PLAYED AT OLD TOWN CC – SUNDAY 1 JULY 2018 Almondbury Wesleyan 223 (Court 46, Shipman 41), Sowerby Bridge 227-8 (Mattock 50, Harrison 49)
If you need a formula for creating the best method of choosing a day to retire from the wonderful world of cricket then look no further than asking Andrew Mellor, the Sowerby Bridge CC stalwart known as ‘The Coach’. Firstly ensure your team is in a cup final, then order from the cricketing Gods some superb weather, add dash of a village ground made to look its serene best and then proceed to manufacture a situation where you are at the wicket, as a not out batsman, to celebrate your team winning the trophy on offer. Easy. Of course you also need some opponents to contribute as Almondbury Wesleyan did with aplomb in an enthralling final that was a credit to both teams and the Halifax League’s Sunday section. The Bridge won the toss and invited Wesleyan’s to bat on a track that looked full of runs but proved to give bowlers some hope, as the odd ball popped up off a length to give the batsmen problems. Opener James Court was in good form as he crafted an excellent 46 runs before being third out at 93-3. Wickets fell at regular intervals after that but most batsmen contributed, Calum Shipman’s 41 runs being the pick of the middle order. The best of the Bridge bowlers was Myles Harrison with his 2-20. However, the downfall of the Huddersfield team was that its all out total of 223 runs came in the 38th over and those missed opportunities to add to the score was the proved to be the difference in the destination of the trophy.
In reply the Bridge’s opening was more measured against some tight Wesleyan bowling, however Lewis Mattock then took the fight to the spinners before losing his wicket after making a half-century, caught out literally as the adrenalin flowed. The momentum created was carried on by Saad Darr (35) and Mathew Harrison (49), the latter taking the score to within 20 runs of the target. With only two wickets remaining the tie was very much still in the balance but enter Shazad Bostan (35 not out) to hit the winning run and seal the win. Alongside him was Mellor who may indeed have done himself some harm as he celebrated joyfully to leave a field for the last time to rapturous applause. Mathew Harrison was adjudged man-of-the match for his 49 runs and 1-22 and skipper Darren Chapman collected the Rod Warhurst Cup for the Bridge - the first time in its 18th year of competition. The last word belonged to match organiser, Jack Carson, who suggested that the number 64 worn by the retiring Mellor was his age! Not so, simply his year of birth but only ten years out as The Coach deservedly puts his feet up.