THERE was a veritable ‘wicket-fest’ at Holmfirth as Thongsbridge booked their place in the Oddfellows Cup final after a low-scoring nail-biting scrap with their Holme Valley neighbours.
Remarkably, 20 wickets fell in the day for just 180 runs in only 55 overs before Cedar Court Conference promotion hopefuls Thongsbridge set up a final showdown with Championship leaders Clayton West.
Batting first Thongsbridge lost their first four men for just four runs to Sam Denton (three for 31) and Chris Cowell (one for 26), before Alex Kemp (31) and Ijaz Shah (23) performed a mini-rescue act, only for two more wickets to crash leaving the Miry Lane side on 42-6.
John Thompson (15no) helped them just top the 100 mark, but Championship club Holmfirth must have been delighted to be chasing just 107 for victory!
However, Shah (seven for 29) caused no end of panic in the home camp as they shuttered to an incredible eight for seven before Brett Thornton (17) and Max Morley (37) staged a fightback. But despite putting on 31 for the last wicket with Javed Iqbal junior (14no), Morley finally perished to leave Holmfirth all out for 74.
The second semi-final was in complete contract with Clayton West racing to 293-6 thanks to a brilliant ton from Stuart Rank who gave opener and skipper Mark Firth 50 start before charging his way to a match-winning 107.
Firth finally went for 87 having put on 133 for the third wicket with Rank, and then Daniel Del Prete added an unbeaten 45 to power Clayton close to 300.
Linthwaite lost their first two wickets for just five when they replied, but the middle order fought back through Saifur Rehman (51), Sajid Bashir (79) and Nadeem Ishaq (42) before falling 30 runs short at 264 all out.
Late registrations - Kirkburton: Matthew Crookes (j). Scholes: Jack Cooper (j).