Priestley Cup Final: Sarfraz Ahmed ends time with Woodlands on perfect high with win over Pudsey St Lawrence

HAPPY ENDING: Woodlands's Sarfraz AhmedHAPPY ENDING: Woodlands's Sarfraz Ahmed
HAPPY ENDING: Woodlands's Sarfraz Ahmed
Woodlands gave retiring overseas star Sarfraz Ahmed the perfect finale to his career with a crushing 115-run Priestley Cup triumph over Pudsey St Lawrence.

It was Ahmed’s sixth final and his second win and was a fitting way to end 16 outstanding years of service to the club.

Having chosen to bat, Woodlands made an encouraging start, openers Sam Frankland (44) and Tim Jackson (41) putting on 83. But after they departed No 3 Logan Weston, who was ninth out on 49, struggled to find partners to stay with him.

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Chris Brice (17) and Scott Richardson (24no) tried to inject some impetus, the latter hitting a four and a six off the final over, but Woodlands’ 214-9 was less than they might have hoped for early in the innings.

Sarfraz Ahmed, who was given a guard of honour by his team-mates when they took to the field, soon calmed any Woodland doubts when he had Saints’ prolific opener Mark Robertshaw adjudged lbw with the score at 18.

Accurate bowling from Brice and Scott Richardson then put a stranglehold on the run rate and this time it was Callum Goldthorp struggling to find a partner as Brice added to the pressure with three wickets.

Smart work from Greg Finn ran out Chris Marsden for a duck, so that at the halfway stage, Saints still needed 160 at more than six an over.

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Saints hopes that the end of Brice’s 10-over, 3-14 spell, might see them step up the attack were quickly thwarted when Kez Ahmed picked up three wickets in two overs including Goldthorp for 28.

Fittingly, Sarfraz Ahmed returned to the attack to claim the scalp of Steve Watts and Kez Ahmed took his figures to 4-11 when he had Matthew Duce caught for 21 to spark massive Woodlands celebrations.