Neil Longhurst is the hero as Whitley Hall clinch play-off title

Neil Longhurst hit 10 runs off three balls to reach his half-century and clinch the Yorkshire South Premier title for Whitley Hall in their play-off final against Doncaster Town at Treeton on Saturday.

Neil Longhurst: Sealed success with a flourish against Doncaster Town in final.
Neil Longhurst: Sealed success with a flourish against Doncaster Town in final.

With the exception of Bilal Anjam (47) and James Ward (39 not out off 33 balls), Town’s batting never really got going after a brisk start from James Stuart and Duncan Heath.

Both were dismissed by Abhishek Kulkarni, and with Biswick Kapala taking the wicket of Charlie Kaye, Doncaster were 46-3 and they could only post a target of 167-9 after having won the toss.

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Hall lost a couple of wickets with the score on eight but Longhurst then teamed up with Matthew Cartwright (20) in a stand of 46.

Man-of-the-match Longhurst followed that with a 69-run partnership with Danial Rafiq (51 off 56 balls) on his way to 54 not out, and his final 4-4-2 flourish ensured Whitley Hall picked up the Jack Bland Trophy.

It has been a challenging season for all league cricketers, campaigns being shortened and with many restrictions being imposed due to the coronavirus crisis but few clubs will have felt as frustrated as Pudsey St Lawrence and Townville.

Having battled through the season for the right to meet in the Bradford Premier final, they were denied the chance to take the title when the match had to be cancelled because of a positive Covid-19 test.

Otley retained the Aire Wharfe crown with a week to spare after a comfortable 10-wicket win over Saltaire.

James Davies took 4-37 as Saltaire were dismissed for 141 and Alex Atkinson hit eight fours and four sixes in an unbeaten 86 as he and Tom Brady (26no) clinched the win that maintains Otley’s 100 per cent record this season and their third title in a row.

Richard Porter (61) and James Dobson (45) were leading scorers in Rawdon’s 189 before Jake Hodges (6-31) and Andrew Doidge (4-17) skittled Ilkley for 51, with 31 of those coming from Alex Bailey.

Sam Fox took 4-49 as Horsforth were restricted to 156 before an unbeaten stand of 90 between Joe Hall (67no) and Jason Wright (42no) clinched a comfortable win for Burley.

Richard Atkins (74) and Ted Haggas, with a lively 82, including eight fours and five sixes, helped Addingham to 232-9 before Atkins turned in a match-winning 5-32 spell to dismiss North Leeds for 169 in which Taran Chana made 61.

Chasing Bilton’s 168-9, Olicanian looked in with a chance of breaking their season’s duck when Daniel Revis hit 65.

Captain Neil McLelland took up the fight and, with one wicket left, put them within four of a first victory with a six off Sam Dale. But two balls later, Dale bowled him.

Olicanian still have a chance to avoid relegation as Follifoot stayed in their sights with defeat to Collingham.

A seventh-wicket stand of 41 between Steve James (37) and Jacob Druscher (30) was the highlight of Collingham’s 163 total, before Druscher (4-20) and Charlie Swallow (3-9) saw Follifoot crash out for just 81.