A HALF-CENTURY from Richard Whiteoak and a four-wicket haul from Steve Jennings brought Elland a convincing semi-final victory over Paddock Shield holders Meltham.
Batting first, veteran Whiteoak hit six fours in making 52 before being run out. But he was well supported by several useful contributions from Reece Jennison (31) and Kamran Hussain as Elland set a useful target of 202 at Hullen Edge.
Simon Kenworthy was the pick of Meltham’s bowlers with three for 50 and, as it turned out, he was the only batsman as the holders quickly slumped to 16-5 with Mark Ward and Hussain taking out the top four cheaply.
Only Kenworthy resisted Elland’s four-pronged attack with a fighting 52 and was the only player to reach double figures as they crumbled to 88 all out.
Jennings took four for 42, and Jez Firth grabbing the other two wickets to fall.
The other semi-final featured regular finalists Skelmanthorpe against Shepley at Lidgett Lane, and once again it was pretty much a one-side affair as the visitors coasted to the final, winning with a massive 131-run margin.
Shepley’s top four were all in the runs, led by Nigel Hoyle who anchored the innings with a steady unbeaten 89, after Ashley Littlewood (27) and Ian Parry (40) had put on 51 for the first wicket.
And the visitors’ total of 223-9 always looked likely to be more than enough after Skelmanthorpe lost their first three men for only 14.
Old hand Phil Redgewick, with 23, was Skelmanthorpe’s top-scorer with 23 as wickets tumbled regularly to two of Shepley’s bright young prospects Sam Denton (three for five) and Oliver Huntingdon (four for four) and were eventually rolled over for 92.
And Shepley were rewarded by gaining home advantage in the final against Elland on Sunday, August 17, when the draw was made by League chairman Roger France.
The Premiership leaders, Kirkburton, suffered a rare reversal at the hands of Scholes, who edged a thrilling victory by one wicket.
Mike Smith hit 66 for Burton, but the home side stuttered to 143-6, Richard Wimpenny claiming three for 50.
Louis Sykes made 37 in reply for Scholes, but they too struggled on the Riley Lane track, and in needed 31 from No8 Gareth Wakefield to edge them near their target before last man Joe Hinchliffe sealed it.