Cup of woe as Congs inflict league reverse

Cricket - Lightcliffe 3rd XI v Triangle.'Sam Godden bowls for Lightcliffe.
Cricket - Lightcliffe 3rd XI v Triangle.'Sam Godden bowls for Lightcliffe.

Cup kings Lightcliffe CC suffered a five-wicket Bradford League Division One defeat against Pudsey Congs on a belter of a wicket at Wakefield Road.

Alex Stead (68) and Jonathan Wilson (50no) top scored in Lightcliffe’s 180-6, but the home side were prevented from posting a more challenging total by another good spell from left-arm spinner Glenn Roberts (4-30).

Skipper Chris Taylor scored 24, but too many of the top order failed to fire.

Wilson batted very well and underlined why some of the Wakefield Road faithful think he should be batting higher in the order.

Stead was heading for another ton before unluckily being given out LBW.

Congs eased home with eight balls to spare with opener Callum Geldart (68), Nick Lindley (32) and skipper Gareth Phillips (30no) leading the way.

The pick of the bowlers were Olly Robinson, Sully Khan and Josh Wheatley.

Jockey Wilson said: “We need to make sure our league form doesn’t go west because we are in cup finals.

“Yes, they are a really mouth watering prospect that I can’t wait to be involved in, but the league is our bread and butter and we need to get back on track. I was thrilled to get a 50.”

Lightcliffe seconds ran out convincing winners on a steamy day at Hartshead Moor.

The hum of the M62 was quickly drowned out by Evan Edwards as he mixed seaming deliveries with comedy comments. His ball to remove Moor opener Jimmy Hardcastle was the “best I have seen in a decade”, according to umpire Andy Halliday.

Jimmy Godden bowled a fine opening spell, only going for 12 runs in seven tidy overs.

The returning Dan Ahmed bowled really well. In an unbroken spell of 15 overs he rarely delivered a bad ball. He deserved more than a return of one wicket, Godden snaring a neat catch at mid off.

The veteran Chrissy Hestor was the main wicket taker, snapping up six victims, including home captain Martin Ellis.

He had threatened to play a huge innings but holed out to long off, where Edwards held on in front of watching dad Richard Edwards.

It was Hestor’s best bowling since the first game of the season, with a couple bowled, Richie Powe holding on at slip and Michael Brooke holding a screamer at mid wicket. Regan Broadbent was once again excellent behind the stumps.

The Hartshead total looked under par. After a pleasing tea – including tasty fruit baskets – Rhys Jowett and Brooke set about the total.

They did so in little trouble, both scoring 50s. Just when a 10 wicket win looked likely, Jowett holed out.

The winning runs were hit by Liam Collins to seal another fine win and keep the seconds breathing down League leader’s Morley’s necks.

After the game James Godden said: “I thought that was a very professional display. We turned up with a good attitude and deserved to win. We have six cup finals left and we need to win them all.”

Lightcliffe’s third eleven made it seven Halifax Sunday League Division One wins on the bounce with another convincing success which defied gloomy weather forecasts and again reflected the resilience of Rod Heyhoe prepared pitches.

A downpour delayed the start, but captain Bruce Lunn again got the choice of use of the pitch and gratefully declined – to the delight of opening bowlers Sam Godden and Mark Whiley who again bowled tightly to make Triangle struggle on 27-3.

A change to an all spin attack didn’t immediately bring reward although Kevin Booth regretted the use of a used ball with a “proud” seam as Marcus Kelly spat one through the gate and into the face of the wicketkeeper.

Spitting blood, his temporary retirement meant missing out on the celebrations as Kelly bagged a hat-trick therafter.

In and amongst, there was good fielding from Colin Saunders at gully early on - with his reflexes overshadowed by youngster Alex Kennedy who took two well judged catches.

With rain again intervening with the loss of an hour’s play and an early tea, a Kennedy wicket and a cameo 33 from all-rounder Zac Rushton set up a 103-8 total and a 28 over a-side match

With one eye on the weather, Lunn and Tom Denison saw off the openers and then made hay with the balance, running a lung bursting number of threes as the total was trumped in a rapid 16 overs, to leave the team top.