Birthday boy's Shield final joy

Birthday boy's Shield final joy

1 Sep 2019

Skipper Chris Sowden received the perfect birthday present as New Farnley lifted the Priestley Shield for the first time with an emphatic 10-wicket win over East Bierley at Pudsey Congs.

Sowden, pictured left, received a little help from opening batsman Joe Suggitt when he went up to collect the magnificent trophy from league chairman David Young on his 32nd birthday.

And after his team-mates broke out in a chorus of Happy Birthday for their skipper, he admitted it was  "a wonderful feeling" to win the Shield for the first time.

"I have been at New Farnley since I was about 11-years-old, and  winnning this means a lot to me," said a beaming Sowden.

Josh Marsden celebrates after taking his fifth wicket in a spell of 6-12 Picture: Ray Spencer

The architects of New Farnley's win were their new-ball bowlers Mark Lawson and Josh Marsden who shared all 10 wickets as East Bierley, who chose to bat first, were skittled out for just 47.

Nineteen-year-old Marsden showed his rich potential by making the most of a pitch which had good pace to take 6-12 in seven overs before having to retire from the attack under the restrictions placed on junior bowlers.

By then he had wrecked the East Bierley innings as he got the ball to nip around off the seam bowling at a lively pace.

Such was the quality of his bowling that he even overshaowed former Yorkshire player Lawson, who finished with 4-24, and was deservedly named Man of the Match.

Josh Marsden received the Man of the Match award from league chairman David Young
Picture: Ray Spencer

During the course of his match-winning spell he achieved his first five-wicket haul and made a mockery of the fact he had only taken 15 wickets in his previous 18 matches this season.

His performance was watched by his admiring father Richard who had spells as a fast bowler with Undercliffe, Spen Victoria, Pudsey St Lawrence and Yeadon.

"I am really pleased for Josh," he said. "I played in two Shield finals for Pudsey St Lawrence.and lost them both. He has done something I never did and taken six wickets as well."

Marsden never looked back after removing East Bierley skipper Ross Monaghan and James Higgins - two of their side's key batsmen - in his first over.

Monaghan was caught low at slip by Chris Blackburn while Higgins was bowled as both men failed to troubile the scorers.

East Bierley were in bother at 8-3 when Liam Walsh edged Marsden to impressive young wicketkeeper Alex Kaye for the third duck of the innings.

Opener James Tucker was next to go when he also edged Marsden into Kaye's gloves after making eight in a score of 25-4.

Helen Maguire became the first woman to umpire in a Bradford Premier League final
Picture: Ray Spencer

Mark Lawson, whose swing provided an additional challenge to the East Bierley batsmen, picked up his first wicket when he trapped Rob Barker lbw for nought.

Marsden was in no mood to be overshadowed and responded to Lawson's strike by bowling Tom Hoyle for the fourth duck of the innings.

Lawson took his second wicket by bowling Dan Abbott for three before Marsden struck for the sixth time to have Tom Ormondroyd caught by Joe Bedford without scoring.

With Marsden forced to retire from the attack, Lawson  took responsibility for polishing off the innings. He took the wickets of Reece Clark, caught by Kaye, and Wayne Robinson clean bowled in successive balls with the last two deliverioes of his 10 over allocation.

East Bierley had been bowled out for 47 in 19 overs and only a generous offering of 21 extras - 14 vwides and seven leg byes - prevented them from being bowled out from an even lower score in an innings which saw six batsmen get ducks.

Perhaps the only consolation from East Bierley was the fact that it was quality bowling rather than reckless batting that led to their downfall.

Aftaer a rain shower during the tea interval and black clouds gathering ominously around the ground, New Farnley openers Joe Suggitt and Aidan Langley set about their task of knocking off the runs in a positive style.

Suggitt led the way with an unbeaten 40 as New Farnley knocked reached their target in 11.2 overs to secure victory just before another rtain shower came in and delayed the presentation ceremony.

East Bierley's miserable afternoon was compounded when Dan Abbott had to be removed from the attack after just one over after bowling two accidental beamers,

Skipper Ross Monaghan was philosophical about his team's defeat. "We were beaten by the better team, simpl,e as that," he said. "Now we need them to do us a favour as we face them in the league on Saturday and we still need points to avoid relegation."

New Farnley celebrate their first Priestley Shield triumph. Picture: Ray Spencer

Match scorecard