Priestley Cup Final: Woodlands and Pudsey St Lawrence both have eyes on memorable double

APPEALING: Woodlands ' Sarfraz Ahmed will hope to mark his last season with the club by winning the Priestley Cup final against Pudsey St Lawrence this weekend.

APPEALING: Woodlands ' Sarfraz Ahmed will hope to mark his last season with the club by winning the Priestley Cup final against Pudsey St Lawrence this weekend.

0
Have your say

MAKE ours a double.

That will be the phrase that Woodlands players will be hoping to utter by the close of play on Sunday following this year’s eagerly-awaited Priestley Cup final showpiece at Spen Victoria.

DOUBLE TARGET: Pudsey St Lawrence captain James Smith. Picture: Steve Riding.

DOUBLE TARGET: Pudsey St Lawrence captain James Smith. Picture: Steve Riding.

But for opponents Pudsey St Lawrence, dual silverware thoughts will also be in their minds as they strive to claim the first leg of what they are intent on making a league and cup double.

After a largely unspectacular league campaign in the ECB Bradford League, Woodlands’ first XI are seeking to crown Sarfraz Ahmed’s historic 16th and final year as the club’s overseas player with a cup tonic – following on from their second XI’s memorable win in the Priestley Shield final.

Woodlands’ 11-run success in the second-team showpiece against Hanging Heaton proved a captivating showpiece which yielded 575 runs and an enthralling late finish.

They were ultimately left to savour a memorable Shield final triumph which will surely go down as one of the best in the competition’s history.

Now Tim Jackson’s side are seeking their share of the limelight, having won the competition just once when beating Bowling Old Lane in 2006.

For St Lawrence, Priestley Cup success has been a rather more common sensation.

The Tofts Road men last lifted the trophy in 2014 when they beat Cleckheaton and, in the process, dashing their rivals’ hopes of a league and cup double.

All told, St Lawrence have been victorious six times and one more win will take them clear of rivals Pudsey Congs – if well behind the all-time record of 14 wins from Undercliffe.

St Lawrence’s James Smith is also eyeing a hat-trick of wins as captain after previously picking up the trophy in 2014 and 2011.

But you sense that securing a league and cup double and becoming the first side to do that since Woodlands in 2006 is what represents the more pertinent statistic for Smith.

Woodlands have knocked out holders Bradford and Bingley en route to the final along with Cleckheaton – on a bowl-out – and New Farnley, while St Lawrence have had a more comfortable passage, beating Scholes and Wrenthorpe.

MIXED DAY: England's Ben Stokes. AP/Rajanish Kakade

Big-hitting Ben Stokes gets taste of own medicine in Caribbean