Lightcliffe Cricket Club, poss. 1927
Lightcliffe Cricket Club, poss. 1927
In the early 1870s six local cricket clubs are mentioned in the Brighouse and Elland Register, forerunner of The Echo: Lightcliffe College, Hipperholme Victoria Club, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe Young Men’s Society, Knowle Top Club, Bramley Lane and Hipperholme Grammar School.  Apart from the school, which had a full fixture list, these were not permanent cricketing organisations; they occasionally played games, often against each other, on areas of spare, rough ground.

The first mention of a Lightcliffe Cricket Club refers to a game played on 23 May 1875 against Leeds University, although for many years there are only sporadic references.  They played friendly games at their ground at Westfield, probably on the site of the two terraces which now make up the street of that name, before, in the early 1890s, when the houses were built, moving to the current ground at Wakefield Road.

At about the same time Lightcliffe became founder members of the Halifax & District League.  In 1914 they moved to the Halifax Parish League, on its formation, but soon joined the Yorkshire Council, initially playing for a season or two in the Spen Valley Section before the formation of a Halifax Section, known as the Halifax Council.  In 1924 they joined the Bradford League, probably the best league in the country at the time.

The photograph shows the first team of 7 August 1926 in front of the northern side of the pavilion, which had been opened on 1 July 1922, the gift of William Aykroyd.  They are, from left to right, back row: Sam Cadman, formerly of Derbyshire, Ronnie Somers, county hockey player and club captain for many years, Fred Pratt, Raymond Maude, Willie Brook, caretaker of Crow Nest, subsequently landlord of the Sun Inn, Ernest Drake.  Front row: W. Hirst, Willie Clarkson, formerly of Warwickshire, also the Lightcliffe groundsman, W.H. ‘Bert’ Foster, captain and future league president, Harold Sharp, scorer of the club’s first century in the Bradford League, F.T.L. Poole.

Two weeks later this team won the Priestley Cup, the first of Lightcliffe’s five successes in the competition.  Sam Cadman scored a century and Hirst took five wickets.

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