East Ardsley on the up but lose out in Jack Hampshire Cup final
East Ardsley had a mixed, but exciting final weekend in the 2021 Gordon Rigg Bradford League season with promotion celebrated on Saturday and the agony of losing out in the Jack Hampshire Cup final a day later.
In both the league and the cup they have finished runners-up to Jer Lane, but the club can look back on a fine campaign and a strong finish that continued when they eased to an eight-wicket win over Hunslet Nelson.
The bowlers paved the way as Hunslet were bowled out for only 78 with Jonathan Macgregor taking 4-14 and Scott Mullins 4-15.
Josh Wild (32no) then guided Ardsley to the win that enabled them to finish ahead of promotion rivals Hopton Mills.
Third-place Mills made 307-8 as they beat Wakefield St Michael’s by 179 runs.
Opener Chris Scott led the way with 131, while Kashif Najam picked up 4-65.
St Michael’s never looked likely to chase down the big target, although Lawrence Morton did hit 68, hitting 10 fours and three sixes, in their 128 score.
East Ardsley, meanwhile, went into Sunday’s cup final at the Spen Victoria ground in fine fettle, but lost by 52 runs to Jer Lane, who made it a hat-trick of trophy successes in 2021.
Centuries from opener Farakh Hussain (107) and Cosmond Walters (101) put Lane in control and helped them to pile up a big 306-5 total from 40 overs despite them being put in. Ibrar Younis also hammered 52no from 23 balls while Louie Hurley (3-42) was the pick of the Ardsley bowlers.
Ardsley had a good go at reaching the target set, but fell behind the daunting asking rate and ended on 254-9.
Simon Tucker gave them early hope with a knock of 31 from 24 balls, but he was dismissed just as he was looking dangerous as was Hurley, who made 27.
When they were reduced to 142-7 it looked all over, but skipper Richard Vigars and Ashley Pearson took the fight back to Lane as they combined for an 111-run stand for the eighth wicket.
Vigars hit 61 from 46 balls and Pearson made 48 from 51, but both were dismissed to finally end Ardsley’s hopes.
Back in the Bradford League, Sandal signed off with a 31-run loss to Buttershaw St Paul’s on Sunday, which left them with a fifth place finish in Division Two.
In a high scoring game, Buttershaw posted a 303 total before Sandal made 272-9.
Christopher Gibson hit 63 in vain, Leighton Shuttleworth contributed 50 and Mukesh Balaganeshan 39.
Amjid Sadiq (3-47) and Lee Geldard (3-55) did most to restrict the St Paul’s batsmen.
A day earlier Sandal beat Scholes by nine wickets.
A good effort in the field paved the way with Geldard (4-10) leading the bowling attack that dismissed Scholes for 78.
An unbeaten 39 from Brandon Hewlett, who also took two wickets with the ball, brought Sandal home for victory, with Leighton Shuttleworth also hitting 33no.
Division One champions Ossett fittingly ended their excellent season with victory as they defeated Gomersal by 68 runs.
George Hadfield (59), Rishin Patabedige (46), Marcus Walmsley (33), Bradley Wood (25) and Sajith Warnakulasuriya (25) all contributed as Ossett posted a 234-9 total.
Gomersal were not bowled out in their reply, but could not keep up with the run rate required and ended on 166-7 with Matthew Varley taking 3-41.
Altofts have had a disappointing season, finishing in tenth place in Division Three, but they ended their campaign on a high note with a 171-run win over Rodley.
Skipper Jordan Carter led from the front with 67 as Altofts made 243. Support came from Elliott Carter (46), Ben Walsh (41) and Louis Holt (41) before Holt (3-6) and David Robson (3-25) helped bowl Rodley out for 72.