Walmsley’s effort in vain as Methley lose in first Priestley Cup final

Marcus Walmsley batting for Methley against New Farnley in the Priestley Cup final.  Picture: John Clifton
Marcus Walmsley batting for Methley against New Farnley in the Priestley Cup final. Picture: John Clifton

Despite a man of the match performance by Marcus Walmsley it was disappointment for Methley in their first Priestley Cup final as they lost by 24 runs to New Farnley in a thrilling final played at Undercliffe.

Grant Soames’ men were looking to be the first side to have won the Priestley Cup as well as the Central Yorkshire League’s Jack Hampshire Cup and produced a good display, particularly with the bat, only to fall just short.

Defeat was hard on Marcus Walmsley, who produced some heroics with bat and ball, scoring 93 runs and taking four wickets.

New Farnley won the toss and it proved a good decision when they overcame an early hiccup in losing Simon Lambert to Matthew Lumb for three to build a good score.

Marcus Walmsley was quickly in the action with a wicket in his first over, trapping Dave Cummings lbw for 11. But this brought Yorkshire wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd in to partner opener Mitch O’Connor and together they put on 76 for the third wicket before the former was lbw to Muhammad Akhlaq for 46, having hit five fours.

The success was only temporary for Methley with New Farnley skipper Lee Goddard putting on a further 101 with O’Connor who looked set for a century until out three short, neatly stumped by Jake McCaffrey off Marcus Walmsley.

He hit three sixes and nine fours in his 119-ball knock while Goddard reached his half century before his 45-ball innings, including eight fours and a six, ended on 54 when he was bowled by Ben Waite.

In the closing overs the wickets tumbled as New Farnley looked for more quick runs and they were all out for 254. Marcus Walmsley (4-41) and Sohail Raz (3-20) pulled it back for Methley who looked set to be chasing a bigger target.

It was still going to take some effort, but openers Marcus Walmsley and Soames set about the task well and had their opponents worried when they began upping the tempo after a steady start and were looking good at 110-0 at half-way.

However, just when skipper Soames was cutting loose he was the first man out, lbw to Luke Jarvis attempting a reverse sweep with the score on 132. He had made 54, including a six and six fours.

Walmsley carried on regardless with an array of great shots before he became the second Jarvis victim with the score on 168 after smashing 10 fours and four sixes in his outstanding knock of 93.

Methley got the target down to 71 from 11 overs with eight wickets in hand, but crucially they lost overseas player Mohammad Akhlaq for six and Jordan Laban for 24 in successive overs. New Farnley now had a way in and they took it. Dan Shuffe’s stay was brief as he was out for two and the decision to promote Sohail Raz up the order did not work as he was run out for one.

The clatter of wickets continued and it was effectively all over when Ashton Blakey was out for 16 after hitting a huge six and Eddie Walmsley followed for 13. Methley were all out for 230, the last eight wickets going down for 46, although as a Championship One side they could be proud of their efforts in the Priestley Cup this year.