Abu Dhabi date beckons for Saints and Thornes

Pudsey St Lawrence celebrate their win over Great Ayton
Pudsey St Lawrence celebrate their win over Great Ayton
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PUDSEY ST Lawrence and Wakefield Thornes are Abu Dhabi-bound after both reigned supreme in their Yorkshire Premier League semi-finals against Great Ayton and Harrogate respectively.

ECB Bradford League Premier Division champions St Lawrence held sway in a pulsating game with North Yorkshire South Durham outfit Ayton at Headingley, while Yorkshire Premier League South side Thornes continued their dream season with a three-wicket success over Gate at Scarborough.

They will now square off in a day-night final at the Zayed Stadium on October 27.

Opening, St Lawrence, not for the first time, were indebted to redoubtable opener Mark Robertshaw (93), who produced another high-class innings.

More importantly, he held firm when St Lawrence were in bother at a couple of key junctures.

Barrie Frankland also weighed in with a key 42 as the Pudsey side finished on 200-8. It was nip and tuck in reply with Great Ayton’s mainstay being Chris Batchelor, who produced a captain’s innings of 87.

Crucially, St Lawrence applied the brakes with the ball, none moreso than Chris Marsden, whose 10 overs went for a miserly 18 – even if it was fellow slow bowlers Tom Hudson and Steve Watts who chipped in with some key innings.

That said, the game’s outcome was in doubt right to the death, with Great Ayton failing to score the 13 they needed in Richie Lamb’s final over.

A crucial innings of 70 from David Toft helped Thornes (203-7) over the line against Harrogate (200). Earlier, Andy Hawkswell (53) led the way with the bat for Gate, with Akila Isanka taking 3-43 for Thornes.

Despite being in early bother at 10-2, Thornes prevailed, with Loft taking the plaudits, despite Ben Coad’s 4-27.

Batley clinched the Championship A title and secured their place in next season’s Premier League with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Undercliffe, with Yeadon having to settle for runners-up spot.

Muhammad Tahir took a super 4-6 for Batley, with Undercliffe out for just 109, with Aqueel Mukhtar (50no) then seeing the high-fliers home.

Yeadon lost by six wickets at Baildon.

Beckwithshaw have their hands on the Aire Wharfe League title once again following an 111-run victory over Collingham.

Shaw, pipped by Otley to silverware 12 months ago, reclaimed the championship and a spot of revenge after a convincing success, with Eugene Burzler leading the way with an accomplished 99.

Burzler’s knock, off 92 balls, proved the major contribution to Shaw’s opening innings of 260-8 declared.

Replying, Collingham were never at the races and were dismissed for 149 in 39 overs.

Otley (200) have to settle for second spot after finishing the campaign with a 141-run win over North Leeds, skittled for a derisory 59 with just two players reaching double figures.

James Davies wreaked havoc with the ball with a magic return of 5-8 with Ben Morley (81) having earlier led the batting parade, sharing in a fine stand worth 137 for the fourth wicket with Chris Thompson (63).

Aftab Karim took 4-58 for North Leeds.