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Woodhouse CC

Club Details
Green & Gold
Home Ground: LS6 2BH
Contact: Eddie Thirlwell

It is recorded that a Woodhouse cricket team played Armley on Woodhouse Moor as far back as July 1827. The home side scored 36 and 82 and Armley responded with 99 and 20 for 7. Several other clubs became established in the neighbourhood. These included Woodhouse Temperance, founded in 1865 with a ground at the top of Woodhouse Ridge, and Woodhouse Carr Wesleyans who moved to Parkside Farm in 1887 after nine seasons on the Moor.

The Reverend A. W. Ward was appointed minister of Woodhouse Street Methodist Church in 1896. A cricketing enthusiast, it came as no surprise when he and several others founded the present Woodhouse club during his first year of office. Early games were played on Woodhouse Moor, but in 1899 the club secured a more private ground near the Old Round House at Buslingthorpe. Given notice to quit after only four seasons, the next move was to a ground at the junction of Meanwood Road and Bentley Lane, where the club remained until 1919. The land was then requisitioned for development purposes, and for two seasons the club struggled on without a ground. The search for a permanent home ended in 1922 when the field at the foot of the Ridge was rented from the Savile family.

Substantial efforts were made to bring the new ground up to the requisite standards for league cricket, and the club then gained admission to the Yorkshire Central League. After winning the championship in 1926, sights were set on the Leeds League. When Farnley Iron Works dropped out without prior notice in January 1930, Woodhouse readily answered the call, even though League officials insisted on a 12 month probationary period. It was at this time that Leeds Corporation became owners of the ground.

Considering the strength of the leading clubs, Woodhouse performed exceptionally well to hold their own at such a senior level. Much of the credit was due to Jack Franklin, an astute captain and devoted clubman, who was later to serve as president. In 1935 the First XI hit the headlines by scoring 303 runs against Leeds in a Hepworth cup tie and still managed to lose the game. Success finally came in 1938 with the winning of the Wood Cup.

Though beaten in the 1949 and 1955 Hepworth Finals, Woodhouse were by now building a reputation as cup fighters. The second team collected the Wood Cup in 1951. This feat was repeated the following year when Fred Dobson (118) and jack Franklin (88) established a record opening stand of 217 in the Final at Headingley. Such was the calibre of the Second XI that by 1974 the Wood Cup had been won twice more and the Sheldon Trophy on six occasions. it was during this period that Kevin Sharp progressed all the way from a Woodhouse junior to a capped Yorkshire player.

In 1969 the present pavilion was acquired from the Crompton Parkinson Sports Association and the club was at last in a position to expand. By way of celebration, the First Xl, captained by Eric Harris, won the League Championship for the first time. Then came four Hepworth Cup Finals in five seasons, two of them successful. The first victory was in 1972, when Keith Jones scored 53 and took 3 wickets for 21 in the defeat of R.O.F. The other came against Highbury in 1976 when Keith Danby also led his team to a second championship.
A lean spell followed in the early 1980s, but help was at hand with the arrival of Howard Price in 1984. Unable to command even a second team place at his previous club, his three-year stint as First XI captain brought about a dramatic change in the club’s fortunes. With fast bowler Chris Carden deservedly heading the League bowling averages in 1988 and 1989, the revival has been maintained.