A review of all the matches played on Tuesday 5 April 2022
The 10-Man League is up and running and here is the first of the weekly review of results that will be a regular feature of the HuddWeb reporting right through the season.
With Division 1 Champions Lockwood Con having a first-week bye it enabled the rest of the aspiring league winners to flex their muscles and begin the 6-month jockeying for position that will follow. Last year's runners-up were Elland C&BC 'A' and they failed to step up to the mark on this occasion going down 2-7 at Waterloo which was no disgrace recalling their hosts 11-2 home record last year but still disappointing all the same.
The two promoted teams had very different first day experiences with Kirkheaton Con 'A' picking up where they left off last season with a resounding 8-1 home win over Meltham and only dropping 2 points off the aggregate maximum. Whereas Lindley BC 'A' had a rude awakening to life in the top tier going down 1-8 at Cowcliffe who only dropped one aggregate point to top the first league table of the season. Lindley BC tell me that the result wasn't as overwhelming as it may appear on paper although Cowcliffe may have a different version on that outcome. Lindley BC will be looking to their home matches as the source of the majority of their points this season and past practice indicates that they are a strong home team.
Golcar Lib 'A' had a good 6-3 away win at top-four contenders Longwood and a similar scoreline at Rastrick saw off visitors Lindley Lib 'A'. A strong opening day for the strengthened Marsh United 'A' team as they beat Clayton West 7-2 to put themselves firmly among the early season front runners.
The opening day's only 9-0 whitewash scoreline came in Division 2 where Milnsbridge 'A' had a great home victory over much-fancied New Mill 'A'. Last season the New Mill side completed a league double over the Milnsbridge side so this is a real reversal of those results and a notable upsurge in form especially as it was very unexpected. That outcome made Milnsbridge the early pace-setters in this division and also created some early doubts about New Mill's ability to be part of the promotion battle again this season.
There was only one more home win in this division as Almondbury BC 'A' overcame Thorpe Green 5-4 courtesy of a better aggregate total which confirms that Thorpe Green are likely, once again, to be involved in matters at the top end of the table. The other 5 matches in this division all saw the away team coming out on top with probably the best result being Shepley's 8-1 demolition of Brockholes 'A' with the home team recording the lowest home team aggregate total of the day in any division.
Into Division 3 where there were 3 home wins and 3 away wins with promoted Huddersfield Recreation Club stepping up to the higher level in style with a 7-2 home win over Springwood which puts them at the top of the first table of the season. Level on points with them is Denby Dale, who followed them up as Division 4 runners-up last season, after they clocked up a 7-2 away win at Skel Windmill.
There are four teams locked together on 6 points after the opening round of fixtures and they are Golcar Lib 'B', Holmfirth 'A', Paddock I&C and the newcomers from Linthwaite Hall seemingly justifying their placing in this division with a 6-3 away win at Lindley Lib 'B'. Paddock had the closest encounter of the day as their 116-113 aggregate advantage away at Kirkheaton C&BC 'A' gave them a 6-3 win between the two teams relegated from Division 2 at the end of last season.
Five of the six Division 4 matches went the way of the home teams and three of those were by the same 7-2 scoreline as Ravensknowle Park, New Mill 'B' and Lindley BC 'B' all got off to excellent starts. Elland C&BC 'B' and Outlane also had promising home 6-3 victories with Outlane justifying their position as one of the title favourites by seeing off last year's Division 5 Champions Huddersfield RUBC.
The one away win in this division came at Primrose Hill Lib where their match against Thongsbridge 'B' ended in a sharing of the top aggregate points after a 118-118 draw but a 5-4 win for the visitors.
Good Division 5 away wins for relegated Netherton Con 'B' and Marsh Lib both by the same 6-3 scoreline placed them level at the top of the first table of the season and Dalton are up there with them after a 6-3 home win over Holmfirth 'B' but with a much tighter 115-114 aggregate total to steal the aggregate points. Another tight encounter saw David Brown Sports edge the points away at Greenhead Park by 5-4 after a 124-123 aggregate win.
All early days of course and situations have a habit of being short-lived so plenty of time to change things around as we get the season started.