|Secretary: Brian Pearson|
|League Representative: Phil Godfrey|
|1st Team Captain: Tim Orrell|
|2nd Team Captain: Phil Walker|
Joined League: 1910 Rejoined 2001
Division One Champions: 2005 2006 2007
Division Two Champions: 2001
Second Teams Division One Champions: 2001 2006
Second Teams Division Two Champions: 2002
Priestley Cup winners: 2006
Priestley Cup runners-up: 2003 2004 2005
Priestley Shield winners: 2001 2002
Priestley Shield Runners-up: 2007
Woodlands achievement in lifting the league title on the final day of the 2005 campaign capped an impressive first five seasons in the Bradford League. To gain it in the most dramatic of circumstances when they limped to a one-wicket win at Bankfoot as Pudsey Congs – chasing a record sixth successive crown – suffered a late batting collapse to lose at Baildon simply added to the ambitious club’s sense of achievement.
The title win was ample compensation for three successive Priestley Cup final defeats against Bradford & Bingley (2003) and Pudsey Congs (2004 and 2005) and their loss to Barnsley in the 2005 Heavy Woollen Cup final.
Woodlands, who had lifted their first major honour in 2004 when they beat Spen Victoria to win the Heavy Woollen Cup, marked their arrival in the Bradford League by lifting the Division Two championship in their first season after joining from the Central Yorkshire League.
The club have since established themselves in Division One and have gradually strengthened their squad with some shrewd signings. Talented youngsters such as Richard Pyrah and Chris Brice from Cleckheaton and Nick Whitehill from Lightcliffe were recruited with an eye to the future.
They were added to an experienced core to the side which consisted of men of the calibre of skipper Tim Orrell, wicketkeeper batsman Nicky Rushworth, opener Russell Murray, overseas star Safraz Ahmed and the irrepressible all-rounder Murphy Walwyn.
In 2005 the club further strengthened with two key signings. Former Yorkshire player Pieter Swanepoel was recruited from Sheffield Collegiate and talented former Cleckheaton all-rounder Paul Winrow returned to the league after a spell playing in the Huddersfield League for Barkisland. Both proved key members of the championship side as Walwyn departed to join Division Two side Gomersal.
The club is fortunate to have strength in depth and its second team did the league and Priestley Shield double in their first two seasons in the league. Ironically Woodlands defeated Bradford & Bingley in the 2002 Priestley Shield final although the Wagon Lane side gained their revenge by halting Woodlands’ Shield hat-trick bid in 2003.
Woodlands are fortunate to have considerable strength and expertise off the field too. President Gordon Rishman has given great service to the club and presided over its remarkable climb to prominence.
Chairman David Wharf is a tireless worker for the club while one of his predecessors in the job, Brian Pearson, is rightly credited for making an outstanding contribution to the club’s development. Phil Godfrey and Donald Worsnop are two more of the people who make the club tick.
You only have to visit Woodlands’ Albert Terrace ground to see the remarkable progress they have made. The club makes no secret of its desire to become a major force in the Bradford League and everything it does is aimed at projecting the club to a new level.
Things have changed vastly since the club was given notice to quit its ground at Hag Hall Farm, Woodlands, the only home it had known in 1950. Struggling financially, the club could have folded but thanks to public generosity and members’ efforts an old dross tip at Dye House Road, Salthorn, was bought for £100, the forerunner of the ground we see today and was officially opened in 1952.
Prominent in keeping the club afloat at that time were such stalwarts as Harry Barraclough, treasurer; Geoff Cosway, secretary; Milyon Wood, chairman; Jimmy Gatenby (president during the 1950s) and Ralph Rishman (president during the 1960s).
One of the most significant things which happened and transformed the club’s playing fortunes was the recruitment in the 1980s of players fom a now disbanded Wyke Temperance club. Under the leadership of Gerald Medcalf, himself a former Wyke player, the first team won many trophies and to complete the picture the second team with Alan Wainwright as captain were also highly successful.
Extensive building works designed to enlarge and improve the clubhouse and ancillary facilities culminated in the opening of a multi-purpose sports hall, officially opened by the president of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Sir Lawrence Byford, in 1991. The cricket nets are used by other Bradford League clubs and are an excellent resource which enables the club to coach and develop players in their thriving junior set up.
Woodlands joined the Central Yorkshire Cricket League in 1994, the club’s centenary year. This also marked the appearance of its first professional and overseas player Australian all-rounder Len Blok. Promotion to the First Division came in the second season with Stuart Fletcher, the former Yorkshire and Lancashire paceman at the helm.