Wheatley’s bat seals great win

Lightcliffe v Spen Victoria. Josh Wheatley batting for Lightcliffe.
Lightcliffe v Spen Victoria. Josh Wheatley batting for Lightcliffe.
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JOSH Wheatley’s heroic knock ensured Lightcliffe won a thrilling Bradford League Division One game agtainst Pudsey St Lawrence in a game that went down to the last ball.

Skipper Jonathan Wilson yet again won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Pudsey to bat first.

The decision paid immediate rewards with Charlie Roebuck and Alex Stead taking a wicket each before a run was posted. The score then moved onto 33 fairly quickly with James Smith punishing anything loose before Stead struck in successive balls, removing Waite (5) and Jordan Thompson (0) leg before.

Young spinner Chris Marsden started the revival and formed a solid partnership with the now injured Smith before the guile of spinner Suleman Khan produced another spurt of wickets, removing Marsden (19) and then Watts (0) in the same over.

Smith (61) continued his one man assault on the attack before he was cleaned bowled by Josh Wheatley. The Pudsey tail dug in and ensured a decent total of 161, Dave Hester finishing unbeaten on 42.

Lightcliffe’s reply got off to a steady start with openers Alex Lees and Andrew Gorrod showing positive intent. Gorrod (14) had looked to have cleared the fielders again, however, a fantastic catch by Pollock brought Alex Stead to the middle.

Stead was soon back in the pavilion without troubling the scorers after which Khan and Lees took the score beyond 50 before Lightcliffe suffered a middle order collapse. Khan (14) was caught at short leg, Lees (22) was trapped in front and Roebuck (0) caught at short mid wicket to leave Lightcliffe reeling at 56 for five.

Wilson and Wheatley began the slow process of rebuilding the innings. Wilson’s fine form with the willow continued, however, on 43 he misjudged an arm ball from Marsden leaving the umpire with his easiest decision of the day.

Lightcliffe now needed 30 from five overs. but batsmen/keeper Mark Horne was out next ball. Richard Thompson survived the hat trick delivery and he and Wheatley set about the run chase, setting themselves 14 to win from the last over.

Thompson found a boundary and then sneaked a single while Wheatley ran a two. With seven runs required from the last two deliveries Wheatley hit a huge six into the cow field to leave the scores level.

With the fielders close in Wheatley managed to hit the ball to the boundary ropes to set off wild celebrations.

Wheatley said “I was really pumped up out there in the middle but I couldn’t have done it without Jocky (Wilson) and Tommy. They also played a part in this victory and deserve a mention. It wasn’t all my own doing.”

Lightcliffe head to relegation threatened Hanging Heaton on Saturday, and welcome Pudsey Congs to Wakefield Road on Sunday.

LIGHTCLIFFE seconds were just edged out in a tight match at Woodlands.

On an inviting wicket for bowlers, home captain Stevie Pearson had no hesitation in inviting the visitors to have a knock. They were soon in trouble with Seraj Hussain, Brucie Lunn, perhaps unluckily, Steve Hartley and Liam Collins all back in the tent.

A mini revival was engineered between Michael Brooke and Chrissy Dyer, but when those two were out the innings petered out despite some useful late blows from Roger Stead.

In reply, Mark Whiley was soon among the wickets with Tom Lightfoot chipping away while change bowlers Roger Stead and Marcus Kelly kept up the good work.

When Rob Metcalfe was neatly caught by Brooke, the visitors sensed victory. However, Sal-Sal Salim, dad of former Lightcliffe player Umar-Umar Salim, chipped some boundaries to see them to victory.

The seconds end their season this weekend with a Saturday home game against Hanging Heaton, followed by a visit to Gomersal the following day.