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New Farnley win Priestley Cup

New Farnley win Priestley Cup

New Farnley lifted the Gordon Rigg Priestley Cup for the second time after defeating Townville by 34 runs in a hard-fought final at Undercliffe.

Mark Lawson was named man of the match after taking 6-32 as  Townville were dismissed for 107 in reply to New Farnley's score of 141.

It gave them their second cup triumph in two weeks following their Solly Sports Heavy Woollen Cup win over Woodlands.

It was an afternoon when the bowlers took the limelight. New Farnley's decision to bat first looked unwise as they struggled for momentum against a fired up Townville attack.

The new ball spells of Conor Harvey (4-15) and Ritchie Bresnan (0-22) kept runs at a premium. Both men were backed up by some excellent fielding which demonstrated just why Townville are such a formidable force.

When Aidan Langley and Adam Waite succumbed to the pressure from the excellent bowling of Harvey, New Farnley were in trouble at 14-2.

Things got even better for Townville when James Glynn trapped Steve Bullen lbw in his first over to reduce New Farnley to 34-3.

Lee Goddard and Dan Hodgson looked to have calmed their side's nerves before the New Farnley skipper clipped spinner Harry Clewett to midwicket and was caught by Chris Grey for 44.

Townville sensed it was the key breakthrough and when Hodgson (22) became Clewett's second wicket after a fine ctach by Athelbert Braithwaite, New Farnley were 94-5.

Lawson struck a couple of defiant blows before being bowled by Jack Hughes trying one shot too many, while the Townville captain followed up by having Gurman Randhawa caught by wicketkeeper Liam Booth.

Grant Soames played with good sense to score an invaluable 32 in the context of this game before he was caught and bowled by the impressive Harvey.

Soames departure hastened the end of the New Farnley innings. Alex Lilley fell lbw to Hughes before Dan Houghton holed out to Glynn to give Harvey his fourth wicket.

A total of 141 looked distinctly under par but New Farnley knew that batting was not easy and that gave them hope as they took to the field.

Townville opener Braithwaite made his intentions clear with two boundaries in the opening over from Lilley which produced ten runs.

The West Indian was determined to attack despite the loss of Jonny Booth for a duck when he was caught by Langley from the bowling of Andrew Brestwer.

Braithwaite hit nine fours as he looked set to take the game away from New Farnley as he attacked their quick bowlers.

He dominated a 52 run second wicket stand with Chris Grey before left arm spinner Gurman Randhawa was introduced to the attack with devastating effect.

In his opening over, Randhawa trapped Braithwaite lbw and had Hughes caught by wicketkeeper Hodgson for a duck to reduce Townville to 62-3.

When Lawson had Grey caught at slip by Bullen in the next over, three wickets had fallen for no runs and the momentum of the game had shifted.

In the most dramatic phase of the game, two more wickets fell at 68. Lawson caught and bowled Glynn before having the dangerous Harvey caught by Hodgson for a duck.

When Randhawa had Bresnan caught by Lawson six runs later, the Townville innings was in disarray. Alex Page (20) struck some defiant blows before he holed out to a catch by Langley to give Lawson his fourth wicket.

Lawson, left, wrapped up victory for his side by removing Harry Clewett to Hodgson's third catch of the innings and trapping last man Charlie Sykes with his next delivery.

Although Lawson took the limelight with his six-wicket haul, Randhawa's role should not be down played as it was his first over which turned his side's fortunes around.

Townville will be sore after suffering a cup final defeat but there was a lot to admire in their performance, particularly in their excellent bowling and fielding.

They have repeatedly shown they have big hearts and great character and they are qualities which can banish the disappointment of this result and serve them well as they go into next week's final round of league matches chasing the league title for the first time.

They currently trail Woodlands by eight points and  may need a little helping hand from New Farnley who take on the defending champions in their final game.

Today belonged to New Farnley, but Townville will be hoping next Saturday belongs to them.

The victorious New Farnley team. Back from the left: Noel Bullock (scorer), Adam Waite, Dan Houghton, Andrew Brewster, Aidan Langley. Front: Gurman Randhawa, Grant Soames, Dan Hodgson, Mark Lawson, Lee Goddard, Alex Lilley, Steve Bullen, Jack Dyson, Paul Hutchison (Cricket Manager). Picture: Ray Spencer

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