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Championship Review - Week 22

Posted in News

No novelist would dare to put in the number of twists and turns in the climax to the Championship race, for fear of being told it was simply unbelievable. However the most dramatic by far of all the divisional races was played out amidst mounting tension and an amazing finish.

At the start of the day Hopton Mills led Liversedge by 1 point.Mills were at home to Wakefield St Michaels and Liversedge at home to Caribbean. Rain all morning at both rounds made any play look unlikely to say the least. Then at 12 noon, the scheduled start time, came the news from Roberttown Lane that Caribbean had failed to arrive. This gave 6 points to Liversedge and left Mills sweating on getting any play at all, and if they did, picking up a full 6 points. Anything less and the trophy was going to Liversedge. There followed a nervous wait in both clubhouses. Eventually the rain relented and after an intense mopping up operation at Mills, it was announced that play would commence at 2.45, just 25 minutes within the allowed limit before an abandonment would have had to take place. What then followed was nothing short of astonishing as Mills bowlers Ash Mackereth (4-14), Andy Grey (3-4), Michael Carroll (2-13) and Brad Drake (1-9) shot St Michaels out for 51. With the storm clouds returning and surrounding the ground, something special was required from Mills. This was duly supplied as opening pair Mackereth (30*) and overseas player Neil Browne (26*) hammered the required runs from just 5.2 overs and secured the Championship trophy by one point and started what looked likely to be a long celebration party.

Heartbreak, then, for Liversedge, who pushed their opponents all the way in a terrific season long battle, but  had to settle for runners up spot in a season that has seen them starting to re-emerge as a force in the league. A superb late run from East Ardsley saw them snatch third place, despite playing all their games away from home in the first half of the season due to issues with the re-seeding of the outfield. Caribbeans difficult season saw them finish bottom.

There was no play in the East Ardsley v Northowram Fields or Oulton v Azaad fixtures.