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New Farnley to face Methley in final again

New Farnley to face Methley in final again


 

New Farnley and Methley will contest the Gordon Rigg Priestley Cup final for the second time in five years after both recorded comfortable semi-final wins.

Holders New Farnley defeated champions Woodlands by 67 runs and Methley overcame Cleckheaton by 103 runs.

The final is at New Farnley on Sunday, August 14 and both teams took advantage of the scorching temperatures and fast scoring conditions to post match-winning totals.

New Farnley made 296-8 but even that was dwarfed by the 348-7 that Methley compiled thanks to a superb 131 from opener Jason Marshall. It was his second century in this season’s competition and took his tally of league and cup runs to 942.

Marshall struck five sixes and 15 fours and didn’t let the Cleckheaton bowlers settle. His opening stand of181 with Alex Cree (66) was the perfect foundation and with James Wainman making 39, runs simply flowed.

Even a second century of the weekend for Cleckheaton’s Pakistani batsman Yusaf Baber was not enough to stave off defeat. Once again, he demonstrated his quality while striking five sixes and 16 fours, but once he departed Cleckheaton’s hopes went with him.

Cleckheaton were bowled out for 245 with Finlay Rooke (4-63) and Cameron Sharp (3-71) enjoying the most success for a youthful Methley side.

Adam Waite continued his rich vein of form with 77 for New Farnley. Picture: Ray Spencer
The clash between New Farnley and Woodlands – the game many people would have liked to be the final itself – produced plenty of absorbing cricket without delivering the thrilling finish the spectators craved.

Winning the toss and batting first was a huge bonus for New Farnley on a day of scorching heat. So too was the decision to promote Mark Lawson to open the batting.

Lawson, who had only previously scored 18 runs this season, rose to the challenge. A couple of early boundaries settled any nerves, and he went on to make an invaluable 88 before being stumped by Greg Finn from the bowling of Chris Brice with a century within his reach.

Lawson added 117 for the second wicket with Adam Waite (77) and when Dan Hodgson (41) joined in the fun, a score of 330 looked possible, but when Waite and Hodgson were dismissed to careless shots it sparked a dramatic collapse. From 223-3 they tumbled to 254-8.

Woodlands had seized the initiative but some late hitting from Liam Guthrie (26no) and Gurman Randhawa (23no) saw New Farnley get to 296-8. Kez Ahmed was the most successful bowler with 3-61.

Kez Ahmed took three wickets for Woodlands with his off spin. Picture: Ray Spencer

Sam Frankland produced a stylish innings of 91 for Woodlands. Picture: Ray Spencer
Chasing such a big score required a good start and Woodlands certainly got one. The stylish Sam Frankland was quickly into his stride and together with Tim Jackson (33) put on 94.

Off spinner Grant Soames dismissed Jackson before New Farnley claimed the prized wicket of Brad Schmulian when he was lbw to Randhawa for four.

After dismissing Tom Clee cheaply, Soames ended the fluent innings of 91 from Frankland as Woodlands slipped to 138-4.

Muhammad Bilal soon made his intentions clear as he thrashed a rapid 34 before top edging a catch to wicketkeeper Hodgson off Soames and Scott Richardson followed him to the pavilion, a victim of Dan Houghton.

As Woodlands continued to attack so Soames prospered. He added the wickets of Liam Collins and Elliot Richardson to finish with 6-73.

Kez Ahmed struck a couple of lusty blows before Greg Finn was run out and Chris Brice bowled by Randhawa to take New Farnley through to their fourth Priestley Cup final.

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