BURLEY-IN-WHARFEDALE are Aire Wharfe League Waddilove Cup winners for the 10th time in their history – bringing relief all round to last season’s league runners-up.
Burley have been slumped in the wrong half of the table since the opening weekend of the season and the Grange Road outfit suffered a 64-run loss at runaway leaders Otley the day before Sunday’s Waddilove Cup final.
The defeat left Burley eighth and only 19 points above the drop zone but last year’s runners-up again then turned on the style in the league’s premier cup competition the following day to seal the 2019 Waddilove Cup with a 19-run victory over North Leeds who held home advantage.
“It’s a bit of a relief,” admitted skipper Jason Wright.
“It’s just nice to get something out of the season. You come to the end of the season and you have got something to show for it now.
“If we had been putting in performances like that on a Saturday we would be up there and we would be pretty close.
“Unfortunately it hasn’t happened but it’s quite nice that we actually have done it on a Sunday.
“A few people were pretty rough on Monday morning after celebrating but we made the most of it.
“It was a good feeling, playing with all your mates and just a good feeling to win it.”
Wright played a pivotal part in the victory with an unbeaten knock of 87 as Burley set a target of 260-5 with Nick Brook (52) and Redmond Bolton (72) also making hefty contributions despite the efforts of Farhan Khan (3-39).
Khan then made 41 to provide support to Taran Chana (79) but Wright again set a captain’s example by taking 3-41 as North Leeds were kept short at 241-9.
Wright was modest about his crucial contributions. The skipper said: “The big batting scores before set it up nicely and gave me freedom to bat the way I like with a bit of freedom.”
The Burley skipper now hopes Sunday’s victory acts as the perfect launchpad to a strong run-in over the final six games with Wright not yet abandoning hope of finishing second.
“Second and third place is not too far away,” said Wright.
“It’s not out of our reach because it’s so tight so the aim is definitely to finish at least in the top four. Hopefully our form can now pick up as that win might push us on a bit.
“It lifts everybody up. We had a good time on Sunday night, the whole club was a part of it and it does pick morale up. Hopefully that can help us off for the rest of the season.”
Second-placed Follifoot are 59 points ahead of Burley following Saturday’s 79-run win at home to sixth-placed Bilton but Otley are 33 points clear at the top.
Addingham are 30 points behind Follifoot in third after their 12-run success at Ilkley who now sit fourth on the same points. There are 11 points back to fifth-placed Horsforth who fell to a two-wicket reverse at home to third-bottom North Leeds.
North Leeds are only nine points ahead of second-bottom Pool who recorded a 23-run victory at fourth-bottom Collingham on Saturday while bottom-placed Adel also won with two wickets to spare at home to seventh-placed Rawdon.
Adel are 20 points behind Pool and 29 adrift of safety.