WOODLANDS may have prevailed in Saturday’s table-topping showdown with Pudsey St Lawrence, but the real winner was the Bradford League.
That’s the considered view of Woodlands secretary Brian Pearson, who took understandable pleasurable in not just his team’s win, but the quality on show from both sides with a pulsating encounter being the best advertisement possible for a league considered to be among the best in the country.
Teenage paceman Elliot Richardson (4-52) and Logan Weston (54no) may have provided the match-winning contributions for second-placed Woodlands, who held their nerve to reply with 179-9 after leaders Lawrence opened with 176-9 – to cut their lead to 14 points.
But plenty of other contributions arrived in a high-class encounter, not least from visiting batsman Adam Waite (72), with it left to Richardson to see Woodlands home with the bat at the death.
Pearson said: “For Pudsey, Woodlands and the Bradford League, it was a big game as had Pudsey won, it might will have meant the end of the competition – it would certainly have made it very difficult for anyone to catch them.
“So the result keeps the competition alive which is a good thing for the league and there are other teams winning below them such as Hanging Heaton and Cleckheaton and the result has compacted the table.
“It was a lovely day and a number of neutrals were there for a big game and what I’d say is the game itself was a credit to the Bradford League in terms of what the standards are at the moment.
“It was played to a really high standard. Waite battled superbly for Pudsey as we bowled expertly well and our bowling changes were good and we fielded really well.
“A few neutrals who were there came to me and said that they had been around other leagues and could see just how high the standard of the Bradford League is.
“They wouldn’t have been disappointed in the second half. Pudsey, as you would expect, never gave up and the game ebbed and flowed and we were in front and then they were and there was drama at the end when everyone in the ground was spellbound.
“You could tell at the end what it meant to both sides. We were obviously elated and they were down as it meant a lot to them.”
Another cracker saw third-placed Hanging Heaton chase down New Farnley’s big total of 274-5 to triumph.
Gary Fellows (67) and Nick Connolly (66) helped the Tewits total 277-5, amassing 134 for the first wicket.
Earlier, Lee Goddard had struck an impressive unbeaten 68 for Farnley.