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Priestley Cup final report
Updated: Friday, January 1, 2016 18:20
Sovereign Health Care Priestley Cup final Bradford & Bingley v Lightcliffe, Sunday, August 30 at Wagon Lane
Phil Slater
Bradford & Bingley skipper Phil Slater holds the Sovereign Health Care Priestley Cup
Picture: ©Mikle Baker, JCT600 Bradford League


Bradford & Bingley lifted the Sovereign Health Care Priestley Cup for the third time with a convincing 106-run win overLightcliffe at Wagon Lane.

Matthew Simpson
Matthew Simpson sends down a quick delivery
Charlie Best
Bradford & Bingley's Charlie Best hits out
Suleman Khan
Lightcliffe's top scorer Suleman Khan
PIctures: ©Mike Baker JCT600 Nradford League

Their match-winner was paceman Matthew Simpson who was playing in his first final. He took 4-33 to rip the heart out of the Lightcliffe top order as they replied to Bradford & Bingley's 237-7.

Five years ago he was playing his cricket in the Craven League, but after being spotted by Saltaire and spending one season with the Roberts Park club, he has made his mark at Wagon Lane.

Lightcliffe's hopes of a second cup final triumph in two years were left in tatters when they plunged to 46-5 as Simpson and his young new-ball partner Jack Hartley bowled with real fire.

Overseas player Suleman Khan tried to take the fight to Bradford & Bingley. He made 47 from 45 balls, with two sixes and five fours, before falling victim to Slater with his half-century in sight.

Wicketkeeper Mark Horne was the second-top scorer with 22 as Lightcliffe were bowled out for 131. Their cup final challenge was finally laid to rest when Slater dismissed Daanyaal Ahmed to spark Bingley's celebrations.

Wicketkeeper Charlie Best finished with four catches to go with his top score of 50 which was also a key component of Bingley's success.

He came to the wicket after openers Slater and Scott Etherington had made a watchful start against some accurate bowling from Rob Burton and Jonathan Whiteoak.

Best, who has been in good form recently, got his head down and made his half-century from 95 balls. It contained only three fours, but he provided his side with the platform to accelerate the scoring in the closing stages of the innings.

Ryan Cooper tempered his normally aggressive game to make an important 47 from 70 balls in a third-wicket stand of 60 with Best as Lightcliffe brought their four spin bowlers into the fray.

When Best departed, Bradford & Bingley were 140-3 with 9.4 overs of their innings remaining. It was at this point that they pressed the accelerator pedal. Chris Thompson hit two sixes in a breezy 26 as 93 runs were scored from the last 58 balls to push the score to a challenging 237-7.

Left-arm spinner Chris Greenwood was both the most successful Lightcliffe bowler and their most expensive, with 4-68. Rob Burton (1-26) and off spinner Josh Wheatley (0-28) bowled their ten over spells economically, but this wasn't to be Lightcliffe's day.

The glory belonged to Bradford & Bingley, but Lightcliffe can take satisfaction from the way they fought their way to the final with wins over Cleckheaton and Pudsey Congs in a season that has been a real test for them.

Bradford & Bingley, like Lightcliffe, have been inconsistent in the league, but that will be forgotten after winning silverware for the first time in five years.







Slater and Simpson
Man of the match Matthew Simpson and skipper Phil Slater with the magnificent Priestley Cup
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