THREE wickets near the end clinched a thrilling cup final win for Lightcliffe’s third team.
They beat an Elland team which contained former Yorkshire and England wicketkeeper/batsman Richard Blakey by 17 runs to take the Halifax Sunday League’s Rod Warhurst Trophy.
There was a balance of experience and youth in the Lightcliffe side right down to 13-year-old wicketkeeper Regan Broadbent.
Lightcliffe, put into bat on Bradshaw’s ground, were soon down to 36 for two after 10 overs.
Opener Bruce Lunn however, held the innings together with a fine 89.
He was supported by Steve Hartley and Tom Denham and an unbeaten 40 from Mick Wood as Lightcliffe reached 220 for six.
Lightcliffe opened with the off-spin of Marcus Kelly.
He was eventually joined by Wood as Elland wickets fell.
The Elland reply steadied as 15-year-old Jordan Spencer joined Blakey.
Elland looked to be going on smoothly until Kelly got Blakey lbw and ended with three for 17.
Spencer continued and passed 50, helped by the lower order as Elland bore down on a 200 score.
Spencer’s dismissal by Hartley, who took three wickets for 25, was the last turning point in the most exciting final for years.
Elland skipper John Evans scored 23, including two sixes, off 15 balls to leave a target of 18 off the last three overs but Lightcliffe remained cool.
Adam Worsick was run out and the innings closed on 203 when Lunn, who was man of the match, caught Evans.
It clinched the trophy for Lightcliffe and made up for their defeat in the final in 2009.
After the game Blakey made a special point of encouraging Lightcliffe’s young players, especially wicketkeeper Broadbent.