Woodlands triumphant in Heavy Woollen Cup thriller

Heavy Woollen Cup winners Woodlands.
Heavy Woollen Cup winners Woodlands.

Woodlands tasted Heavy Woollen Cup final success for the first time in 11 years as they overcame Hoylandswaine in a thrilling final at Ossett last Sunday.

Woodlands were without talisman captain Pieter Swanepoel and for much of the game appeared to be heading for defeat until a dramatic twist saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Huddersfield League champions Hoylandswaine looked to be cantering to victory as they reached 81-0 in reply to the Woodlands total of 182.

Despite needing just 102 runs to win from 30 overs, Hoylandswaine’s wily old wicketkeeper batsman Alan Mynett offered words of caution during a walk round the boundary.

Mynett has been involved in many dramatic matches during his long career at the highest level of Yorkshire club cricket but not even the former Hanging Heaton player could have predicted the drama which was to follow.

Gharib Nawaz hit 60 from just 37 balls but when he was out, followed soon after by Alex Morris, trapped lbw by Chris Brice for 18, Woodlands had a glimmer of hope.

It was the introduction of Scott Richardson that swung the pendulum Woodlands way as he ripped the heart of the Hoylandswaine batting by claiming 5-43 from 10 overs.

Richardson had the dangerous Ryan Robinson caught by Duncan Snell as Hoylandswaine slipped to 98-3.

Grant Soames trapped SP Singh lbw for 14 and the very next over Max Joice was caught behind by Greg Finn off the bowling of Scott Richardson and at 113-5, Woodlands had real hope of pulling off a surprise win.

Ben Potter was caught by Jordan Laban off the bowling of Richardson, who then trapped Hoylandswaine captain Richard Wilkinson lbw for 0.

Half an hour after predicting he would be needed to bat, Mynett strode to the crease with his side deep in trouble at 120-7.

The returning Brice trapped Mynett lbw for nought and when Keswick Williams became Brice’s third victim, nine wickets had fallen for just 64 runs.

Elliot Richardson sparked wild celebrations among Woodlands players and spectators when he bowled Javed Iqbal for nine and a stunned Hoylandswaine had been bowled out for 148.

Woodlands had earlier been asked to bat first on a drying wicket, which offered assistance to the bowlers.

Minor counties player Logan Weston top scored with 59, from 76 balls, including six fours and a six, while captain for the day Sam Frankland made 25 at the top of the Woodlands innings.

However, they slipped to 70-5 in the face of some impressive bowling by Javed Iqbal (4-29) and overseas pace bowler Williams (2-31).

Despite rallying late in the innings, the Woodlands total of 182 all out looked below par but with impressive bowling from Brice, Scott Richardson and Sarfraz Ahmed, who conceded just eight runs from eight overs, saw them pull of a superb win and ensure England’s oldest cup will take pride of place in their trophy cabinet.