Sunday 17th September 2007

The 2007 Wynn Cup Final between holders Oakworth and newly-crowned League Champions Cullingworth at Cure Hill was decided in what many considered the most unsatisfactory manner. Once again persistent rain arrived at tea time and despite a restart play had to be stopped after 3.3 overs of the Oakworth innings.

After deliberations by Craven & District League officials and umpires with captains and vice captains, it was agreed to wait for an improvement in the conditions. Sadly the rain didn't show any sign of ease and the players decided they would like to have a ball out to settle the game. Whilst not entirely happy with the proposal officials and umpires agreed with the unprecedented means of resolving the destination of the league's  premier Cup. Five bowlers were chosen from each side to bowl at the stumps with Cullingworth asked to go first. Chris Welch hit with the first ball, for Oakworth Jason Bilbrough missed. David Hall and Michael Scarborough both missed. David Robinson hit whilst Graham Rankin missed to leave Cullingworth needing one more hit. To take the trophy to Cullingworth, Phil Poole needed to, and successfully, hit the stumps.

It did though look as though the large crowd was going to see the match resolved on the field of play as in intermittent sunshine and windy conditions, Cullingworth won the toss and elected to bat. Dave Cavanagh and Steve Welch opened cautiously and when the latter was bowled by Graham Rankin for 2 the score was only 18 off 10 overs. In the 12th over Rankin got one to hold its line and Aussie Cavanagh was out for 16 caught behind by Tim Walsh. Gareth Marshall went for 4, bowled by Andy Dawson and at the halfway point the Greenwood Terrace side were 49-3. Chris Welch joined Paddy Clarke and the pair put on a sterling 43 for the 5th wicket before Welch was caught and bowled by Jason Bilbrough for 25. Next ball Shane Whitford was caught behind for a golden duck. Skipper Adie Powis managed to see off the hat trick ball and then combined with Clarke to loosen the bowlers' shackles. Skipper Powis was out in the 39 over to a simple caught and bowled chance to Michael Scarborough. He had made 37 which included 1 six and 4 fours. Clarke and Phil Poole then plundered 43 off the last 6 overs to get the score to 193-6. Clarke finished with 72no and Poole 20no. The pick of the Oakworth bowlers was Graham Rankin who put in a fine 12 over spell to finish with 5 maidens, 2 for 29. In the short aggressive reply of 23-0 in 3.3 overs, Drew Duffy was 13no and Steve Hartley 8no.

In the post match presentations, League chairman, Ken Hurst, thanked Oakworth for their sterling efforts with regards to the ground preparations and refreshments. League Secretary Ann Coe presented the trophies on behalf of sponsors, Dacre Son and Hartley to the players and umpires, Warren Burnett and Trevor Coe.

So Cullingworth concluded for them a fabulous season in 2007, equalling Oakworth's record treble of 2001 although their Second XI did not also take their title as with Oaks before them. For Oakworth the loss of both trophies to Cullingworth following on the loss of the Keighley Cup in 2006 was perhaps hard to swallow but rest assured they will be back challenging as hard as ever in 2008.

D Cavanagh caught T Walsh bowled G Ramkin 16
S Welch     bowled G Rankin 2
P Clarke no       72
G Marshall     bowled A Dawson 4
C Welch caught & bowled     J Bilbrough 25
S Whitford caught T Walsh bowled J Bilbrough 0
A Powis caught & Bowled     M Scarborough 37
P Poole no       20
        Extras 15
        Total 193-6
M Scarborough 12-3-40-1        
G Rankin 12-6-29-2        
A Dawson   7-1-30-1        
S Hartley (jnr)   6-1-41-0        
J Bilbrough   8-0-40-2        
S Hartley (snr) no       8
D Duffy no       13
        Extras 2
        Total 23-0
C Welch 2-0-9-0        
G Marshall 1.3-0-13-0        

Wynn Number Five

Sunday 20th August 2006

A horribly wet Sunday greeted all and sundry with memories for Oakworth and the 2001 final played at Cure Hill. The prospects for play were in the hands of the Cowling grounds-man and small workforce, who thankfully ultimately enabled the match to go ahead. League leaders Oakworth won the toss and Tim Walsh asked Thornton skipper Richard Craddock to bat first in view of the unpredictable nature of the surface.

