Tag Archives: West Yorkshire

Heckmondwike set to join new league in 2016

Heckmondwike and Carlinghow’s application to join the Central Yorkshire Cricket League (CYCL) has been accepted.

The club will leave the Huddersfield Central Cricket League (HCCL) after the close of 2015 season, and are set to join the CYCL for the start of the 2016 season.

They are set to follow local competitors Crossbank Methodists, who left the HCCL after the close of the 2014 season, and have now joined the CYCL for the upcoming season.

Before the start of the season, Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Dewsbury born Richard Pyrah will open Crossbank’s new clubhouse on April 3, after a substantial extension and improvement has been applied over the last year.

HARD WORK: Heckmondwike players after renovating the scoreboard last season.

HARD WORK: Heckmondwike players after renovating the scoreboard last season.

Cricket seems to be thriving around the local area both on and off the pitch, and Heckmondwike and Crossbank could potentially be a fixture to look out for in the 2016 season.

Peter Arundel, Secretary of the CYCL, is pleased to welcome back Heckmondwike to the league.

He added: “I believe that the league recognised the recent playing ability of the club and the potential to develop this ability further moving forward.

“It is also immensely satisfying to welcome back a name that is synonymous with cricket in the area.

“They were founder members of the CYCL and were a genuine powerhouse club for most of their time in the league until circumstances overtook the club and they sadly dropped out.

“The facilities on offer were for many years amongst the best in league cricket and so it is impressive and to the enormous credit of all now involved at Heckmondwike that those facilities have been returned to their former glories.

“The club appears to be stable, well organised and needs to play at a higher level to progress and attract additional players who will assist in growth and development of both the club and its structure.

Chris Allen, Heckmondwike’s first-team captain, is looking forward to the next chapter in the club’s history.

He added: “For the team and the club as a whole, joining the CYCL will be a massive and timely move.

“It is a really good league which will present various challenges along the way, with some excellent teams and quality players, but you always want to test yourselves as individuals and as a team against the best.

IN ACTION: Chris Allen batting in a warm-up game

IN ACTION: Chris Allen batting in a warm-up game last season, with Paul Cooper bowling.

“I feel that we have enough quality to go into the league and compete with each team no matter what division we start in, in order to create more history that already dates back 123 years.”

“We are determined as a team to sign off from the HCCL by coming away with the league trophy, and to win both the league and cup would be outstanding.”

Heckmondwike’s title challenges begins Saturday April 18 for both their first and second teams, with the first team away to Netherton A and the second team at home to Netherton B.

Local duo settling in to life at the Rams

Two young cousins are currently benefiting from the Dewsbury Rams philosophy of trying to bring through local players.

Brad and James Delaney both played their amateur rugby at Dewsbury Moor, before recently signing one-year deals for the professional rugby league side in January 2015.

Their surnames may sound familiar as Brad is the son of former Rams and Leeds Rhinos half-back Paul Delaney, who played 39 first team games for Leeds and made over 300 appearances for Dewsbury, all between 1985 and 2002.

Paul said: “I am very proud of them both as they have the ability to do well and have worked incredibly hard, so they deserve a shot in the professional ranks.

“Hard work and determination goes a long way, so hopefully they will get a chance at the Rams.

“How far they can go is up to them, they have got their foot on the ladder but now they need to work out what is required to become a first teamer.”

Paul also said he has many great memories at the club, and still goes to watch the Rams on a regular basis, claiming that the spectators are second to none and always give him a fantastic reception.

Left: Brad Delaney as a Dewsbury Rams player, Right: Brad with his dad Paul back when he played. Image courtesy of pitchero.com

Left: Brad Delaney as a Dewsbury Rams player, Right: Brad with his dad Paul back when he played. Image courtesy of Steven Horsfall Photography.

Brad, 19, who plays scrum-half, feels he is settling in great at the Rams, and added: “All the players and staff have made me feel welcome and there is always a great vibe around the place.

“I’m gaining a lot of valuable experience in training and in matches, as most of the time we all train together so I can learn a lot from  the more experienced players, and the coaching staff are always helping me in ways to improve.

“I am enjoying playing for the club my dad used to play for and I feel proud as he is well known throughout the club.”

The goal-kicking scrum-half went on to praise his father, who he says has played a massive part in the success in his career so far.

“My dad has been a massive factor and helped me most throughout my career, ever since I can remember we used to train in the gardens, he’s shown me how to pass, kick, side step and tackle.”

James Delaney as a Dewsbury. Image courtesy of pitchero.com.

James Delaney as a Dewsbury Ram player. Image courtesy of Steven Horsfall Photography.

Meanwhile James, a 23 year-old forward, realises that while he has earned a contract, there is still work to be done.

He added: “The games after have been relatively positive for me with the feed I have received, but there is still plenty of things I can improve on.

