Woodlands win Priestley Cup final

Woodlands win Priestley Cup final

Kiwi Brad Schmulian guided Woodlands to their third Priestley Cup final triumph in four seasons at Undercliffe today.

The talented New Zealander was  68 not out as his side overhauled New Farnley's score of 178-6 to win by four wickets with 4.5 overs to spare.

He was joined in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 48 by Muhammad Bilal who blasted an unbeaten 37.

The win means skipper Cieran Garner now has the chance of lifting the league and cup double in his first season at the helm.

That the match went ahead at all was tribute to the wonderful work of the Undercliffe club and their groundsman Alan Douglas.

New Farnley were put into bat and after opener Adam Waite and Alex Baldwin added 32 in 13 overs, three wickets fell for just one run.

Spinner Chris Brice struck twice in his first over to remove Baldwin and Steve Bullen before Scott Richardson dismissed Dan Hodgson.

Brice and Richardson kept runs at a premium during their respective spells. Richardson, who also removed New Farnley skipper Lee Goddard and Charlie Parker, finished his 10 overs with 3-28 while Brice returned figures of 2-23.

When off spinner Kez Ahmed claimed the wicket of Alex Lilley, New Farnley were deep in trouble at 87-6 after 32.3 overs.

Opener Waite had stood firm throughout and he finally found an ally in young fast bowler Max Law. Together they revived their side’s fortunes with an unbroken partnership of 81.

Waite, below, played superbly to finish 97 not out after hitting two sixes and 14 fours in a 139-ball innings which won him the man of the match award and enabled his side to post a score of 178-6. Law finished unbeaten on 29 after doing a fine job for his side.

Woodlands were also made to fight hard for runs and were indebted to the determined Schmulian for helping them to weather a sticky start to their innings which saw them slide to 41-3.

Liam Collins is something of a free spirit and he attacked with a freedom nobody else had been able to achieve. He hit three sixes and three fours as 30 runs came from Dave McCallum’s first two overs before the off spinner had him caught for 35.

New Farnley were relieved to see the back of Collins and followed up by having Woodlands skipper Cieran Garner trapped lbw by Alex Lilley for four. It left Woodlands on 110-5, but Schmulian was standing firm.

Even the loss of Scott Richardson didn't disturb his concentration and Muhammad Bilal helped him see his side home. Bilal sealed victory in the grand manner by hitting a six.

Match scorecard
Past finals
Wins by each club
Wins by each captain
Final Man of the Match winners

Pictures: Ray Spencer
Top: Cieran Garner lifts the Priestley Cup aloft
Picture Two: Brad Schmulian on his way to 68 not out
Picture Three: Man of the match Adam Waite batted throughout the New Farnley innings

Picture Four:  The victorious Woodlands team