Evergreen Kev Pollard, a regular scourge of Oaks bowlers over the years, and Scott Hudson strode out to face Michael Scarborough. A crowd of some proportion swelled by a vocal contingent from Earby witnessed first blood to Oaks from the third ball when Hudson hooked at Scarborough and was snapped up by the huge hands of Chris White for a 1-1 score-line. It was an earlier than planned entrance for the West Craven side's skipper, who along with most onlookers remained sceptical of the wicket. Fellow opening bowler Graham Rankin was as frugal as ever donating just 7 runs from his first five overs. Pollard took a couple of boundaries from the pace of Michael but generally the pair made only steady but watchful progress. A third way through the innings the score had reached just 43-1 with the opener having taken the lions share of the strike. Craddock (2) had been becalmed unable to come to terms with the difficult batting conditions and his edge was found after 25 balls and Tim Walsh made no mistake for Michael's second scalp. Andy Dawson immediately replaced Michael, whose eight overs had brought 2-23. The entrance of former Earby all-rounder Matt Nutter was met with raucous calls from many to take the fight to Oaks. But he too struggled to move the tins as both batsmen were pinned down by the accuracy of both Michael and Graham. At the twentieth over only 4 runs had been added in five overs as the Thornton supporters began to fret. Pollard though not scoring (only 2 from his last 26 balls) had looked secure and Nutter seemed to be playing himself in for a later assault.

Pressure of course changes everything and in the 22nd over a quick single proved impossible to make and Pollard was run out after a 67 ball vigil of 23 runs at 55-3. Nutter was just getting into his stride and new partner David Holt wasted no time in taking a boundary from Andy. He injected some immediacy for the Thornton cause taking 13 from 18 balls in a 22-run stand with Nutter. Rankin bowled out his full allotment of 12 overs, wicket-less but having conceded only 28 runs off only 17 scoring shots. If Jonny Wilman expected any respite he was sadly mistaken as Jason Bilborough dropped right on the money from the off. His 13 ball stay brought a single before he offered a caught and bowled back to Oaks delighted second change. At 79-5 after 28 overs the innings was at a cross roads; whether to open up and risk a low bowl out or to continue cautiously and have a go towards the end.

Whatever the tactic was, Nutter after a flurry of five boundaries went back into his shell but former Oakworth cricketer Jason Lockley, as always, raised hopes of the former approach but he mustered just five scratched singles before Tim Walsh took his and Jason's second at 91-6. Number eight Rob Foster joined a becalmed Nutter, edging forward with singles. The former Earby high flyer reached 49 but a tremendous overhead catch from Luke Scott stopped him short of his fifty. The innings was in its 37th over and at 101-7 the onslaught would have to come quickly and be very effective to haul the score to more respectable heights. And so Foster took the obvious hint and thrashed out at Jason taking two sixes and a four to at least momentarily speed up proceedings. But it was Jason who had the last laugh clean bowling him for 21 in the 42nd over. Mark Proctor departed for 1 and Mark Laycock a duck, both caught behind off the returning Scarborough.

So the final Thornton tally was 122 with Bilborough pocketing 4-34, Scarborough 4-25 and keeper Tim Walsh 4 catches.

The Earby-Thornton support group again found voice urging Oaks to "have a go" on the still drying wicket. But Steve Hartley and Drew Duffy were not about to throw away a seeming advantage at this stage. Three successive maidens confirmed there would be no early pyrotechnics despite the exhortations. But the seventh over from Richard Craddock proved highly significant as first Drew (1) and then Joel Gallagher (0) were both clean bowled by the cock-a-hoop Thornton skipper. 3-2 was not what Oaks required despite the relative low total to chase. Michael Scarborough came to the crease to join Steve in yet another partnership in a long line going back to 1988. Hartley took 23 balls to get off the mark and similarly Michael scored just 6 off his first 24 received. But the understanding was there; no heroics just grind it out despite the continuing crescendo from the crowd. Craddock was withdrawn after 7 overs with 2-5 and as was Mark Laycock with 0-12. By the 20th over the pairing was still there with 36-2 now registering on the Cowling score-board. Amazingly perhaps Hartley was the more successful of the two with 21 but he was clean bowled by Matt Nutter to the squeals of delight from his fan club. Luke Scott stayed 5 overs making 9 from 20 balls before falling to Mark Paxton, to push the tally up to 55-4. Oaks current master blaster Chris White took an anticipated six from the furious pace of Paxton but he was adjudged lbw to Laycock after making 10 from 10 balls. At 76-5 Oakworth faced an exactly similar situation as had Thornton. First season man Matt Green elected to throw the bat whenever he could and lived dangerously for 26 balls adding 28 with the steadfast Scarborough. Their partnership took Oaks to 104-6, requiring 19 to win with 10 overs in which to get them.

