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Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy
Updated: Friday, September 9, 2016 23:08
James Smith
Pudsey St Lawrence skipper James Smith is expecting a tough final against York


PUDSEY St Lawrence will be hoping to become the first club to win the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy five times on Sunday.

The Tofts Road club currently share the record of four victories with their neighbours Pudsey Congs.

A win over York at Sheriff Hutton Bridge would also bring an end to the 26-year gap since their last triumph.

That was in 1988 against Aire-Wharfe side Otley and completed the only hat-trick of final wins in the competition's 40-year history.

St Lawrence hold the competition in high esteem. Skipper James Smith said: "It is an opportunity to play the best teams from around the county and visit different grounds. It is exciting and challenging."

Excitement is something that has been in abundance during St Lawrence's nail-biting passage to the final.

In the first round they actually played at the final venue and secured a thrilling two-wicket win over the 2015 Hunters York Senior League champions Sheriff Hutton Bridge with one ball to spare.

Their semi-final away to last year's South Yorkshire League champions Aston Hall was even more dramatic.
The match ended in in a tie and Yorkshire went through by virtue of losing one less wicket than their opponents.

"In both games we have made things hard for ourselves," said Smith. "At Sheriff Hutton Bridge we were well in control of the run chase when we appeared to have a collective brain freeze and just scrambled home.

"At Aston Hall it was the sheer bloody mindedness of Mark Robertshaw that got us through. He was in with last man Josh Wilson and we needed nine from the final over.

"Mark hit the second ball for six before we scampered two singles. Mark didn't score off the last two balls so the game was tied.

"Nobody was quite sure of the rules. We thought we had won but it was a couple of minutes before it was confirmed."

Nineteen-year-old Wilson, who featured in the dramatic last-wicket stand, may well be included in the side again if St Lawrence choose to go in with three seamers and three spinners.

Slow bowling could play a big part in determining the outcome of the final. St Lawrence usually rely heavily on the trio of Steve Watts, Chris Marsden and Tom Hudson, while York skipper Dan Woods with his left-arm spin and former Cleckheaton leggie Tom Pringle pose a series threat to the Saints' hopes.

York will be boosted by the presence in their side of Yorkshire batsman Jack Leaning. He is expected to open the innings along with former Woodlands left hander Duncan Snell who has been his side's top scorer this season.

Smith said: "It is good to see a Yorkshire player playing for his club side. We won't have any special plans for him.
"We have regularly played York in pre-season games and know they are a strong side. It should be a good final."

York are appearing in their sixth final in the past 12 seasons. Their one win came in 2009 when they defeated Woodlands at East Bierley, but would desperately want to compensate for losing out in the Yorkshire League North title race by Harrogate.

Pudsey St Lawrence YORK
James Smith (Captain)
Daniel Woods (Captain)
Mark Robertshaw
Duncan Snell
Adam Waite
Jack Leaning
Callam Goldthorp
Leon McKendry
Barrie Frankland
Chris Booth (wkt)
Chris Marsden
Ryan McKendry
Matthew Duce (wkt)
Nick Kay
Richie Lamb
Tom Friend
Steve Watts
Charlie Elliott
Tom Hudson
Tom Pringle
Charlie Parker
Alex Collins
12th man: Josh Wilson
!2th man Tom Spearman
Umpires: Ian Dixon & Glenn Roberts
Man of the match adjudicator: John Carruthers
Players Cars