“It’s a great feeling playing alongside Brad, he’s a very talented player and the fact that he’s my cousin makes it that little bit more special.”

He looked back at when he watched the Rams as a youngster, and said: “I remember watching my uncle Paul playing as a young boy and wishing that one day I could be in his shoes, and now I feel as though I am heading in the right direction so hopefully one day I can make that dream.”

Youngster Cooper continues pre-season progress against hometown club

As the start of the 2015 rugby league season approaches, players are looking to impress their coaches and stake a claim for a place in the first team.

This applies to Luke Cooper, 20, of Featherstone Rovers, who was recently awarded a place in the first team squad for the warm up games against Castleford Tigers and Batley Bulldogs.

Unfortunately for Cooper, he was on the losing side in both games, as Rovers lost 18-0 to the Tigers, and 26-6 against the Bulldogs.

Luke Cooper in action against Batley Bulldogs last Sunday.

Featherstone’s Luke Cooper in action against Batley Bulldogs last Sunday.

Despite the result, The Bulldogs game was a major highlight in his career, as Batley are his hometown club.

He said: “It was probably the greatest moment of my life to date, to run out on the field in front of over 1000 spectators was such an electrifying experience.

“It was different to anything I’d played in before, I felt like I had to play well in front of all my family and friends, and make them proud.

“If I’m honest I never thought I would be playing because Featherstone are a great team with so many good forwards, so to get my name on the team sheet was a fantastic feeling and it was made that extra bit sweeter that it was against a team that I had watched and supported as a child.”

The young forward looked back at his performance at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, and added: “I’m super critical of my performance so personally I didn’t think I played the best I could have, and I know I have a lot to learn so hopefully I can do as much training as possible, work hard, and get to that required consistent level of performance.”

In 2014, Rovers sent Cooper and another teammate over to Australia in an exciting six-month trip, with the aim for them to gain valuable experience playing at a higher level in the Sydney Group 6 Country League.

This life-changing opportunity provided Cooper with the chance to develop his skills on the pitch, and experience a different culture and lifestyle.

“We received plenty of game time in Australia and have learnt a lot, the whole experience was unforgettable and I am thankful to the club that I was offered this unbelievable opportunity.”

He is now looking to establish himself as first team player for Featherstone Rovers, and play a part in helping the club challenge for a place in the Super League.

Results of pupils in Kirklees on the rise again

Following recent SATs, achievement from pupils across Kirklees primary schools has improved once again over the last year.

The percentage of Kirklees pupils gaining the national benchmark of at least a level 4 in their reading, writing and mathematics, was 78 per cent, a slight increase from 74% in 2013.

The local Key Stage 2 figures (ages 7 to11), released by the Department for Education, means that more than 4,000 Kirklees pupils gained the key national benchmark.

Across North Kirklees in 2013 and 2014, the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above in their reading, writing, and mathematics in various schools, were:

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chart

Head teacher Anthony Rush, of St Patricks Catholic Primary School, Birstall, said he is always delighted when every child achieves their full potential at the school.

He added: “Results may fluctuate from year to year but the defining guide to whether or not they are a good set of results is have all the children reached their potential i.e. have they all done as well as they could have.

“Academic success is only a small measure of what we do, and we are in a business of helping to mound children into becoming good people.”

The head teacher said the high attainment level could be attributed to the high quality teaching and support to every year group in the school.

“The children are well taught, the teaching assistant support is excellent, and underlying everything is a shared aim amongst all staff that we strive to do the best we can for every child.

“We try to make school a safe and welcoming place where the children thrive knowing that they are loved and wanted,” he added.

The improvement in Key Stage 2 results are supported by new figures from Ofsted, that now show young people in Kirklees are increasingly likely to attend at least a good if not outstanding secondary school in the region.

New plans for Spenborough Sports Complex

Spenborough Pool and Fitness Complex is set to benefit from plans for a new extension, it has been revealed.

The new-build leisure centre is set to replace the existing Sports Centre facilities at Whitcliffe Mount, Cleckheaton, which will be closing towards the end of 2016.

Spenborough Pool and Fitness Complex how it currently looks. Image courtesy of the Spenborough Guardian.

Spenborough Pool and Fitness Complex how it currently looks. Image courtesy of The Spenborough Guardian.

With Whitcliffe Mount School being knocked down, this means the sports centre at Whitcliffe must close as both buildings are situated next to each other, sharing plumbing and electricity.

Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre. Image courtesy of The Spenborough Guardian.

Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre to be knocked down. Image courtesy of The Spenborough Guardian.

The controversial decision to close the Whitcliffe Mount site was made just before Christmas last year, and local residents were concerned the closure would deprive over 50,000 people in the area of access to a local sports centre.

With the support of Sport England, it is hoped the modular build units for studio and fitness will be in place before the closure of Whitcliffe Mount.

