Yeadon edge home in Jack Hampshire Cup thriller

Yeadon edge home in Jack Hampshire Cup thriller

18 Aug 2019

Yeadon lifted the Jack Hampshire Cup for the first time after defeating Birstall by two wickets in a nail-biting final at Liversedge.

Replying to their opponents' modest score of 132, Yeadon slumped to 85-7 before their tail enders saw them home with 10 balls to spare.

Yeadon were deep in trouble, but Andrew Robinson didn’t show any signs of nerves as he went on the attack with telling effect. He picked out the legside boundary with some telling blows before becoming the final victim of the impressive leg spinner Benadict Gundry (4-21).That left Ryan Robinson and Paul Machell to see their side home and on a pitch where taking the pace of the ball was the key to success, Birstall had to use their medium pacers which certainly suited the batsmen.

The experienced pair had 8.2 overs to score the 20 needed for victory. They picked off runs sensibly before  a boundary from skipper Ryan Robinson decided the game,

As Yeadon celebrated the disappointment of the Birstall players was clear to see after coming so close to defending their score of 132.

The immaculate James Russell bowled his eight over straight off and kept runs at a premium, He bowled four maidens as he returned figures of 2-15 claiming the wickets of openers Gareth Lee and Rob Smith who were both well caught at slip by Rishy Limbechaya.

Left-arm spinner Josh Haynes shared the new ball and also kept things tight His initial three overs yielded eight runs and he returned later to finish with 0-13 in his full eight.

Yeadon had made 59-2 from 19.5 overs when the match took a dramatic turn as leg spinner Gundry entered the attack.

He took a return catch to remove Tom Lindsay for 12 and skipper Nick Kaye looked to have delivered a telling blow when he had Yeadon’s overseas batsman Sarmad Hameed caught behind by Ian Carradice for 26.

Birstall had their tails up and looked to cash in. Gundry had Aaron Day and Sam Massheder chipping easy catches to Eric Austin, before Kaye bowled Robbie Williams.

They looked to be in the driving seat, but Yeadon refused to lie down and their tail enders read the situation perfectly as they steered their side home.

Birstall, who are on course to secure promotion from Championship Two, opted to bat first on winning the toss with the hope that their powerful batting line up would provide them with a match-winning score.

Despite the early dismissal of Josh Haynes after spooning an easy catch to Ryan Robinson off Andy Robinson’s bowling, Eric Austin and Ian Carradice kept the scoreboard ticking over.

They took the total to 47 after 10 overs before Carradice chanced his arm and lofted a delivery from Andy Robinson straight to Day.

Although Andy Robinson took the first two wickets it was the accuracy of his opening partner Machell that was slowing the scoring rate. He bowled his eight overs straight off for 28 runs.

The introduction of young leg spinner James Massheder changed the course of the innings. Birstall captain Nick Kaye, scorer of a century in the semi-final win over Hunslet Nelson was bowled aiming an ambitious drive.

He was followed back to the pavilion by Rishy Limbechaya and Ashley Burton who were both out stumped by Sam Massheder which further enhanced his brother’s figures.

James Massheder wasn’t afraid to give the ball air and made the most of the helpful bowling conditions and his efforts earned him the man of the match award.

Birstall’s hopes of posting a challenging score rested on the shoulders of the experienced Eric Austin. He looked set for a half-century when he was trapped lbw by Gareth Lee for 45.

When Gundry was also lbw to Lee for 17, Birstall were 111-7 and running out of overs.         

The late introduction of 17-year-old seamer Lindsay paid off as he polished off the tail, removing Mattie Dyson, Ryan Gray and James Russell as he finished with 3-21. All of the Yeadon bowlers returned good figures and their work was ultimately rewarded with victory.

Birstall put up a great fight and came close to defending a below-par score. Their consolation will come if, as expected, they secure promotion to Championship One.

Picture 1: Ryan Robinson lifts the Jack Hampshire Cup
Picture 2: Yeadon leg spinner James Massheder was man of the match
Picture 3: The victorious Yeadon team with the Jack Hampshire Cup
Picture 4: The players formed a guard if honour for umpire Alan Carter
Pictures: Ray Spencer Report: Alan Birkinshaw

Match scorecard

Past finals
Man of the match winner