'˜Vintage weekend' for resurgent New Farnley
AS weekend's go, the last one was pretty much picture perfect for New Farnley.
The Lawns Lane outfit are making waves after an undistinguished start to the campaign and, after inflicting just a second seasonal league loss upon ECB Bradford Premier League leaders Pudsey St Lawrence on Saturday, they backed up with success over Huddersfield League side Scholes to book their place in the Heavy Woollen Cup final.
That takes place against Hoylandswaine at Methley CC on July 31, but before that, Farnley have some important league business to attend to as they set their sights on a top-two finish.
Saturday saw fourth-placed Farnley see off St Lawrence by three wickets with ex-Yorkshire player James Middlebrook making a key contribution with the bat, hitting 48 as the hosts passed St Lawrence’s total of 153-7 in a rain-affected match reduced to 28 overs per side.
Earlier, St Lawrence could muster only 152-9, despite the best efforts of captain James Smith (52).
Mohammed Bilal (3-47 and 26 not out) also had a good day for the victors.
The following day, Middlebrook again came to the party.
He took a super 5-30 as Scholes were dismissed for 140 in replay to New Farnley’s 175, despite looking good at one stage.
In the other last-four tie, Hoylandswaine accounted for surprise semi-finalists Moorlands by six wickets.
On a vintage weekend for Farnley – beaten HW Cup finalists in 2013 – batsman Lee Goddard said: “To be honest, it seems like we are coming together nicely. We have found our fighting spirit, and maybe last season we would have lost both games.
“What is nice is that we are not relying on any one person. Different people are stepping up at different times and delivering the goods.
“We had a slow start, but a lot of teams go through that in a season and hopefully, we had it at the start.
“We have a good side and will back ourselves, although we haven’t yet put a full game together. But on both occasions at the weekend, we fought very hard to become winners. I think momentum is the key word and, hopefully, when the final comes around, we will give Hoylandswaine a good game.
“Looking at the league, I think St Lawrence are going to win it and deservedly so. They are the best all-around team.
“But in my opinion, we are targeting Hanging Heaton and we want to finish second, if we can. If we finish second and possibly win a cup, we have got to be happy with that after a slow start.”
Heaton endured cup woe on Sunday, with their Priestley Cup hopes ending in a 10-run loss to holders Bradford and Bingley in a delayed third-round tie.
Match-winner for B&B was opener Jack Edgar, who hit an outstanding 115 to help them recover from 42-3 to reach 233-8.
Replying, a solid opening stand worth 74 between captain Gary Fellows (41) and Nick Connolly (31) gave the Tewits a platform, but they failed to build on that and were dismissed for 223 as B&B booked a home semi against Woodlands.
The last quarter-final tie between Scholes and Lightcliffe will be played at New Popplewell Lane on Sunday with the winners hosting double-chasing St Lawrence on Sunday week (July 17).