Never say never declares buoyant Bierley skipper

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SKIPPER Lee Goddard says his East Bierley side are feeling greedy with a healthy appetite for a brilliant Bradford League treble.

Bierley finally ended the unbeaten run of Woodlands on Sunday as the Division A leaders fell to a two-wicket loss in a thrilling Priestley Cup semi-final.

Hanging Heaton or Manningham Mills await in the final on Sunday,
August 12 but the cup can wait with Goddard also focused on a serious title tilt.

Woodlands still lead the top flight by 34 points but Goddard sees no reason why his second-placed side cannot yet bridge the gap – especially with the two title hopefuls set to play each other on Saturday, September 8.

And with Bierley also in the semi-finals of the league’s Twenty20 Cup competition, Goddard is daring to dream of a terrific treble.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to be in this position and we are in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 as well,” said Goddard.

Chance

“We are in with a chance of three pieces of silverware and we want to be greedy – we want to win all three!

“It will be tough to do that and it will be especially tough to win the league, but you never say never.”

On Sunday’s showing, Bierley will have every chance of landing the
treble with Woodlands kept to 166-9 batting first.

Bierley then overhauled at 168-8 with just seven balls to spare thanks to the efforts of Gavin Hamilton, with an unbeaten 57, and Tim Cooper (39).

Goddard felt the tie would have been a worthwhile final.

“It was a shame it was the semi-final really as it deserved to be the final,” said the winning captain.

“No disrespect to anyone else but it was the two best sides in the league and it was so close. It was one of the best games I have ever played in.

“Woodlands have become
accustomed to winning and they always fight back. They are a very strong side but we back ourselves as a very good side as well and we know on our day we can beat anybody in this league.”

The victory capped a stellar
weekend for Bierley, who also overcame Manningham Mills on Saturday – Nick Walker (67) and Goddard himself (50) steering their side to 267-8 chasing Mills’ 266-9 of which
Gulsheraz Ahmed pummelled an
unbeaten 109.

The fixture may yet be a prelude
to the Priestley Cup final with
Goddard determined to put a first piece 
of silverware in his club cabinet since the Priestley Cup back in 2009.

“We last won the cup in 2009 but the last league title we won was in 1996 and it’s been too long for a club of our stature,” he said. “We should have won the league since then and now we have a chance to put that to bed.”

Bierley looked set to make 
significant inroads on Woodlands’
advantage on Saturday with the
leaders looking hugely-vulnerable 
after Farsley bowled them out for 111 thanks to the efforts of Mark Harrison (4-10) and Chris Henry (3-43).

However, Woodlands dug deep and kept Farsley four runs short at 107 all out thanks to fine spells from Stephen Piercey (5-28) and Chris Brice (3-14).

Back in third are Pudsey St Lawrence for whom Mark Robertshaw struck 83 to help beat off Undercliffe, who were subsequently dismissed for 163.

And in fourth are Cleckheaton who had Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale featuring on Saturday as Hanging Heaton were condemned to a 122-run loss. Nick Bresnan – brother of Yorkshire’s Tim – took 4-46 to keep Cleck to 198-8 but Heaton were skittled for 76.

Lightcliffe are fifth after a six-
wicket win against Pudsey Congs on Saturday and sixth are Bradford and Bingley, who suffered a five-wicket defeat against eighth-placed Saltaire.

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