Methley edge out Townville to win championship

Eddie Walmsley celebrates after hitting the winning runs for Methley to clinch the Central Yorkshire League Premier title. Picture: Steve Riding
Eddie Walmsley celebrates after hitting the winning runs for Methley to clinch the Central Yorkshire League Premier title. Picture: Steve Riding

Methley are the new Central Yorkshire League champions after holding off local rivals Townville in a thrilling finish to the Premiership title race.

In the end a solitary point decided the championship as both teams won without collecting a maximum haul on the last day of the season.

With Methley unable to bowl out opponents Mirfield Parish the leadership could have changed hands right at the death, but Townville also failed to bowl out Hunslet Nelson and although they won their run chase with plenty to spare they were to miss out on retaining their title by the narrowest of margins.

Methley’s bid to clinch a crown they last won five years ago did not go smoothly as Mirfield put up resistance by batting out their full 50 overs to make 174-9.

Ed Walmsley (3-16), Oral Blackford (2-27) and John Rickers (2-28), in his last game before retiring, were the pick of the Methley bowlers.

Methley looked to be coasting home in their reply as Richard Foster (44) and Chris Holliday (60) put them in control at 142-3, but they then lost five wickets for 28 runs before eventually getting home in the 46th over.

Townville also faced battling opponents in Hunslet Nelson, who defied their lowly position in the league by making 204-9 despite another fine effort from Conor Harvey, who took 6-43.

But Townville’s batsmen reached the target comfortably enough to win with six wickets and 10 overs to spare as good contributions came from Jonny Booth (48), Harvey (46 not out), Kris Ward (37 not out), Jack Hughes (28) and Tim Walton (24). Their celebrations at wining were muted, however, with news that Methley had completed their win.

Delighted Methley skipper Marcus Walmsley said: “Everyone has chipped in this season. It has been an excellent team effort. We took over at the top of the table after the first six games and we’ve been there ever since, but Townville closed the gap towards the end of the season.

“At half-time on Saturday we were aware Townville hadn’t bowled out Hunslet Nelson so knew if we knocked off the Parish Cavaliers’ score we’d win the title. We needed 19 to win and we’d only lost four wickets but then we lost another four wickets so it was a bit nerve-wracking in the end.”

Townville A finished bottom of the Second XI Premier after losing their last game by 11 runs to Buttershaw SP A. Replying to 209-9, they were all out for 198 with Andy Ward hitting 80 and Dale Jones 66.