Our run-up to the Examiner Community Awards today profiles the three teams that have made it through to the shortlist for Sports Team of the Year. The winner will be revealed at the glittering awards ceremony hosted by ITN newsreader Nina Hossain on Thursday, May 24. On Monday we will reveal the shortlist for Services to Charity.
Longley Park Kia - genuine, friendly and trustworthy - is a 100% Huddersfield Company and is proud to sponsor the Sports team of the Year Award.
Established in 1981 Longley Park has its roots firmly set in our great town. The dealership is still family owned and run and the positive reputation of Longley Park KIA just grows and grows, proving that the values of a friendly and trustworthy company can succeed in the most competitive retail sector.
Despite difficult trading conditions and a falling new car market, Longley Park had yet another record breaking year in 2017 with sales of over 1,000 vehicles to local customers. And in 2018 Longley Park KIA continues to go from strength to strength, helped by the recent launch of new amazing, products like Stinger and Stonic, along with growing interest in Kia’s amazing hybrid and electric models.
All models are complete with the unique KIA seven year warranty.
Over the years Longley Park KIA have recognised that by building a great team spirit, with a sense of belonging, success can be achieved and maintained. So it is appropriate that this award is sponsored by local dealership Longley Park KIA.
It gives us great delight to name and meet the Sports Team of the Year.
Young Huddersfield cricketers have proved themselves to be the best in Yorkshire.
The team lifted the prestigious Joe Lumb Cup last August – an event set up in 1962 as a competition for young league cricketers within Yorkshire.
The team is made up of the best under 17s junior players who compete in the Sellers Huddersfield Junior Cricket League and are selected by manager Roger Peaker.
He has been helped by Mick Jagger and Keith Parry. Sadly Keith, of Fenay Bridge, died suddenly at the end of last year after 30 years involvement with the Joe Lumb team.
Roger said: “He was a true gentleman and if we win the Joe Lumb trophy again this year then we would like it to be as a tribute to Keith.”
The Joe Lumb competition consists of four rounds followed by the semi-finals and finals and this year they lost at first to Bradford but beat Yorkshire/South Durham, Halifax and Barnsley.
This year Huddersfield captain Jacob Mulhall was named man-of-the-match in their triumph over Bradford.
He hit 51 not out as the Under 17s knocked off a target of just 93 for the loss of two wickets after a stunning bowling performance led by left-arm spinner Will Reeves.
He collected five for 36 from a tremendous 15-over spell and put the skids under the Bradford team.
The win gave Huddersfield a second win from four final appearances in the last six years and meant they had revenge for defeat in last year’s showpiece against Barnsley.
Huddersfield played well as a team, relying on the slow-left arm bowling of Reeves and Ben Shuttlebotham, the leg-spin of Musa Ahmed (Almondbury Wesleyan/Emley) and the pace of Ben Balmforth.
The batting has relied on shot makers such as Rory France and Joe Clough; the big hitting of James Rawlinson (Meltham) and the dogged resistance and leadership of Mulhall who went on to be named the Player of the Year for the Joe Lumb squad. Ben Shufflebotham won the Wilfred Rhodes Memorial Trophy for the best spinner in the Joe Lumb tournament.
The team’s scorer for many years has been Tim Hirst from Honley Cricket Club.
The rise of Underbank Rangers to amateur rugby league’s top division is simply amazing.
They have had three promotions in just four years, often securing promotion against all the odds.
And now they are more than holding their own in the top division of amateur rugby league, the Conference Premier League.
Underbank was formed in 1884 and is the oldest amateur Rugby League club in the world.
Over the last 10 years head coach Richard Knight has brought through some great young players from the club in Holmfirth that has three senior teams and three junior teams.
One of the first team players, Craig Williams, toured Fiji last year with the England Community Lions Team of amateur players and two 22-year-olds, Owen Restall and Sam Rochford, were in the under 23 England Commonwealth Championship team that reached the semi-finals in Australia in February.
Two of the promotions involved the team reaching play-off finals after finishing fifth in their league.
Both times they showed nerves of steel and a battling spirit to win and go up a division.
In the 2015 final against Leigh East they looked doomed at half-time trailing 22-4 but then coach Richard Knight game them a half-time team talk to remember.
Richard said: “I told them they could still win this and exactly why. They then went out and did it even though after the game almost all of them said to me they never really thought they’d turn it around.”
He added: “It is certainly a challenging standard in the Premier League but we have some pretty good players who always do their best. ”
Last year Richard was named Coach of the Year for all the amateur rugby football leagues in a presentation evening held at Old Trafford in Manchester on Super League Grand Final night.
Richard has brought an analytical edge to his coaching. All the games are filmed and he then goes through the film early in the week, cuts it down to the important parts and then shows it to the players on Wednesdays so they can see the areas that need attention and improvement.
When it comes to bowling Huddersfield is the best in Yorkshire.
For Thongsbridge Bowling Club’s first team won the Yorkshire Cup last season to add to three previous wins in recent times.
And the all-conquering team has also won the Huddersfield Subscription Trophy for the last three years which is the cup played for by the teams in the Huddersfield Bowling League’s first division.
And there’s more which makes it a hat-trick of success.
The club’s first team also won the first division of the Mirfield League, widely recognised as the most difficult league to win in Yorkshire attracting 90 teams with some from as far away as South Yorkshire and Leeds as well as Huddersfield.
Thongsbridge Bowling Club president Roy Smith explained: “Many of the players who compete in this league are county players - it’s the creme de la creme of local bowling and an incredibly tough league to win.”
He added: “We have built up a very good squad at Thongsbridge in the last 10 years or so and some of our squad travel big distances to play for us. Many of them play at county level - be that for West Yorkshire or South Yorkshire.”
There are 16 players in the first team squad and 12 can play in any one match.
Thongsbridge Bowling Club celebrates its 100th birthday this autumn and has 16 teams, including four veterans teams and five ladies teams.