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Transfers: All the moves as they happen
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Transfers: All the moves as they happen
Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy
Updated: Monday, August 8, 2016 21:14
Black Sheep logo SEMI-FINAL
Tom Hudson
Pudsey St Lawrence leg spinner Tom Hudson took 4-25 in St Lawrence's dramatic victory Picture:Neil Allinson
by Reg Nelson

Aston Hall vanquished Otley of the Airedale & Wharfedale by eight wickets in the previous round, but met their match in the semi-final of the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions when they took on Pudsey St Lawrence.

But, it was arguable who was deserving winners in an epic struggle that ended in a tie. Pudsey’s famous bus took a good gathering of spectators who took over the well-appointed South Yorkshire ground at the start.  

Aston’s skipper Rob Ward decided to bat first on a fine looking track that would prove to be a little slow for virtuoso stroke-play.

Openers Adam Whiteley (38) and Joe Barker (35) got their team off to a flier feeding off the spasmodic half-volleys that pacemen Ritchie Lamb and Charlie Parker supplied.

However, Lamb should have dismissed Barker early on when Mark Robertshaw put down a slip catch.

Scoring at five an over and reaching 60 at the start of the12th over, part of the Saints famed spin trio quelled the home team’s progress when Chris Marsden had Whiteley caught by Parker.

Leg spinner Tom Hudson then turned the game in Pudsey’s favour when dismissing Matthew Cartwright (1), Nicholas Smit (0) and Nathan Ward (3) to reduce Aston to 76-4. The latter was dismissed from a full toss by a one-handed catch by Robertshaw who had to dive to his left.

Parker returned to dismiss Maurice Chambers, who made a careful 9, and Will Scott who hit an entertaining 30, as the score became an unpromising 113-6. When Parker had completed his ten over spell he had taken 2-32.

The intensity of Pudsey’s out-cricket slackened as Aston Hall came back into the game with a fine stand of 63 for the seventh wicket to take the score to 196-7.

Big hitting Rob Ward hit 3 sixes and 6 fours in his 54 and was exceedingly unhappy to be given out LBW to Stevie Watts. He had previously hit Steve Watts into the adjoining field for two successive massive sixes 

Josh Coulson was frustrated to be stranded on 21 not out after Lamb had dismissed the last two batters for ducks with the final score 203 all out.

This was typical cup cricket where the innings could have been ended at 150-170, but in the final analysis could well have been in excess of 220.

Richie Lamb, despite a torrid second bowling spel,l finished with 2-63 from nine overs, but the best bowler was leg spinner Tom Hudson who had the excellent figures of 4-35 from his ten overs. Chris Marsden’s spell was containing to the tune of 1-35 from 10 overs.

Pudsey’s target was a manageable one, but lacking their key batsman Adam Waite, knew they had to make a sound start, and after the first two overs were maidens the home team’s confidence grew.

Both openers were watchful facing British qualified West Indian pace bowler Maurice Chambers who came in from a 30-yard run-up. The former Essex and Northants bowler looked a fearsome sight as Mark Robertshaw played him with caution.

After Robertshaw had put on 32 with stand-in opener Callum Goldthorpe, the latter was bowled by Josh Coulson for 16 after pushing tentatively forward.

Pudsey were in real trouble when Barrie Frankland prodded Chambers back for a `caught and bowled’ for one with the total at 35-2.

Aston Hall’s attack gave nothing away with a fielding side that smothered everything that came their way.
Marsden joined Robertshaw, but was never comfortable, before being dismissed by Coulson for 14 with the score on 57.

The Saints were wobbling but James Smith refused to compromise his game taking the game to Aston with several powerful shots to the boundary.

Robertshaw was the perfect foil to Smith as he anchored the innings while the run rate was nicely within range.

Just as Pudsey appeared to be coasting, Smith was dismissed in the most unfortunate circumstances. Robertshaw straight drove on to the non-striking stumps with the bowler getting a touch and in doing so leaving Smith stranded run out.

It was rough justice on Smith who appeared to have put his side on the front foot. At 119-4 there was still work to do with an emphasis on the middle order to accompany the dependable Robertshaw.

However, he got scant assistance from Matthew Duce (1), who scooped a full toss in the air to be caught off spin bowler Harry Glaves, and Hudson (1) who was dismissed by the same bowler.

To worsen the situation, Lamb was run out for nought going for a very risky single when careful consolidation was needed.

The home team was sniffing victory at 126-7 when Steven Watts came to the wicket as No.9 batsman.
The target run-rate was well in range, but both Robertshaw and Watts went through a spell where they could not beat the in-field.

Eventually Watts found his timing, striking the ball for twos and singles and helped Robertshaw push the score up to 167-8 before he was dismissed by Rob Ward.

Batting with the tail, Robertshaw found it difficult to strike boundaries on a slowish wicket, but was content to take singles to keep the score ticking over.

When Parker holed out to Chambers for five with the score on 174-9 it appeared to be job done for the Aston Hal sids. To emphasize the point, several Pudsey fans were packing their sun chairs whilst muttering about their team’s unwise batting.

Needing about five an over in the last four, No.11 batsman Joshua Wilson showed commendable composure in sharing the strike with the immovable Robertshaw.

James Smith’s father Keith commented that all Pudsey needed was a big over, but this didn’t come as a solitary boundary and a single was all they could muster entering the last over with eight still needed.

Bowled by skipper Rob Ward, he prevented Robertshaw from scoring from the first ball as the tension mounted. The second ball was fullish and hit straight for six into the field of horses, much to the hysteria of the Pudsey supporters.
The next two balls saw two quick singles with Wilson showing no nerves facing his delivery. This left the scored tied and Robertshaw two balls to clinch the tie.

Ward bowled two difficult balls for Robertshaw to put away and he had to be content with the tied score of 203.

The umpires and players left the field in muted silence unaware who had actually won the tie. The players shook hands with James Smith gesturing to the opposing captain that he hadn’t a clue who had won.
Pudsey’s Chairman Chris Gott looked bemused at the situation.

The umpires returned to the dressing room for their rule book as several players googled the rules. When the realisation that Pudsey had won by virtue of losing fewer wickets there was still a muted acceptance of the result from the victors.

Robertshaw’s magnificent innings won the day - unbeaten on 82 from 139 balls, with seven fours and the vital six, showing application beyond the line of duty, unflustered when his timing wasn’t there.

For the home team Chambers took 2-43, but was expected to go through the tail in the latter overs. Nicholas Smit was the most miserly bowler with 0-27 from his ten overs.

Following the thriller at Sheriff Hutton Bridge, the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy is certainly creating thrills this season for title-chasing Saints.

With the prospect of playing York in the final on September 11 at Sheriff Hutton Bridge there are more tensions to come for their supporters. They will need to tighten their middle-order up against an unforgiving York side.  

Chris Marsden
St Lawrence off spinner Chris Marsden sends down a flighted delivery Picture: Neil Allinson
Charlie Parker
St Lawrence's Charlie Parker chases a ball in the outfield Picture: Neil Allinson
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