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2005: Title wins for Woodlands, Townville and Rodley

2005: Title wins for Woodlands, Townville and Rodley

Fifteen years ago Woodlands broke the Bradford League domination of Pudsey Congs, who were going for a record sixth successive title.

In previous years, Woodlands were edging ever closer, but decided to reinforce their challenge for 2005 by signing Paul Winrow and former Yorkshire seamer Pieter Swanepoel, pictured above. This gave the team extra firepower in the seam bowling, and strengthened the batting considerably.

The two teams were neck and neck throughout the season, and in a thrilling title race Woodlands pipped their great rivals by three points.

Woodlands had a very solid look about their batting with Paul Winrow (735 runs), Tim Orrell (687) and Russell Murray (692) scoring runs consistently. In addition, Sarfraz Ahmed had the uncanny knack of hitting his side out of trouble on several occasions.

The bowling proved to be as potent as any team’s in the league with Ahmed (71 wkts), Chris Brice (48) and Swanepoel (45) all severely restricting the opposition’s batting.

Ahmed made many breakthroughs, and his steepling bounce at times made it almost impossible for the batter to tick the score over.

Nicky Rushworth scored useful runs, and also picked up the League wicketkeeping trophy with 38 victims.

Despite relinquishing the title Pudsey Congs still had a triumphant year, winning the Priestley Cup and also the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy for the fourth time.

In the Priestley Cup Final the Congs held sway over Woodlands winning by six wickets with Barbar Butt, abov picking up the Man of the Match Award

After easing past Elland, Wickersley and Barrowford in the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy they faced a powerful York side in the final at Wagon Lane. They were shorn of Chris Silverwood and Scott Cunningham; and also turned out with a stricken Neil Gill who wasn’t able to bowl.

Matthew Doidge had to improvise with his bowling, making a total of ten changes and on a perfect battieng wicket somehow restricted York to 265-7, with the dangerous Simon Mason blasting 69.

Ever confident Congs started well with Andy Bethel (41 ), Bradley Parker (60) and Andrew Bairstow (57) making rapid inroads into the score. However, batsmen tended to get out when set, and it was left to Butt to steer his side home with 52 not out, with 13 balls to go.

In the league, former Yorkshire batsman Parker scored 488 runs, assisted by Doidge (435 runs), Butt (598 runs) and Bethel (564 runs), while seamer Mark Bray, above, with 39 wickets, was the top man in the bowling averages.

However, Woodlands took over the mantle of the Congs as the top side in the league, winning the title five times in the next seven years, and also winning the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy twice.

East Bierley, who finished in third place in 2005, were only eight points behind champions Woodlands, and had a side worthy of winning the league.

They had Chris Taylor, above,, who won the League Batting Averages after scoring 1,000 runs at an average of 64, and Jaffer Nazir, who took the League Bowling Averages with 77 wickets at 13.13, making it a double for Bierley. Nazir also won the Sir Learie Constantine All-Rounders Trophy.an average

The side could also call on Jonathan Proud, Richard Gould, Grant Soames, Mark Gill and Greg Lambert.

The Fastest Fifty Trophy was won by Iain Priestley (19 balls) of Pudsey St Lawrence. Priestley made his first class debut in 1989 for Yorkshire, as a right arm medium fast bowler, and he took 4 for 27 against Nottinghamshire at Headingley.

When he returned to league cricket he concentrated on his batting, and built a reputation as one of the hardest-hitting batsmen in the league.

Richard Robinson was the major performer in Keighley’s title win in the Second Division. He finished fourth in the league batting averages with 455 runs at 45.50, and won the league bowling averages taking 55 wickets at the small cost of 6.65 each wicket. This predictably won him the Jack Hill All Rounders Trophy.

In the Central Yorkshire League Townville claimed their third title in six seasons, with the following side- David Booth, Stuart Clifton, Tim Walton, Andy Ward, Ibrar Latif, Glen Yates, Mohammed Asif, Nicky Bresnan, above, Chris Cotton, Lee Smith, Graham Richardson.

They actually clinched the title in September when Tim Walton (125no) shared an opening stand of 181 with Stuart Clifton (78) to beat Wakefield St Michael’s by eight wickets.

Walton was probably Townville’s greatest signing and could count himself as the league’s leading batsman of his generation. Formerly of Spen Victoria, he played 25 first-class matches for Northants from 1994 to 1997, scoring 653 runs at an average of 25.11, with a highest score of 71, one of seven first-class half centuries he made for the county.

Townville had pipped a very good Wrenthorpe side who would dominate in later years.

Wrenthorpe had brought in David Paynter (Pudsey Congs), Paul Carroll (Pudsey Congs) and Tosh Baker (Woodlands) to the club for the 2005 season, and lifted the previously elusive Jack Hampshire Memorial Trophy for the first time after a comprehensive 84-run victory over Mirfield Parish Cavaliers at Methley Cricket Club.

The key to victory was a valuable second-wicket stand of 145 between man of the match Paul Carroll (82) and Dave Paynter (83), which put Wrenthorpe firmly in the box seat after amassing a target of 262-7.

In reply, Mirfield Parish never looked like challenging the total set, despite getting off to a decent start. Paynter completed an outstanding all-round display, taking 3-36 with the ball. Seamers John Maynard (2-24) and Kevin Watson (2-25) also played a part in the victory, with Mirfield Parish finally being dismissed for 178 after losing their last six wickets for a paltry 13 runs.

In the Wetherby League Great Preston had a season to remember, winning two cups. Australian Matty Love made a record club score of 181 in a 2005 Fred Fleetwood cup tie against Kirk Deighton. This remains the highest recorded score by a Great Preston player.

Love and Mohammed Nawaz were key figures in the double cup success of 2005 as Great Preston overcame Barwick at Spofforth CC in the Fred Fleetwood Cup Final, and Old Modernians in the Senior Evening Cup Final at Walton CC.

Nawaz created an individual all round performance that is arguably unequalled in Great Preston’s history. Not content with scoring 664 runs at 66.40, he took 37 wickets at 14.4 to win both the First Division Batting & Bowling Averages.

In the Dales Council Cricket League, Rodley were the dominant team in 2005, winning the `A’ Division title and Pool Paper Mills Cup double and repeating the feat two years later. Gary Walton won the League Batting Averages and Mark Allinson the League Bowling Averages

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