Beckwithshaw’s Waddilove Cup victory over Bilton was the first reward for a squad full of resilience and determination, said their skipper Alex Lilley.
His side hammered their Harrogate rivals by 152 runs on Sunday to claim their second Waddilove title and set themselves on course for a shot at a historic league and cup double.
“We’re massively delighted,” said the former Yorkshire paceman. “The Waddilove means an awful lot to us and the club, and it was a great win.
“Some of the lads have really stepped up this season and that happened again on Sunday, with some real quality performances.”
Batting first, opener George Myers hammered an 89-ball 111 alongside a typically aggressive 99-ball 108 not out from wicketkeeper Ross Sedgley, before Sam Moore, originally plucked from second-division Skipton to play in the club’s second team, plundered 53 from just 22 balls to set ’Shaw up with a monstrous 314-3.
Bilton were never really in the reply and contributions throughout the bowling attack saw them rolled away for 162 inside 38 overs to spark celebrations that lasted long into the night.
“We really enjoyed our night,” Lilley admitted, “and I think we deserved to do so. We’ve really pulled together and worked very hard throughout the season.”
This lead up to the success hasn’t been easy. Beckwithshaw, who are 22 points clear at the top of the first division despite defeat to Rawdon on Saturday, had to overcome a double blow following the departures of stalwart all-rounders Yasir Ali and Ishtikkar Hussain to second-division Follifoot.
“The lads have been brilliant all season,” added Lilley. “We lost two really big players in Yas and Ishy over the winter and credit goes to everyone for the way we have responded to that.
“The likes of James, my brother, has had to step up and has really developed his spin, Ollie Hotchkiss has been given an opportunity and has run with it, Stuart Hudson is back bowling well. It’s been a huge team effort.”
Lilley also hailed the resilience of young Kiwi overseas starlet Taylor Williams, who has had to battle through some difficult personal issues throughout his time in the UK.
“Taylor is a great lad and he’s had to deal with the loss of family while he’s been here.
“I was especially pleased for him on Sunday because it’s taken a lot for him to stick it out over here and go through all that on his own.”
The focus now shifts to completing the double, Lilley says, a task that was dented by their 31-run defeat against Rawdon on Saturday.
“We were poor in all departments and never really got going,” he said. “They played well and fully deserved the win. We’ve got some tough games, and, for me, it all comes down to attitude.
“If everyone’s attitude is spot on then we’ll win the league, but, if we go into games with the arrogance of Saturday then we won’t. It’s as simple as that.”
The main beneficiaries of Beckwithshaw’s shock defeat are challengers Burley, who beat Horsforth by six wickets thanks to a maiden Nicky Bulcock hundred, and Otley, who were made to work for their low-scoring two-wicket win against Collingham.
Pool stay fourth after Sam Wilkinson’s 4-17 defended their 138 all out against 122 all out Colton, whilst Ilkley’s assault on the mid-table continued against tumbling Guiseley in the form of a Henry Wilson (4-35) inspired four-wicket win.
Bilton’s weekend might have ended in heartbreak, but it started brightly as they beat North Leeds by 58 runs thanks to the continued bamboozlement of leg spinners Kiel Van Vollenhoven (5-41) and Mustahsan Ali Shah (4-32).
The promotion race from Division Two looks a little clearer after second-placed Ben Rhydding won a low-scoring thriller against fourth-placed Tong Park Esholt, alongside maximum-point victories for top-shots Adel and chasing Follifoot.