IN FRONT of a good few assembled club legends on Saturday, Pudsey St Lawrence were determined not to disappoint on their big day.
A marquee occasion at Tofts Road saw a packed clubhouse watch the Division One leaders take the field against Bradford and Bingley, including ex-Kiwi Test player Mark Greatbatch.
Several other members from the club’s glory days of the mid-eighties were also in attendance and while St Lawrence did not necessarily turn on the style, they displayed a winning mentality that the former greats will have fully appreciated.
Leg-spinner Tom Hudson took 5-50 to help dismiss B&B 14 runs short at 185 after the hosts opened with 199-9, with Mark Robertshaw (43) and Matthew Duce (41) top-scoring for St Lawrence, now 27 points clear at the summit.
On playing in front of a distinguished audience and the importance of winning, Saints captain James Smith said: “You were talking about people who have won league titles and a lot of honours, so you want to show that the standard has not dropped from their day and that we have still got the same ethos and way of playing the game.
“But while you want to put on a show, ultimately you want to win the game.
“It was two teams who were giving their all and to be honest, until that final wicket went down, I don’t think anyone know who was going to win it as it was that way, all day.”
Hailing his side’s determination shown in a nine-match unbeaten start to the league campaign, Smith added: “In previous years, maybe we would have found a way to lose it on Saturday with slack fielding, bowling or loss of concentration.
“If you want to stay up there, you have to win these games, no two ways about it.
“We’ve just got to keep rolling.
“The way we are working as a team has been the impressive thing. Mark Robertshaw is our stand-out player and a ‘Mr Consistency’, but we are not relying too heavily on him and the middle and lower order have been fantastic in scoring valuable runs and we have fought hard as a bowling unit.”
Elsewhere, second-placed Woodlands (130-1) eased past Undercliffe (128) by, with key contributions coming from Pieter Swanepoel (6-40) and Sam Frankland (63no).
Dan Busfield took a fine 6-60 as Hanging Heaton (178-6) claimed a keynote four-wicket win over Cleckheaton to go third, with Nick Connolly (56) and Ben Elvidge (45no) in the runs.
Andrew Bairstow (47no), Nick Lindley (51) and James Pearson (4-35) helped Pudsey Congs (213-6) see off New Farnley (209-9), for whom Qasim Khan struck 69.
A BRILLIANT knock of 147 from Yorkshire second-teamer Dan Hodgson couldn’t prevent Farsley from crashing down to earth against fellow strugglers Saltaire.
The Red Laners, fresh from their previous weekend victory over East Bierley, slumped to a three-wicket loss to Saltaire, who claimed their first seasonal win in the process.
Hodgson’s contribution was the highlight of Farsley’s card of 265-5, but rock-bottom Saltaire (268-7) held their nerve to cut the gap between the pair to just five points at the foot of Division One.
Action in Division Two saw Kashif Naveed (84) and Matt Baxter (65) share in a fourth-wicket stand worth 139 to help leaders Morley (239-7) trounce Idle (101) by 138 runs, with Ben Jenkinson (3-15) and Matthew Dowse (4-34) in the wickets.
Meanwhile, second-placed Scholes hit a season-best score of 343-4 to dismantle Windhill (115) by 228 runs, with Atif Zaidi (122no), Kasir Maroof (97) and Daniel Cross (5-38) excelling.
Arun Balasubramanian hit an unbeaten 93 to help Hartshead Moor (207-5) to a welcome eight-run derby win over Gomersal (199-9).
Nick Lindley (115no), Gareth Phillips (75) and Callum Geldart (64) helped Pudsey Congs (344-3) book a last-eight Heavy Woollen Cup tie at Gomersal after an emphatic victory over Hanging Heaton (189).
Methley lost to Kirkburton, while New Farnley (192-9) beat Skelmanthorpe (129), with David McCallum taking 5-31 to set up a quarter-final tie at Townville.
Woodlands (241-9) are through to the last four after beating Wakefield Thornes (175).