Cleckheaton Claim Maiden Title Despite Defeat
Cleckheaton made sure of their first JCT 600 Bradford League First Division championship despite losing by 17 runs at Woodlands.
They finished 13 points ahead of Pudsey St Lawrence, who suffered a one-wicket home defeat against Priestley Cup winners Lightcliffe.
Cleckheaton went into their match at defending champions Woodlands needing four points to win the title irrespective of what happened at Pudsey, but it was a nervous day for their supporters, who included Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale, watching from the sidelines along with England and Yorkshire all-rounder Tim Bresnan.
Cleckheaton, lacking Yorkshire pace bowler Iain Wardlaw on duty in Belfast with Scotland, found it difficult to take wickets as Woodlands made 202 for four in their 50 overs with Simon Mason scoring 68.
That gave them two of the four points they needed to win the title, but they needed two batting points and, at 55 for three, they were struggling.
Fortunately for them, opener Tim Jackson and second team captain Chris Dobson steadied their nerves as they put together a fourth-wicket stand of 67, Jackson passing his 1,000 runs for the season with an innings of 67 while Dobson, who had reached his 1,000 runs mark the previous week, made 37.
Eventually, Cleckheaton gained the two batting points they needed when they reached 150 and they closed their innings on 185 for five with Richard Whitehurst unbeaten on 49.
St Lawrence made a great start against Lightcliffe with Mark Robertshaw (59) and Adam Waite (46) putting on 112 for the first wicket before they slid to 154 for six. James Smith (61) and Steve Watts led their revival and they closed with maximum batting points on 232 for eight.
Lightcliffe also started well through Charlie Roebuck (59) and former Yorkshire and Derbyshire opener Chris Taylor (42) before they collapsed to 173 for eight with off-spinner Chris Marsden taking five for 55. At that stage, St Lawrence were favourites to win, but wicket-keeper Mark Horne guided them to victory with two balls to go with an unbeaten 30.
Pudsey Congs beat Hanging Heaton by 10 wickets with spinners Glenn Roberts taking four for 14 and Ed Walmsley thee for 32 as the home side were bowled out for 103. Former Yorkshire player, opener Gary Fellows missed out on his 1,000 runs for the season when he was out for four, 17 runs short of the coveted landmark. Openers Nick Lindley with 51 and Callum Geldart 47 led Congs to victory.
Gharib Razak made 107 against his old club as Baildon beat Saltaire by 53 runs in the clash between the relegated clubs.
Pace bowlers Jack Hartley with four for 35 and Matthew Simpson with three for 77, supported by spinner Harry Smallwood with thee wickets for five runs dismissed Manningham Mills for 140 before Bingley edged home by two wickets.
Gill brothers, Mark (94) and Neil (63) were the mainstays of East Bierley’s 274 for six against Morley, who were bowled out for 133, Bierley winning by 141 runs.
© Cricket World 2013