‘Youthful veterans’ provide support as Under-17s are triumphant

Lightcliffe 3rdXI (154-2) beat Illingworth (153 all out) by 8 wickets

Lightcliffe’s Under 17’s, with the addition of two ‘youthful veterans’, made light work of a side which three weeks earlier had tested the resolve of a similar XI in the Halifax Sunday League Division One.

In contrast to that fixture, after a promising start, Illingworth declined to a sub-par total on a good Wakefield Road batting strip.

Initially the visitors looked positive, as opening bowlers Matty Sumpner and Lammy Holmes struggled to avoid the four-ball (or run three to the long boundary).

Holmes did eventually get his man and Jakey 
Broadbent, on second change, made an immediate impact, both thanks to sharp catches from brother Reggy Broadbent.

Illingworth’s opener Ali, taking one under the heart from Holmes early on, was more selective in his shots than in the first encounter.

The joust with young Alexi Kennedy was especially interesting.

The junior again produced well-flighted craft but in similar vain was heavily punished on the rare occasional lapse on length.

His 1-34 return was however one of his best performances of the season.

Jordi Pickles, now the regular off-spin bowler for the thirds, collected triple victims, including a sharp catch from Johnny Eliot.

Indeed it was Eliot who provided the highlight of the innings.

His second ball – a classic top-of-off-stump dismissal- brought Illingworth’s number 8 to the crease with the loudest bright yellow helmet seen at Wakefield Road.

Unfortunately the belisha-beacon styled headgear failed to distract square leg umpire Ray Spencer.

Eliot’s delivery was snapped up by Reggy Broadbent and a stumping occurred.

Lightcliffe’s fielding was a mixed bag at times – Joshy Stringer’s long barriers on the boundary caught the eye, whilst the odd spilled chance and misjudged attempt, perhaps require some extracurricular practice ahead of the Under 17s Cup Final on Sunday.

Illingworth’s bowling 
attack lacked the potency of the first encounter, 
allowing captain Brucie 
Lunn and Jacky Booth to prosper.

Their 117 opening stand was the best of the season for the club.

Booth eventually succumbed to a mistimed pull for 37, but his slightly older partner drove on somewhat wearily to rack up 89 unbeaten runs ahead of jetting off to assess cricket grounds in the 
Rocky Mountains for three weeks.