CHRIS GILL and Jonny Butterfield blasted a double-century opening stand for Huddersfield’s Under 21 League side to lead them to the final with a White Rose Trophy romp over the Aire/Wharfe League.
Playing on his home Broad Oak ground, Gill and Kirkburton’s Butterfield dominated the visitors’ attack, with both men stroking nine fours in their half-centuries as the top four Aire/Wharfe bowlers all came in for some ‘tap.’
Gill reached his century off 108deliveries with 12 fours and a six, while Butterfield also hit 12 fours in his ton before being dismissed soon afterwards on 101, having put on a splendid 230-run first-wicket stand.
Liam Wiles then hit a quick 23 as Huddersfield began to up the tempo and skipper Arron Lilley (who only last week was the 12th man for Lancashire in the Roses clash at Headingley) then helped Gill put on a further 73 in an unbroken third wicket stand as Huddersfield closed on 328-2, Lilley making 45 not out and Gill carrying his bat for a superb 143, finishing with 15 fours and two sixes.
Prior to the start it was felt Huddersfield might have needed that hefty total as they may have looked a bit light in the bowling attack having lost Scholes’ Tom Brook and Delph’s Adnan Ghous to respective calf and shoulder injuries.
But their loss never posed a problem as Jack Hargreaves, from the host club, accounted for both openers in a lively eight-over spell which yielded two for 23, while Hoylandswaine’s Ben Potter also claimed a deserved wicket when he had Guiseley’s Charlie Best caught behind by Gill – one of four catches for the Broad Oak stumper.
Chasing such a massive total, the visitors were soon well behind the asking rate with some pretty sharp fielding from the Huddersfield side under-pinning their overall command of the game.
When the skipper turned to spin, Steve Brown (believed to be the first Lepton Highlanders’ player to represent the White Rose side) trapped Burley’s Ryan Cooper leg before in his first over, while Lilley completed his full 10-over allocation to finished with two for 37.
Marsden’s Danny Clee and Paddock’s Zahid Ahmed then knocked over the last three men as Aire/Wharfe perished for 199 in the 45th over.
Holders Huddersfield now face the North Yorkshire and South Durham League in the final, in what is a repeat of last year’s final, on Sunday, August 14, with Lilley’s side having home advantage. The venue is still to be confirmed.
DRAKES HUDDERSFIELD v AIRE & WHARFEDALE
Butterfield c Best b Barrow101
Gill not out
Wiles b Barrow
Lilley not out
50 oversTotal (for 2)328
Pearson 4-0-35-0, Amos 5-0-23-0, Johnson 5-0-41-0, Brown 10-0-61-0, Bell 10-0-43-0, Cooper 3-0-22-0, Barrow 7-0-38-2, Swallow 6-0-55-0.
AIRE & WHARFEDALE
Ford c Wiles b Hargreaves8
Davey c Gill b Hargreaves
Cooper lbw b Brown
Best c Gill b Potter
Swallow lbw b Lilley
Bell lbw b Lilley
Brown c Gill b Butterfield
Johnson c Clee
Barrow c Wiles b Clee
Pearson not out
Amos c Gill b Ahmed
43.2 oversTotal 199
Potter 8-1-34-1, Hargreaves 8-2-23-2, Brown 9-1-40-1, Lilley 10-1-37-2, Wiles 2-0-11-0, Butterfield 2-0-12-1, Clee 5-1-28-2, Ahmed 0.2-0-6-1.