Lightcliffe ended a 49-year wait to win the Bradford League Priestley Cup when they beat Hanging Heaton by seven wickets in the final at Farsley to lift the trophy for the first time since 1964. It was a match in which the toss proved to be a decisive factor.
Lightcliffe won the toss and put Hanging Heaton in to bat on a damp pitch that gave help to the bowlers, particularly early in the match and restricted their opponents to 189 for nine before coasting to victory with 11 overs to spare.
Yorkshire pace bowler Moin Ashraf gave Lightcliffe the start they wanted, exploiting conditions that helped the ball to seam and swing as he captured the valuable wickets of former Yorkshire pair, skipper Mark Lawson and Gary Fellows, in his opening spell to leave Hanging Heaton in trouble at 20 for two.
Joe Fraser and James Stansfield led a recovery with a third-wicket stand of 78 before Fraser was caught on the square-leg boundary by Alex Stead off slow left-arm spinner Suleman Khan for 56.
Stansfield then took responsibility for guiding the the innings with some well-judged shot selection that brought him five sixes and six fours in his 88 not out.
Unfortunately for Hanging Heaton, he received insufficient support from his team-mates as the Batley-based team suffered a middle-order collapse, losing four wickets for 23 runs, including the important wicket of big-hitting David Stiff.
Batting conditions became easier as the pitch dried out and the Lightcliffe batsmen advanced to their victory target without too many alarms.
Taylor and Charlie Roebuck set them on their way with an opening stand of 64 before Roebuck was stumped for 32.
There followed a second wicket stand of 69 between Taylor and Alex Stead and, when the captain was out for 41, Stead and Yorkshire second team all-rounder Oliver Robinson took Lightcliffe to within sight of victory before Stead was dismissed for 45, leaving Robinson to hasten Lightcliffe to their memorable win with 41 not out, including two sixes and six fours.
© Cricket World 2013