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Woodlands hope to lift White Rose Trophy

Woodlands hope to lift White Rose Trophy

Woodlands will be hoping they can complete a set of major trophy triumphs when they face Castleford at Emerald Headingley on Saturday.

The one piece of silverware that has eluded them so far is the White Rose Trophy which is presented to the winners of the Yorkshire Premier League Play-Off final.

Their last attempt ended in agonising defeat when they lost to Sheriff Hutton Bridge by three runs in the 2019 final.

Castleford, the Yorkshire League North champions, are the side striving to stop them from adding to an honours list which includes eight league titles, three Priestley Cups, three Heavy Cups and two Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy triumphs.

The two sides met earlier this season in the Heavy Woollen Cup when Woodlands, buoyed by an unbeaten century from opener Tim Jackson, won by 42 runs.

But Woodlands, who will be without their inspirational overseas player Brad Schmulian, know that Castleford have plenty of strength in depth.

Schmulian, who is currently in quarantine at a hotel in his native New Zealand after returning home following his match-winning ninth wicket stand in last week’s two wicket semi-final win at Appleby Frodingham, will be sorely missed.

His place in the side goes to all-rounder Tom Clee who made a good impression when he deputised for Muhammad Bilal in the opening weeks of the season.

Cieran Garner, who will captaining the side for the last time before passing on the baton to Schmulian, is looking forward to the game.

He said: “I feel we learned a lot from playing there in the 2019 final and there are things which we can certainly do better. The main thing is adapting to a much bigger playing area than we are used to in the Bradford League.

“Castleford are used to playing with bigger boundaries and we know that we made errors which cost us against Sheriff Hutton Bridge.

“We are delighted to be back at Headingley again. Playing there is an honour, and we are all determined to win the cup, but we know that wont be easy against Castleford.

“They are very much a club on the up. They have a five-year plan as to how they want to develop, and we saw from our Heavy Woollen Cup tie against them that they have bags of talent and experience.

“Unlike Appleby Frodingham last week, we do know a lot more about Castleford. Mind you, I saw that their opener Chesney Hughes scored a career best 270 not out for Derbyshire at Headingley in 2013, I hope he does not do that again.”

Hughes, left, was the hero of last Saturday’s one-run semi-final win over Richmondshire. He took two wickets with the last two balls of the game to spark joyous celebrations.

He is one of four spin bowlers in the Castleford side and with Woodlands having the ever-reliable Chris Brice and Kez Ahmed, slow bowling is poised to play a key role in the match.

One of the Castleford spinners is their captain David Wainwright, the former Yorkshire and Derbyshire player.

Wainwright has played all his league cricket and leads a side which contains a number of players who have featured in the Bradford League.

Middle order batsman Andrew Bourke, who enjoyed a spell with Pudsey Congs has scored more than 11,000 runs for the club and is retiring after the final.

Brayden Clark played for Townville before returning to Castleford while young wicketkeeper Alex Kaye moved from New Farnley at the end of last season and has established himself in the side.

One man who has ensured that Castleford have been in the media spotlight in the build up to the game is their Director of Cricket Colson Smith, below left.

He is better known for playing Craig Tinker in Coronation Street and though he lives in Manchester, eats, sleeps and breathes Castleford cricket.

Every weekend he is back at the club he loves and has been thrilled by this season’s success. “The team have done even better than I expected.

“Winning Yorkshire League North was fantastic and winning the semi-final last week, and the way we did it, was something I will never forget.

“I cannot wait for Saturday. I know I will be nervous but playing the final at Headingley is something special. I just hope I don’t make the lads nervous,” Smith said.

Garner has been reading the newspaper interviews with Smith with interest. “He’s a cricket nut and an absolutely smashing guy. He has been at a couple of our matches and always comes to talk to us.”

Garner, who is giving up the captaincy to spend more time with his family, added: “It is not fair really. Colson only has to worry about walking from the Rovers to Roy’s café while I am having to prepare for the next dirty nappy.”

Castleford 1. David Wainwright (Capt) 2. Chesney Hughes 3. Liam Hyde 4. Brayden Clark 5. Connor Hyde 6. Chris Briggs 7. Andrew Bourke 8. Jack Young 9. Ed Morrison 10. Alex Kaye (WK) 11. Matty Rees 12. Eddy Cole 13. Luke Edwards Scorer: Graham Rees

Woodlands: 1 Sam Frankland 2 Tim Jackson 3 Tom Clee 4 Liam Collins 5 Cieran Garner (Capt) 6 Scott Richardson 7 Muhammad Bilal 8 Greg Finn (wkt) 9 Elliot Richardson 10 Kez Ahmed 11 Chris Brice 12 Kieran Collins. Scorer: Connie Pearson

Umpires: Scott Richardson & Jason Pitcher.
Play starts at 10.30am

Click the image to view the 16-page on-line programme
​​​​​​Click to​ read our spectator guide to the final
Read the uplifting story about the tea lady who is always on the final menu

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