventh-placed finish after being rock bottom after six weeks of the season.

Tom Barnfield (396) led the batting and it was good to see Rory Batson (283) playing regularly again.

Shaun Partridge (42) led the bowling and Harry Tugman (31) impressed in a breakthrough season.

Trimpell had their best season since the millennium, reaching the cup final and always being secure in the division.

Rob Cope (26) was the leading wicket taker whilst Scott Sparks (389) and Mark Baldwin (329) topped the runs.

Milnthorpe were inconsistent with only Bert Parker (325) making 300 runs. Mike Wills (28) was the top wicket-taker.

The same is true of Burneside who, if they could get their best 11 players on the field each week, could challenge anyone. Captain Ben Leacock (24) was the leading wicket-taker whilst the talented Ethan Elwood should be scoring more than the 387 runs that meant he topped the runs list.

Sedbergh School seconds showcased the talents of several promising players, not least Bermudan Logan Jones, and it was a treat for the players to play on a current county ground.

A total of 469 runs from Robbie White, and 340 from Andrew Butler helped Bare stave off relegation whilst Mat Cook (29) was the leading wicket-taker.

Silverdale’s captain exited part-way through the season and despite the Herculean efforts of cousins Phil Mason (35 wickets) and Jonny Mason (336 runs) they finished bottom of the table.

Kirkby Lonsdale won Division Two and the British Rose Cricket Cup. Harvey Williams (504) and James Royce (485 runs and 30 wickets) should score consistently in Division One next season.

Bob Davies (Cartmel) topped the Division Two run chart with 561, followed by Bob Simpson (Coniston, 545), Lee Barnes (Holme, 524), Mike Burton (Coniston, 494), Adam Murphy (Shireshead seconds, 452), Robert Warne (Coniston, 444) and Sam Fletcher (Windermere, 426).

Lee Barnes topped the bowling with 40 wickets, followed by Dan Sykes (Windermere, 38), Graham Kellett (Ingleton, 32) and Sam Eccles (Coniston, 30) who achieved a memorable all bowled eight for in August.

Sedgwick seconds and Ambleside slugged it out until the final game of the season, but it was Sedgwick who did the double and they had Adam Kershaw (43) as the leading wicket-taker followed by team mate, Ben Harvey (33), Lee Pidgeon (Arnside, 33), and Morecambe thirds Mark Armistead (28) and Joe Singleton (27).

Ben Anderton (Bolton le Sands) was the highest runs scorer with 672, followed by Barnaby Wileman (Ambleside, 596), Dave Morgan (Galgate, 577), Ian Whitehead (Sedgwick 2nds, 425) and Ben McGregor (Ambleside, 407).

Milnthorpe seconds overtook Kendal thirds on the final lap to win Division Four, but their experienced duo, Mark Moorby and Simon Murphy with 407 and 374 runs respectively were behind Kendal’s Oliver Yarker (484).

A star of the future Oliver Whatmuff scored 364 for Westgate thirds, whilst Dave Sloan (Shireshead thirds, 360) and Liam Burrow (Bare seconds, 360) also scored consistently.

Dan Teasdale (Sedgwick thirds, 42) was the leading wicket-taker, followed by Chris Chappell (Ingleton seconds, 37), Matt Wright (Sedgwick thirds, 35), Toby Norton (Milnthorpe seconds,34) and Megan Berry (Kendal thirds, 27). Burneside won the Moon and Coxhill Cup.