Kirkheaton skipper Richard Hall praised his side’s determination after producing a near flawless performance to lift the Oddfellows Cup.

The Cedar Court Conference leaders scored a 34-run victory over Jedi Sports Championship side Almondbury Wesleyans in front of a big crowd at Bankfield Lane.

After Hall won the toss, Kirkheaton posted 200-6 and then bowled out the visitors for 166 – with 15-year-old Nathan Swift taking four for 32 in his 10 overs.

“It means a hell of a lot to us to win it and it was a real team performance,” said Hall, who led the club to the Sykes Cup final last time he was skipper 10 years ago.

“The final was played in a really good spirit and Wesleyans are a good team, but we really showed we wanted the victory and everything went just about perfectly for us.

“We batted well, bowled well and fielded well – taking some good catches – and I could tell we were ‘up for it’ beforehand because everyone was nervous and determined to do their best.

“I’m delighted for the lads because they all play for each other – it’s not about individuals – and hopefully we can not only use it as a springboard to go on and win promotion, but it will show the young lads coming through that they can be successful at this level by playing as a team.”

Shebak Khan had 36 at the top of the Kirkheaton order and Arron Charlton a solid 17, while leading run-scorer Salman Sayed hit a fine 59 before being one of three run-outs in the innings.

Keeper Jonathan Lodge then hit a quickfire 40 to take the home side to the psychological barrier of 200.

In the Wesleyans reply, No6 Daniel Moorhouse top scored with 43 after Saqib Matlub (17) and Jack Ghee (28) had started a recovery from the loss of early wickets, and while Jonathan Hoyle hit 21 and Chris Sykes 24 not out down the order, they couldn’t get near enough to mount a serious challenge.

Oddfellows Cup Final, Kirkheaton v Almondbury Wesleyans. Kirkheaton bowler, Richard Hall.
 

“Arron and Shebak did a solid job at the top of the batting order and I think Wesleyans felt they were well on top because we were only about 78-2 in 30 overs, but Salman had a very good knock and then Jonathan Lodge really turned it in our favour with a tremendous 40, it was a fantastic innings the way he went about it,” added Hall.

“Once we got to 200 I always felt we could defend it, especially with the help of some early wickets, and the lads did superbly in the field.

“Nathan Swift’s was a brilliant performance from a teenager, and Shebak bowled really well too (one for 20 in eight overs), but all the lads did their bit and we kept having a couple of overs here and a couple of overs there, just because it’s hard to find five to bowl 10 overs.

“To win made it a great day for the club and especially for the lads, because it was a real team effort.”