Great Preston lose out in cup final

Great Preston bowler Mark Mosby celebrates taking a wicket in the Fred Fleetwood Cup final against Wetherby. Picture: STEVE RIDING
Great Preston bowler Mark Mosby celebrates taking a wicket in the Fred Fleetwood Cup final against Wetherby. Picture: STEVE RIDING
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Great Preston suffered an 82-run defeat when they took on Wetherby in Sunday’s final of the Fred Fleetwood Cup at Shadwell CC.

An under par bowling performance was seized upon by the Wetherby batsmen and despite a late fight back to restrict the total to 254-5 when 300 looked on at one stage the damage had been done in the first 30 overs.

Great Preston knew they needed to bat well to reach the stiff target set, but they were always up against it.

Lee Russell hit 35, James Bickerdike 23 and James Marston 20, but after reaching 85-2 at halfway, the middle order perished in pursuit of a rate that had climbed above 10 an over.

An entertaining last wicket partnership of 47, the best of the innings, between Danny Harwood (30) and Stuart Ruddick (21) gave the scorecard some respectability, but Preston were all out for 172.

Great Preston were involved in a real thriller in the Wetherby League on Saturday when they kept their title hopes alive with a six off the last ball of their first division match against St Chads.

After a game that swung one way then the other all afternoon it all came down to the final delivery with Preston needing at least five runs to win and Chris Baldwin taking strike.

Remarkably, Baldwin swung the bat and connected so well that he smashed the ball into the car park, hitting a winning six to give his side a two-wicket success to stay on the heels of leaders Kirk Deighton who they meet in a potential title decider this Saturday.

Baldwin ended on 10 not out from three balls while Marston (67) top scored with contributions from Nick Gore (50), Russell (39) and Bickerdike (30).

St Chads had earlier made 250-7 from their 45 overs with Ruddick taking 4-49.