WOODLANDS skipper Pieter Swanepoel has revealed that some harsh words were said in the visiting dressing rooms after their Heavy Woollen Cup exit at Kirkburton on Sunday.
The Bradford League heavyweights were sent packing out of the competition in a five-wicket exit to their Drakes Huddersfield League counterparts, with ex-Tykes seamer Swanepoel admitting his side paid the price for some careless batting.
Sent into bat, Woodlands – riding high at the top of the Bradford League and in the last eight of the Priestley Cup – never truly recovered from losing their top order cheaply.
That left them on the ropes at 32-4, with Duncan Snell, Sam Frankland, Simon Mason and Scott Richardson jnr all dismissed for low scorers.
Middle-order men Chris Brice (36) and Usman Salim (36) did their best to get proceedings back on track in a 80-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but their target of 220 was eminently achievable.
Replying, Kirkburton came home at 222-5 to book their place in the semi-finals, with an unbeaten stand worth 104 for the sixth wicket between Jonathan Butterfield (78no) and Usman Malvi (67no) seeing them home in 47.2 overs.
The defeat represented a reality check to Woodlands, according to Swanepoel, who says his side need to adjust to the fact that they are the team everyone wants to beat, whether it be in league or cup.
Swanepoel, who took 3-52 with the ball for Woodlands, said: “I play my cricket to win games and get my enjoyment from winning them and we have high standards and there were a few harsh words afterwards.
“We are going into a tricky period at the minute with some really tough games coming up, especially this week, so we need to get better.
“Over the past 10 seasons, we’ve been there or thereabouts in competitions and a lot of teams do look up to you and are looking out to beat us.
“Teams love to knock a champion and you have to take it.
“We lost the toss on a greenish wicket and it wasn’t that bad and I’d have batted if we’d won the toss.
“In the end, our batting let us down a bit and the top order needed to take a bit more responsibility on a wicket like that.
“We were about 20 or 30 runs short in the end.
“Sometimes, we can underestimate these sort of sides (Kirkburton) and they came out and really wanted to beat us and we need to be on our mettle more and get really fired up for these games.”
No motivation should be required for Woodlands’ key double header in league and Priestley Cup this weekend against rivals Pudsey St Lawrence and it’s a dual occasion that Swanepoel and his team-mates are looking forward to.
He added: “They are having a good run and have always been a good side in the seasons I have been playing.
“In the early parts of the season, they have been in the top three or four in the league and I think their batting is quite strong.
“They have also recruited well in the bowling department with Richie Lamb and Ollie Ashford and with Chris Marsden and Tom Hudson doing really well, they have a good balanced attack there, with Craig Wiseman also.
“It will two tough games of cricket, but we are looking forward to them both.
The HW Cup quarter-final between Saddleworth-based outfit Delph and Dobcross and Pudsey Congs has been rearranged for June 22.