Yorkshire Leagues: Pudsey St Lawrence prevail without playing after rain ruins title deciders

Jack Edgar.
Jack Edgar.
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The long-hot summer finally gave way to rain, wrecking what was the last day of the season for many leagues and thwarting the much-anticipated Yorkshire North championship decider between York and Woodhouse Grange.

But New Farnley managed to play the only game of the Bradford Premier programme giving title rivals Pudsey St Lawrence a nerve-wracking afternoon. Would the championship be snatched from their grasp as they sat kicking their heels in the dressing room?

It was a big ask for Farnley. They not only had to win the match but also pick up at least seven bonus points with only 26 overs per side to do it.

That looked unlikely when they slumped to 29-3 but captain David Cummings (22) Billy Whitford (35) steadied things and with useful contributions from Richard Atkins, Ajmal Shahzad, David McCallum and Andrew Brewster they reached 156-8 and two bonus points.

They now needed to bowl out the Bees to claim the crown but despite Cummings throwing five bowlers into the mix, the visitors, led by Jack Edgar (55no) stubbornly hung on.

Their final 99-2 meant just one bowling bonus and the Saints were able to celebrate although admitting on Twitter: “What a stressful afternoon. Would have been heart-breaking to have been beaten by the weather. Well played to New Farnley and a huge amount of gratitude to Bradford & Bingley. Phew!”

Saints now play Great Ayton, top Yorkshire side in the NYSD, in the Yorkshire Championship semi-final at Scarborough on Saturday.

At the other end of the Bradford Premier table, East Bierley and Scholes are relegated, to be replaced next season by Wrenthorpe and Undercliffe.

York take the Yorkshire North title and will play Yorkshire South champions Wakefield Thornes at Doncaster in the other Championship semi-final.

Driffield Town and Acomb, meanwhile, are relegated from Yorkshire North to be replaced by Dunnington and Beverley Town.

Wakefield Thornes were one of the sides whose match was abandoned after making a start, bowled out for 155 by Whitley Hall with Callum Bethel taking 5-33. James Wolfenden was top scorer with 60.

Robert Heyes (3-18), Craig Moffat (4-21) and Humphrey Emery (3-33) skittled out Treeton for 92, Chris Cobb contributing 34 but play was halted before Hallam could respond.

And there was a similar situation at Barnsley where Aston Hall were dismissed for 95 with Oliver Jackson (6-19) and Harry Ashton (3-22) doing the damage before rain intervened.

Isaac Spencer-Jones (37) and Tom Knight (26) helped Wickersley to 126-9 before their match against Yorkshire South runners-up, Sheffield Collegiate, was called off.

Appleby Frodingham and Whiston PC are the sides going down from Yorkshire South with Elsecar and Tickhill taking their places.

Even the gloom couldn’t stop Huddersfield League champions Hoylandswaine racing to 212-5 in 36 overs before their match against Honley was stopped. S P Singh was once again their top scorer, hitting an unbeaten 83 with ten fours and three sixes.

Andrew Fortis cracked seven fours and two sixes in an unbeaten half century but Moorlands had only reached 88-2 at Mirfield PC when the umpires called it off.

Sean Mee (61) top-scored in Broad Oak’s 216 with Cawthorne’s Luke Robinson and Jacob Deavin-Baker each picking up four wickets.

The Huddersfield League still has another week to run, as does the Aire Wharfe whose complete programme was washed out.

Otley, who have a two-point lead at the top of Division One, entertain Horsforth on Saturday while second-placed Burley travel to Guiseley in what is bound to be a nail-biting afternoon.

And there are still promotion places at stake in both Division Two and Three.

It just needs the rain to hold off.