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FIELDS YOUNG GUNS RULE BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY

The U15 and U17 Romwear Collinson Cup Finals took place at a Sunkist Bradshaw CC on Monday 29th August.
With a virtual batting cage, Cricket equipment stall, barbecue, tea hut and bar there was something for everyone on show on a fantastic Bank Holiday.
To top it all off we witnessed some of the best local cricket has to offer and stars of our league for years to come.
The U15 final kicked off proceedings and Fields’ Captain Jacob Slator won the toss and elected to field on a good looking strip.
Blackley’s start stuttered and they found themselves 11-3 in the first 4 overs losing Sam Hesmondhalgh (c & bowled by Naylor)and George Barton (Run Out)for ducks and Lewis Holt (bowled by Walgate) for 9. James Mindham and Tom Burley provided some much needed stability to the innings at this point and they then managed to accelerate the score to 41 (from 11 overs)before Mindham (27) was bowled by Luke Smith. Another mini collapse ensued with Slator and Kyle Welsh getting in on the act finishing with 3-2-2-1 and 3-0-11-2 respectively and plunging Blackley to 58/6.  A few extras later and a cameo from skipper Dev Patel and Blackley ended their innings on 83 – 7.
The pundits thought this was about 25 short and when openers Slator and Welsh got stuck into some wayward bowling early on the prediction looked sound. However Slator fell to change bowler, Lewis Holt for 12 and Holt then proceeded to remove semi-final hero Todd Reeday without troubling the CricHQ scorer. 16-2 from 5 overs – Blackley were determined to make a fist of it. Holt made further inroads into the Fields line up finishing with 3-1-3-2. Skipper Patel was doing all he could to disrupt the batting flow and multiple bowling changes and ends made it difficult for Fields to dominate. However, they finally found the foot hole they needed and Coates and Farley blasted their way  to victory (87-6) with 2 overs to spare finishing on 14 (from 12 balls) and 10 (from 11 balls).
A great final with some good individual performances.
Peter Taylor selected Kyle Welsh as his MOM with 21 and 2 for 11.
The U17 final was predicted to be a more one sided affair. Northowram Fields U17 side is probably, player for player, one of the strongest U17 sides this League has ever produced. Blackley’s U17 team consisted of 7 of the U15 team that had played in the mornings match.
Winning the toss Fields again decided to bowl first and a similar pattern emerged with Blackley losing early wickets. Todd Reeday performing better in game 2 picked up the early wickets of  Fryer (5) and Holt (1). Once again it was lads called Mindham who changed the game. James and younger brother Sam both dug in and took Blackley from 16-2 to 52-3 when Sam was controversially run out for 14, the grounding of the bat the question. Captain Ben Pedley joined the fray and he and James continued to punish the Fields attack, even smashing key bowler Louis Cockburn for 13 in his solitary over. Mindham finally fell for another solid score of 24 and Dan Colehan, following in his legendary father Greg’s foot steps (Bradford League and Bankfoot 1000+ wickets in 1st XI cricket), picked off Sam Hesmondhalgh for a duck. Pedley stood firm scoring 32 from 22 balls before succumbing to the returning and outstanding Reeday (4-0-12-3) on his return. Last years U13 MOM Sam Roberts added a further quick fire 10no as Blackley ended with a respectable 111-6 from their 20 overs.
Fields reply was devastating in its brutality. Matty Crowther (29) and Jacob Slator (51 retired) took the game to the Blackley bowlers and reached 60 in the 8th over before Crowther fell after hitting six 4s in his 23 ball knock. Slator continued the onslaught with assistance from Cockburn before he reached his retirement target after only 42 balls and nine fours. Hough and Cockburn saw the game home in just under 15 overs and Fields were crowned U17 champions.
Its worth noting that many of the players for both sides are still U15 and some are U13 years of age. The very fact these young men are playing, some at 4 years their senior, is a testament to their own self belief and to the quality of coaching they are receiving at their home clubs.
Both Northowram Fields CC and Blackley CC should feel proud that so many of their young players represent them so well. All the players on show, throughout the day, won and lost with respect, decorum and a spirit that should be held ads the exemplar and embodiment of the game.
As adults we could learn a lot from their great example.
Again I will finish with the following thanks:
To Bradshaw CC, Chairman Shaun Charnley, ground staff led by Martin Crowther and all the volunteers, tea ladies and bar staff. Your ground was a picture and we are grateful for your support. The day was well run, well supported and thoroughly enjoyable. You deserve the utmost credit and praise.
To Geoff Wright, who once again volunteered for the Junior League to present the awards – Geoff is a proud fan of junior cricket and we are grateful for his friendship and continued support.
To Paul Hutchison and Romwear for sponsoring the Collinson Cup completion.
To Adam Brown and Bear Cricket who sponsored the Man of the Match prizes for both finals and manned his stall all day giving advice to young and old alike
To Peter Taylor for deciding the MOM awards for both matches and his stalwart good lady Joan who never left the tea hut all day
To Bat fast Cage and Netting Company who provided entertainment all day with their batting simulator
And last but not least to Kirstin Smith who manned the music station all day for entrance and exit and without whom the day would not have functioned.
I look forward to the next 12 months with optimism and hope and know if we work hard together we can have days similar to today for years to come.
Phil Sharples
HJCL Chair
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