Little joy for Lighcliffe as Pudsey gain revenge for semi-final loss

Lightcliffe's Suleman Khan
Lightcliffe's Suleman Khan

A weakened Lightcliffe1stXI were no match for Pudsey Congs, who gained revenge for being dumped out of the Priestley Cup at the semi-final stage by Lightcliffe just a fortnight earlier.

Lightcliffe will feel that having restricted Pudsey Congs mid-innings, with a solid 4-50 from Josh Wheatley in a 15-over spell, they might have done better.

Callum Geldart’s well-struck 118 and Kez Ahmed’s late innings of 45 – who was especially brutal on Chris Greenwood’s latter overs – took the game away from Lightcliffe.

It should be remembered, however, that five of the team on show formed part of last season’s successful 2ndXI so the target was a challenging one needing things going in Lightcliffe’s favour.

For once, captain Alex Stead wasn’t able to build a base and wickets fell at regular intervals, so that, despite a brief and entertaining41 from Suleman Khan, the game was a dead rubber long before a rear-guard action was led by Chris Dyer.

He was last man out for a well-compiled 28, and a crucial part of two tail-end partnerships that added 34.

Yet Lightcliffe fell agonisingly five runs short of a crucial batting point in the continued dogfight against relegation, as they precariously hover two points above Farsley with just six matches remaining.

Lightcliffe’’s 2nd XI had an uphill task once Pudsey had posted a challenging total of 253 and never really looked like achieving their target.

Regan Broadbent led the reply with an attractive-looking 39 but, with a number of batsmen missing, the home team were soon in trouble and wickets fell at regular intervals.

Richard Thompson, Jake Broadbent, Ian Towers all reached double figures but were unable to go on and score the runs that were needed, and only a bright 24 from Irsaalan Ahmed really threatened the opposition’s bowlers after Regan Broadbent departed.

Lightcliffe finished 126 runs short on 142.

Earlier in the afternoon the acting captain, Richard Thompson, had tried seven bowlers with mixed success.

Mark Whiley was impressive during the opening period of the game and conceded only 26 runs from his eight overs, while Jake Broadbent ended with four wickets from a commendable spell during the final onslaught from Pudsey.

It was, though, Danny Ahmed who was the pick of the bowlers and a model of accuracy.

He had returned to the second team of his own volition, to enjoy a 15-over spell of bowling.

His class was immediately obvious as he restricted the hard-hitting Pudsey batsmen to 28 runs from a spell that included two wickets.