Congs on course for T20 finals in Cardiff

Woodlands Sarfraz Ahmed hits a mighty six into the football ground as Woodlands win the cup at Ossett.
Woodlands Sarfraz Ahmed hits a mighty six into the football ground as Woodlands win the cup at Ossett.
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A DECIDEDLY poor Bradford League season has had one chink of light for Pudsey Congs.

In the Bradford League, Congs have flattered to deceive with their four-wicket weekend loss to relegation-haunted Saltaire being a case in point on a Saturday which was ravaged by rain.

Cellar dwellers Saltaire (129-6) recorded the day’s only victory in the top flight in the process at the expense of Congs (128-6) to cut the gap with second-from-bottom Farsley to 19 points with five games to play.

But, thankfully, Sunday was a different story for Congs, who vanquished South Yorkshire League outfit Wickersley and Derbyshire Premier League side Ticknell by 22 runs and 28 runs respectively in the NatWest Club Cup T20 area final at Undercliffe.

The upshot is that Gareth Phillips’ side, for whom Callum Geldart sparkled with the bat, will now visit North East Premier League outfit Chester-le-Street in the regional final on August 16.

If Congs triumph, they will secure a place in the finals day at the Swalec Stadium Test ground in Cardiff on September 1, which would at last give the club something to shout about.

Spokesperson Ralph Middlebrook said: “The Twenty20 has been a redeeming feature of the season and we got to this same stage and played at Chester-le-Street a couple of years ago and lost.

“Let’s hope we can pick things up this time and go even further.”

Specifically on Sunday’s two victories, he added: “We faced two strong sides in Wickersley and Ticknell and Wickersley gave us a fright by bowling very tidily.

“Then, against Ticknell, one of their guys got 147 and (Derbyshire player) Paul Borrington got a few, but our batting batted 20 overs for once.

“I am a great believer in playing authentic shots and that’s what we did and Callum Geldart is just a great cricketer. He made a couple of catches and batted effortlessly.

“We are very proud to be in the regional final and the whole team played well.”

Limited Division Two action on Saturday saw Yeadon lose by five wickets to Baildon, who kept their promotion hopes alive in the process.

Captain Simon Bailey struck an unbeaten 57 as the Jenny Laners chased down a score of 115-4 with one ball to spare to reach 117-5 in a game reduced to 22 overs per side.

Oliver Halliday took 3-55 for Yeadon, whose top-scorer was Damon Gormley (36no).

Just two overs were possible in the encounter between leaders Morley and second-placed Scholes.

Morley had not managed to open their account when rain halted play.