Bradfrod League: Farnley toast the perfect weekend

Morley batsman James McNicol.

Morley batsman James McNicol.

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If A WELL-KNOWN brand of continental lager could manufacture weekends, then New Farnley have just sampled one.

The Lawns Lane outfit claimed an emphatic 165-run Division One win over Lightcliffe on Saturday and just for good measure, they backed up with victory over Yeadon in a rain-hit Priestley Cup encounter – to book their place in the last four in style.

Saturday saw spin-king James Middlebrook take centre stage with the bat in smashing a fine 128 as Farnley totalled a hefty 294-8, sharing in a dream opening stand of 190 with Mattie Good (79) – with Lightcliffe dismissed for 129 for reply.

Farnley’s batsmen then flexed their muscles to devastating effect, none more so than another ex-Yorkshire player in Scott Richardson, who hit an explosive 68 from just 21 balls as the West Leeds outfit took just 8.1 overs to pass Yeadon’s total in a Priestley Cup clash reduced to 20 overs a side.

The mood of all and sundry was probably augmented after the tie when news filtered through of defeats for holders Pudsey St Lawrence and Cleckheaton, with the draw opening up for Mark Lawson’s side.

Delighted club secretary Neil Stokoe, whose side are also through to the latter stages of the Heavy Woollen Cup, said: “It was a great weekend.

“Sunday was thanks to a certain ‘Tickle’ as we call him in Scott Richardson, who was bombarding the car park and the middle of the clubhouse.

“St Lawrence and Cleckheaton are out, although (Pudsey) Congs have still got to play Bankfoot, so you would expect them to get through – although you would have expected Cleckheaton to beat Lightcliffe, who we beat very easily on Saturday.

“But a big leveller in this cup in you have to find five bowlers to bowl 10 overs.”

On Middlebrook’s innings the previous day, Stokoe added; “It was some knock. He got 30-odd the other week and got run out, but then we lost him to Yorkshire on Sunday.

“Sunday was notable as we were missing a lot of big-hitters as we had no Ian Fisher or Andrew Hodd or Middlebrook, but we got through and this coming weekend, we have Townville in the quarter-finals of the Heavy Woollen Cup.”

Elsewhere in the Priestley Cup on Sunday, Pudsey Saints tasted defeat for the first time this term after losing out by 12 runs to rivals Bradford and Bingley.

The Tofts Road outfit were dismissed for 188 after Bingley opened with 200, Ryan Cooper (81) top-scoring.

The wait goes on for Cleckheaton’s first Priestley success with last season’s runners-up losing a thriller versus Lightcliffe, despite the efforts of Andy Gorrod (73), Mally Richardson (51) and Tanzeel Altaf (50).

A big appeal from James Massheder of Yeadon is in vain against Jordan Sleightholme of Wrenthorpe, who went on to score 119. PIC: Steve Riding

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