Bradford & Bingley

Secretary: Mary Seal
League Representative: David Markham
1st Team Captain: Philip Slater
2nd Team Captain: Peter Clarke

Joined League: 1910 as Bingley CC Became Bradford & Bingley 1987
Division One Champions: 1912 1921 1959 1969 1973 1982 1990 1992 1998
Division Two Champions: 1945 1966 2004
Priestley Cup winners: 1928 1967 1969 1971 1978 1987 2003
Priestley Cup runners-up: 1970 1973 1974 1976 1996


Bingley CC was formed in 1865 and joined the Bradford League in 1910. Success followed quickly as they won the Division One championship in 1912 – an achievement they emulated in 1921. Arthur Hyde and John Hardcastle were the main run makers in the second title success. Hyde hit a century and six fifties while Hardcaste made a ton and four fifties. Osyton and Judson were the key bowlers, taking 143 wickets between them.

A first Priestley Cup triumph followed in 1928 when they defeated Bowling Old Lane but honours were to prove elusive over the following 30 years. There were some fine individual performances though and none was better than left arm spinner Joe Burton’s feat of taking 101 wickets in the 1948 season.

Only the great S.F Barnes of Saltaire had previously achieved the feat and he had done it three times in 1917, 1918 and 1922. Since Burton only Lightcliffe’s Mike Bore – the former Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire spinner – in 1978 and Mohammad Siddiq of Bowling Old Lane in 2004 have performed the feat since.

The barren spell without silverware was to end in 1959 when Bingley defeated Lightcliffe by ten wickets on the final day to pip Salts for the title. A new age had started at Bingley under the shrewd leadership of John Harrison. His 13-year spell as captain was hugely influential. One of the key figures in their title success was Yorkshire paceman Mike Cowan who took 72 wickets at 11.83 runs apiece.

A second Priestley Cup success followed in 1967 when they defeated Bradford by 50 runs and that was to trigger a period of Bingley domination of major honours. It was the first of an incredible nine final appearances in 13 seasons. Ken Standring and Jack Roe shared a decisive second-wicket stand of 108 as Bingley declared at 219 for eight. Spinner David Batty followed up with five for 68 as Bradford were restricted to 169 for nine.

Boosted by the presence of players such as Lancashire second team all-rounder Standring, prolific opening batsman Brian Lymbery and spinner Batty, they achieved the league and cup double in 1969. Their second team, under the leadership of stalwart Paul Meredith, also won the league championship and Priestley Shield to complete a unique ‘double double’ something no other club has ever matched. The second team has won the league championship seven times in all and the Priestley Shield on nine occasions.

Once again the league championship triumph was achieved in dramatic style. They went into the final game – again against Lightcliffe – tied on 55 points with Spen Victoria. Bingley made 187 for seven and restricted Lightcliffe to 88 for eight to secure three points. Spen dismissed Idle for 117 but lost by two runs. Bingley defeated title rivals Spen by nine wickets in the Priestley Cup final after bowling them out for 109.

The 1970 Priestley Cup final was a match to forget for Bingley. They were defeated by seven wickets after being bowled out for just 44 by Bradford. The trophy returned to Wagon Lane in 1971 after another win over Spen Victoria. This time the margin of victory was three wickets as Bingley were made to fight for their success despite bowling out Spen for 119.

After missing out on honours in 1972, Bingley came close to another double in 1973. They won the league title by eight points from Undercliffe but suffered a 24-run defeat to Bradford in the Priestley Cup final where they made 142 in reply to their rivals’ score of 166. Undercliffe bowled out Bingley for 127 and knocked off the runs for the loss of four wickets in the 1974 final and
Further disappointment followed in 1976 as they fell at the last hurdle once again, this time to Idle. It was a former Bingley player, Lymbery, who helped put the skids under his old club. He made 82 and guided his side to a total of 221 for four which Bingley fell well short of as they were dismissed for 156.

The cup winning formula was rediscovered in 1978 and 1979. Undercliffe were their first victims, making only 141 in reply to Bingley’s 213 for nine. Neil Hartley was Man of the Match after scoring 97. Manningham Mills went the same way in 1979 as an inspirational innings of 119 by Hartley and seven for 57 from Batty secured an 87-run win. Thanks to Batty, Mills slid to 56 all out replying to 243 for seven.

A convincing title win in 1982 – they finished 12 points ahead of Keighley – was the reward for an outstanding effort by the team led by Phil Padgett. Bingley had introduced young players like John Goldthorp, Mark Best and Lee Hanson to their team by the time they won the Priestley Cup again in 1987. Goldthorp top scored with 75 as Bingley made 268 for three, a total Pudsey St Lawrence chased bravely. Eventually they were dismissed for 252 with Batty again taking seven wickets in a final – this time at a cost of 115 runs.

It was in 1987 that the club’s name changed to Bradford & Bingley Cricket Club following a merger with the Bradford club after their departure from Park Avenue. The joint club has since gone on to win three more league titles in 1990, 1992 and 1998 – when they retained their knack for winning the crown on the final day by sharing a tie against second-placed Baildon.

One man who contributed greatly to these successes was Australian all rounder Richard McCarthy. At his peak he was probably the fastest bowler in the competition and was one of the hardest hitters with the bat.

He was also a key figure in the side which was pipped for the title on the final day of the 2000 season by Pudsey Congs. The match between the top two was abandoned as a draw because of bad light.

Sadly they were unable to maintain their form in 2001. Their inconsistent performances resulted in relegation to Division Two and despite brave attempt to make an immediate return to the top flight in 2002, they finished fourth. This was despite some fine batting performances by opener Carl Sharp and Richard Nichols who both topped 700 runs and skipper Pat Fordham in his final season.

The captaincy passed to Sharp and in his first season he inspired the Second Division outfit to a magnificentn win over Woodlands in the 100th Priestley Cup final in 2003 which was played, fittingly enough on their well-appointed Wagon Lane ground which has now hosted nine finals.

Under the shrewd leadership of Carl Sharp the team went on to win the Division Two championship in 2004 and fought hard in 2005 to retain their Division One status. He can quite rightly be added to the list of outstanding captains who have served the club well jopin ing such men as Fordham, McCarthy, Neil Hartley, who steered the club to their 1990 championship success, Simon Dennis, skipper of the 1992 title winning side, Billy Holmes, Best, and Goldthorp.

Outstanding batsmen who have served the club have included Lymbery, Jimmy Rigg and his opening partner Jackie Smith, Barry Whittingham, who later played with Nottinghamshire, Tony Lush and, in more recent times, Holmes, Best, Sharp and Martin South.

Bowlers Burton, John Warin, Cowan and Mike Fearnley gave outstanding service but nobody can match the wickets haul of the mercurial Batty. The leg spinner has taken more than 2,000 wickets in league and cup combat. He wasn’t always known for his batting but he did win the Bradford League all-rounder’s trophy in 1966.

Standring was the club’s finest all-rounder for many years and in more recent times Best has made a huge contribution. Gordon Spencer, Derek Isles, David Smith, Goldthorp and Fordham all gave good service as wicketkeepers.

The club have succeeded in producing many fine young players in recent times with county players Hartley, Kevin Sharp, Jeremy Batty, Gareth Batty, Bradley Parker and Paul Whitaker all starting out at Wagon Lane.

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