Bradford Central League Debut

E Mortimer was appointed captain with William Maltas asked to captain the second X1. Our first game was played on Saturday 27th April 1929 against Clayton with the 1st X1 at home and the 2nd X1 away. The selected teams were:

1st XI

  • E Mortimer (captain)
  • S H Wilson
  • F Toulson
  • J C Ingleby
  • J Shaw
  • J Webster
  • C F Wardle
  • G G Holmes
  • F Hoyle
  • A Grundrill
  • E Shelton
2nd XI

  • Wm Maltas (captain)
  • L Carter
  • A Firth
  • J R Smith
  • G A Smith
  • H Hill
  • N Brown
  • W Firth
  • H Drake
  • A Barraclough
  • J Wilson

The first season did not start to well for the first eleven with eight defeats from the first nine game’s, this included a run of six straight defeats at the beginning of the season. The run of defeats was ended when the team entertained Sandy Lane on 1st June, the game finishing in a tie with each side been bowled out for 61.
Despite wins against Headley, and Idle Baptists our first season of Central League cricket ended in disappointment. The second eleven had a few more successes, thanks to the bowling of J R Smith. On 21st May against Idle Baptists he returned figures of 8 – 8 as the Baptists were bowled out for 10. He repeated his eight wicket feat on 6th July against Clayton with 8 – 13 including a hat trick. During the season he would also claim 6 – 47 against Girlington and 4 – 27 in the return fixture against Idle Baptists.

1931 was a major year in the club’s history as the club moved to its present ground on All Alone Road, although at the time it was referred to as Willow Crescent.

For the majority of the 1930s there was very little improvement in league form, there were a few bright moments with the second eleven reaching the semi final of the Thrippleton Cup in 1937 and the first eleven reaching the semi final in the Waddilove cup in 1938 along with fourth place finish in Division B.

The momentum from the cup feats of the previous two years was carried forward in to the 1939 season and promotion was achieved in the last match of the season against Manningham Mills, thanks to the magnificent bowling of Arthur Evans who returned figures of 13 overs, 5 maidans, 8 wickets for 30 runs, including 2 wickets in the final over.

With promotion achieved the celebrations began, but the achievement was snatched away the following day due to circumstances out of their control. As the entry placed in the scorebook for that period illustrates.

Sunday September 3rd 1939

At war with Germany, what will happen to the Central League, cricket or any other sport, nobody knows.

After the outbreak of war the Bradford Central League decided to abandon its two league system and revert to one division. When the two division system was re-introduced after the war the club found itself back in the second division.