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Clee stars as Northowram Fields win T20 Cup for the first time

Clee stars as Northowram Fields win T20 Cup for the first time

Proud skipper Josh Bennett held the Gordon Rigg T20 Group B Cup in one hand and his four month old son Alfie in the other after Northowram Field defeated Sandal by 78 runs in the final at Carlton.

But there was no doubting who was star performer. Woodlands loanee Tom Clee top scored with an unbeaten 67 and took 3-18 in front of a sun-drenched crowd.

Northowram Fields were deserved winners after outplaying their opponents in all facts of the game as they reserved their best form for the final.

Tom Clee impressed with the bat, above, and the ball below  Pictures: Ray Spencer

Six of the best as Ben Grech plays the lap shot and gets a maximum Picture: Ray Spencer

A elighted Bennett said afterwards: “There is no question that we have under-performed this season.

“We only got our first league win yesterday and now we have won the final. I am so pleased for the lads because we know we are better than our results have shown.”

Northowram Fields only qualified for the final last week when they defeated Adwalton and pipped Jer Lane, the team that beat them in last year’s final, by just a single point.

“I had to work out all the permutations of how to get sufficient points from that match to get through and we just did enough,” added Bennett.

“To win the final feels great because I can remember how disappointed we all were last year when Jer Lane beat us easily after making a big score.

“I am really pleased with the way we played this time and I am delighted for Tom Clee because things haven’t worked out for him as well as he would have liked this season. Tom has got starts but has been unable to build on them but today he was outstanding.”

Bennett’s decision to bat first looked a gamble when his side were 58-2 after 10 overs, but the complexion of the game was to change as Clee and Ben Grech (39) stepped on the accelerator.

They added 68 for the third wicket as Sandal’s bowlers began to feel the heat. The final 10 overs yielded 104 runs with Clee striking three sixes and five fours as he batted throughout the innings for his 67 from 53 balls.

“I said before the game I would fancy us to defend a score of 120 and that 160 would be a good score. To top that gave us a tremendous boost,” said Bennett.

Sandal, who came into the final unbeaten in all competitions this year, needed a good start but that man Clee was soon in the thick of the action again.

Clee removed three of Sandal’s dangermen, Danny Riley, Sam Scott and Matthew Westwood as they slumped to 16-4.

With the bowlers being backed up by some athletic fielding the pressure grew on the Sandal batsmen.

Wicketkeeper Karl Hewitt tried his hardest to revive his side with an innings of 38, but once he departed the writing was on the wall.

Joe Hough (3-14) helped hasten the end as Sandal were bowled out for 84. This was an afternoon when Northowram Fields produced their A Game and they were deserving winners against a Sandal side who now must pick themselves up for Saturday’s Division Two League Cup final at Jer Lane.

The jubilant Northowram Fields team celebrate their win. Picture: Ray Spencer

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