16 balls later it was all over after Michael resisted the temptation to go aerial and stroked three match winning fours to take Oaks passed the winning post at 123-6 with 6.3 overs in hand. Richard Craddock returned 2-25, Laycock 2-38 with one each for Nutter and Paxton. Michael Scarborough's excellent patient knock of 59no included 7 fours and 2 sixes and yet again he deservedly took the man of the match award, just ahead of compadre Jason Bilborough.

So Oakworth claimed their fifth Wynn Cup to add to those of 1995, 2001, 2003 & 2004. Thornton would have immediate opportunity for an early strike back as the two clubs would meet again next week. Oaks remain top of the table and would be seeking the 3 points to add the Championship to the silverware won this day.

Sixth Happiness

Sunday 16th September 2005

As many expected Oakworth captured their fifth Keighley Cup trophy with an emphatic 149-run win over 2005 Giant-Killers Riddlesden at resplendent Lawkholme Lane. It didn't at first seem that the win would be clear cut at all.  By the eighth over Oaks were 27-2 with Joel Gallagher (8) & Drew Duffy (11) contemplating their tea. By the 14th over a victory was looking anything but certain at 45-4 with Michael Scarborough run out for 9 and Jamie Pennington again dismissed lbw this time first ball. Solid defence from Luke Scott helped Graham Rankin stop the rot and 31 runs came for the 5th wicket. Luke was caught for 12 (28 balls) which brought skipper Tim Walsh to the crease. He made but 9 to give A Khan his third victim with impressive figures of 3-24 at that point. Not renowned for his stonewalling capability Chris White set about upping the run rate  with four boundaries and a signature six although he lost Graham's company early doors for a patient 25 from 53 balls. Soon after Jason Bilborough too departed at 104-8 to leave Oaks in spot of deepish doo-dah. Number 10 Andy Dawson wasn't about to throw his wicket away with 16 overs still to unfold and he steadied the wobbly ship with Chris. The pair added 32 before Chris went inevitably caught for 28 (22 balls) by Kevin Lawler. The score board read 136-9 and the bookies sensed a massive upset in prospect. They could not have been more wrong. For Jeff Inman, playing in his 64th Keighley Cup-tie, a chance to bat for 10 overs seemed too good an opportunity to miss and an additional 54 runs were taken for the last wicket !!! Andy was superb taking 41 off 48 balls whilst Jeff picked off 14 from his 32. When sadly Andy fell to a catch off Mick Bailey the Lawkholme tins now read 190 all out.

The Oakworth strength in bowling now had something to defend and the strangulation of the plucky Third Division side began in earnest. The fifth over brought the first scalp for Michael Scarborough and the eighth one for Graham Rankin. By the 12th it was 11-3 and by the 14th a very wobbly 20-4. Jeff Inman had been introduced early  (11th over) and his brand of "Warnies" left the Riddlesden batsmen bemused.



Only Kevin Lawler was able to remain unbowed for 52 balls but he mustered only 10 runs being 7th out at 31-7 and ultimately the top scorer. The whole Riddlesden innings was wrapped up inside 30 overs for just 41 all out. Chris White cleaned up the tail with 2-6.

The Cup was gratefully received by Tim Walsh at sun-bedecked Lawkholme Lane sporting a healthy crowd of paying customers. It was Oaks third win in six years since the reformation of the Cup competition. Andy Dawson was pipped for the Man-of-the-Match award by Jeff Inman whose 4-13 executed the job which he helped Andy start.