The current Spenborough swimming pool. Image courtesy of Kirklees Active Leisure.

The current Spenborough swimming pool.
Image courtesy of Kirklees Active Leisure.

Jo Cox, prospective parliamentary candidate for Batley and Spen, feels strongly against the closure of the Whitcliffe centre.

She helped convene two meetings at the centre to allow Cleckheaton residents and users to express their concerns and understand the decisions being taken.

“Many residents and users have grown up using the centre and remain reliant on these facilities not just for their physical and mental health but for a social life.

“At the meetings we heard very moving testimonies for people whom sport at the centre has been a lifeline, and these people deserved the right to express their views before a final decision was taken.”

The Labour candidate recognised that the decision had been forced on the council, and appreciated their efforts to try invest in sports provisions across the Spen Valley.

“The council have my full support in their efforts to find the resources needed to invest in the Spenborough pool – the pool I learnt to swim in and which so many schools, families and residents rely on.

“Even in the constrained financial times forced upon Kirklees Council by central Government we must protect this much loved facility for future generations.”

Looking at what is provided in various other establishments, the council are set to view the provision as a whole, analysing ways in which they can cover what the new centre does not.

Walmsley goes from amateur rugby to Grand Final winner in less than three years

Walking out in front of a sold out Old Trafford for the biggest game in the rugby league season is what every amateur player dreams of.

That dream became reality for Dewsbury’s Alex Walmsley, after he helped St Helens win the Super League Grand Final, by beating rivals Wigan Warriors 14-6 back in October.

Alex Walmsley celebrating with the Grand Final Trophy

Alex Walmsley celebrating with the Grand Final Trophy

This is a remarkable achievement when you consider less than three years ago, the 24-year-old was playing with local amateurs Dewsbury Celtic.

“It’s been a turbulent three years, it’s been unbelievable and I’ve loved every minute of it,” said Walmsley.

“I’ve been to numerous Grand Finals watching as a kid, and to walk out in front of 70,000 fans on the biggest stage of all was a surreal experience, and is the pinnacle point in my career so far.”

Just two and a half years ago Walmsley was playing for Dewsbury Celtic in the local cup against Birstall Victoria.

“Back then if anybody would have said to me that in less than three years time I would be lifting the biggest trophy in club rugby league I would have said they were mad,” he said.

“It’s what you dream of doing as a kid and it’s what I dreamed of doing when I was 20-years-old playing for Dewsbury Celtic.

“With a bit of luck, some great coaching, and the support of my family and friends, I was lucky enough to go on and achieve this.

“I have had to make sacrifices, but that comes with it, and when you lift up that trophy it makes it all seem so easy and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.”

The young prop was handed a trial at Batley Bulldogs by coach John Kear after seeing Walmsley impress during games for his University side in Leeds.

“I played my first league game against Leigh Centurions after I was lucky enough to get a spot on the bench, I came on and played well and from then on I played every single week, it was brilliant.”

He was then offered a two-year deal by the Bulldogs, and after a successful first season was selected in the Championship team of the year, received Batley’s player of the year, and the Championship’s young player of the year award.

“For me, at the time, playing for Batley was the pinnacle in my career, it’s a great club, is very family orientated and is full of great people.”

After proving to be a revelation at Batley, St Helens were interested in signing the young star, and he signed a three-year deal with the Super League side.

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Images courtesy of Alex Walmsley.

He said: “As soon as I came to St Helens and looked at the place, with all the history behind the club, I thought this is where I want to be, and when I signed it was a massive honour.

“I remember sitting in the changing rooms with all the St Helens stars, and I felt privileged to have the opportunity to play with them.

“To be able to go on a pitch and call these players my teammates, it’s what dreams are made of and it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Due to numerous injuries in the St Helens side, Walmsley got his chance, and he certainly took his opportunity by making a serious impression throughout the Super League in his first few games.

He admitted that playing as many games as he did took him by surprise, and that playing in a Grand Final surpassed any expectations, but the humble 24-year-old is now an established squad member at the Saints, and is determined to keep working hard in what for him, will hopefully be another successful season.

Walmsley gave a lot of credit to his former coach at Dewsbury Celtic, Paul Heaton, and acknowledged how hard he worked with him during his time at Celtic.

“He definitely had a big influence on the player I am today and he really stuck at me in those early days and got me back loving the game.

“I will always go back and watch the boys play at Celtic, you can never forget your roots and I’m proud of where I’ve come from.”

Welcome to North Kirklees News

Welcome to northkirkleesnews.wordpress.com, we will look to provide you with some of the latest news in the North Kirklees area, focusing primarily on the towns of Batley, Dewsbury, and Heckmondwike. We look to cover popular events within the area, local news stories; including interviews with individuals or groups, and news from local sports clubs.

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