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Pool in Wharfedale CC

Club Details
Red & Gold
Home Ground: LS21 1LQ
Contact:Richard Parker

There is an early reference to a team representing the village on feast days during the 19th Century, but cricket was first played at Pool on a regular basis in the early 1900’s. In those days the club shared a field with the local football and hockey clubs situated beyond Pool Bridge on the Leathley side of the Harrogate Road. In 1920 the club moved to a ground behind the White Hart Hotel and was able to field two Saturday teams.

Of the many talented cricketers who assisted the club between the wars, Ben Hartley was an outstanding captain. Headmaster of Pool School and former league professional, he instilled a love of cricket into a generation of Pool children. He wrote very forthright comments after each game, particularly concerning the LBW law and the partiality of village umpires! Other prominent players were Milton Pullein and Dr C V Light, both fine batsmen; wicket keeper Frank Millward; Vincent Parker, who also captained the village Football Club; Ben Whitehead and Edgar Wilson, whose three sons also played for the club.

In 1939 Pool moved to its present site on Arthington Lane. The Whiteley family, always generous supporters of the club, bought the present ground for £1200. It cost a further £444 to level the rough field and £500 to lay the pitch and erect the boundary fence. The Pavilion was moved from its former location and a new team room erected. The ground was formally opened by Col A C Sheepshanks of Arthington Hall before the first match of the 1939 season against Arthington. Whereas most neighboring clubs closed down during the 2nd World War, Pool CC continued to arrange fixtures. Bert Whitehead was awarded the batting cup on three occasions and Bernard Bolton, then only 16 won it in 1945. The clubs survival at this uncertain time was due in no small measure to the efforts of the committee and tea ladies, who despite food rationing, provided a cup of tea and sandwiches for sixpence at every home game. Sadly Bertram Kay and David Pickup gave their lives whilst serving with the RAF. Their memorial plaque is situated in the club house. It bares the famous mouse trade mark of Thompson of Kilburn the Master Craftsmen.

By 1952 only one team took the field on Saturdays but several evening matches were arranged. A Sunday fixture list was introduced in 1962, and the format of a full non league programme remained in force until 1983. During this period, many changes were made to provide the playing area and facilities enjoyed by today’s cricketers. Dr John Metcalfe was captain for many years until giving way to Mick Wood in 1977. Before returning to his village club, Mick created an Aire/Wharfe League record with 42 wicket keeping victims for Otley D.P. and E. in 1958. He had also shared the League`s Don Brennan trophy in both of the two previous seasons.

Up to this point, Pool had been committed to non league cricket, but following an informative visit by Leeds League Secretary Neil Satterthwaite, an extraordinary general meeting was held on 25th October 1983. The motion ‘that Pool Cricket Club applies to join the Leeds & District Cricket League’ was carried by 19 votes to 10. The application was immediately accepted for season 1984. Mick Wood & Keith Thompson led the first & second XIs respectively. John Wood, the three Megson brothers, Andrew, Richard, and Anthony, Paul Huby and Steven Wood arrived from Otley, and Richard Bolton, Ian Keddle, Mark Stead and Paul Bottomley joined from Pool Mills. But, on 14th July, in the first season, tragedy struck. Mick Wood collapsed and died whilst keeping wicket against Leeds Police. He was 47 years of age. Andrew Cartlidge led the team for the remainder of the season.

John Wood succeeded his father as captain in 1985 and two years later, the team won promotion. Andrew Megson returned from Ilkley in 1989 and guided the club to third place, its highest position to date. In the meantime, the second XI, still under Keith Thompson’s captaincy, earned promotion after winning its section in 1985, but were relegated three seasons later. Several Pool players have made their mark in the league. Andrew Megson & John Wood both captained the White Rose XI and Richard Carlton has kept wicket at White Rose and senior level. Tracey Mahoney demonstrated his all round ability by the award of both batting and bowling trophies and Kingsley Smith, the clubs first overseas player, won the league`s under 21 bowling prize.

The Club had many happy seasons in the Leeds League playing against many star players – Dean Jones, Ijaz Ahmed, Tony Dodemaide, Stewart Williams, Graham Stevenson and many more overseas stars. One memorable game against Cookridge in 1997 saw Paul Henry score 200 not out and Australian Travis Rowe achieve a hat-trick. Other notable performances include Kiwi David Tidmarsh scoring over 1000 league runs in 1999. Pool were defeated in two Hepworth Cup semi finals and never quite managed the Championship. We did win the Second Division in 1998, remaining undefeated all season! The second eleven won the Second Division Championship and played in the Wood Cup Final under the leadership of Steve Winterburn.

The Club had always had the desire to play in the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League and applied to join on many occasions .The Club eventually gained admission to the new third Division in 2000. In the first season the Second Eleven won the Championship under Peter Brogan. This feat was repeated by the First Eleven in 2001 under the leadership of Richard Carlton. Naved Arif becoming the first bowler to take 100 League wickets since Lionel Rowe of Ilkley C.C in 1956.