Too strong Elland end Rastrick’s hopes

RASTRICK were unable to join Lightcliffe in the Sunday cup final, losing out to Elland at Round Hill.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat on a track that the two captains said was the best of the season so far.

Unfortunately, it was not to be Rastrick’s day, even after scraping a team together late on Saturday night after three players pulled out, they still felt confident of a 200 plus score.

Elland, bolstered by part time first teamer J. O’Connell, ex-England and Yorkshire player Richard Blakey and veteran Dennis Midwood, kept a tight leash on Rastrick’s openers.

They only scored 15 in the first 11 overs, with Julian Marsh hitting one in the air for Elland’s first wicket.

Next in was Nick Marsden and being dropped twice, he was always on borrowed time.

It came in the next over as he went back to a full length ball.

In came captain Jason Middleton knowing that with Robin Lambert and himself a score of more than 200 was still on the cards.

But in the next over Lambert went in the exactly same way as Marsden, going back to a length ball only for it to stay low and seam into his middle stump. Thomas Knight then went pulling a short ball.

He was closely followed by Marsh Jnr trying to flick, Vivian Richards style, a low leg stump ball.

Middleton managed to see off Jimmy O’Connell, Finn and Spener only to be caught on the boundary edge for 35.

The rest of the team did not manage to fend off the Elland seamers and with O’Connell’s one for 12 off nine overs and Moffett’s two for nine in four overs, a miserly target of 107 was set.

It was always going to be a tall order for Rastrick to win the game, but after a quick breakthrough by Middleton, trapping Scott, Ashley Blakey, son of Richard, and Finn were slowly gaining command.

Marsden trapped Blakey LBW for 24 but O’Connell blazed away with a quick fire 37, including seven boundaries, his first team experience obviously paying him dividends.

The only bowling worth mentioning was Middleton’s usual tight spell of one for 18 in eight overs.

Rastrick wish Elland all the best in the final and added a big thank you to Lightcliffe and Booth’s umpires who travelled to umpire the game.