Northowram Fields continued a remarkable run of success at under-15 and under-17 level in the Bramley’s Halifax Junior League on Bank Holiday Monday.
They retained the Collinson Cups at both age levels with victories over Copley at Blackley. They were actually winning the under-17s trophy for the third year in a row while they lost the 2016 under-15s final.
The under-15s game was first and got under way two hours late after morning rain.
Northowram’s Jacob Slator elected to bat and he, Kyle Welsh and Farhan Hussain each reached the mandatory retirement mark of 30.
Northowram completed their 20 overs on 120-3 with Shazil Akram and two run outs accounting for the wickets.
Gavin Whipp (20) and Akram (23) gave Copley a brisk start but after losing Whipp on 42, they subsided to 88-8 at the close.
Sixth and seventh choice bowlers Damian Cockroft (2-7) and Hussain (2-11) each bowled three fine overs.
Northowram made only two changes for the under-17s game, bringing in skipper Louis Cockburn and Luke Smith.
It turned into a one-sided contest with Copley dismissed for 72 and Northowram knocking off the runs for the loss of one wicket in 8.3 overs.
Ben Cliff (18) and No 9 Toby Cliff (24) did their best to lift the Copley total from 25-5. Kaden Lancaster, Harry Cunningham, Shamas Zahir and Slator took two wickets each.
Slator was out for 18 with the Northowram total on 29 but Welsh hit 43 not out off 29 balls and Cockburn helped him finish the contest with 10 not out.
Chris Thompson, who heads Northowram Fields’ junior section and coaches the under-17s, commiserated with Copley.
He said: “We’ve had some fantastic games against them this season and they didn’t really do themselves justice on Monday, although you could say our lads just played really well.”
Thompson also praised Blackley CC and junior league officials for their hard work in ensuring the games went ahead.
Northowram Fields have made junior development their top priority with around 100 young players signed on and attending training on Fridays.
They have also had tremendous backing from the Northowram Educational Charity for the purchase of equipment and training coaches.
Thompson said: “The success we have had is down to a lot of hard work from a lot of people over the last 10 to 15 years with coaching, managing teams and giving juniors some great opportunities to develop in junior and senior cricket.
“Hard work and talent pays off most of the time.”
The club’s under-15s are also title winners in the Bradford League, in which Fields play most of their senior cricket.
Thompson said the under-13s had won the Halifax north section and the under-11s were runners-up. The under-19s had lost in the Bradford League final to Keighley, subsequent Yorkshire champions.