Bridgeholme's final glory
A 200-run stand between experienced pair Tuffique Butt and Sajjad Mahmood paved the way for Bridgeholme to win yesterday's Halifax Sunday League final at sun-kissed Queensbury.
The Eastwood side piled up 263 for eight off their 40 overs and twice former winners Illingworth, after threatening to challenge that lofty total, fell away to 199 all out.
Bridgeholme captain Simon Harris lifted the Rod Warhurst Cup and said he was “incredibly pleased” for a team in only its fourth season of action.
Harris insisted his line-up was a development team rather than a third team and stressed that the aim was to bring young players through for the club’s Saturday sides.
“It is important to progress the youngsters because if we don’t they will go to Walsden or Todmorden,” he said.
“We have a good mix of players - youth, talent, hitters, spinners and plenty of all-rounders.”
Bilaal Mahmood fared the best of the young guns on show, taking five wickets as Illingworth’s batsmen got ever more desperate for quick runs, but the 17-year-old was beaten to the man of the match award by Butt.
Illingworth skipper Jack Watson elected to field and had no reason to regret his decision as Bridgeholme lost their top three batsmen for 28 runs.
However, Butt and Sajjad Mahmood then took centre stage. Butt powered to 102 with some excellent straight hitting and seemed reluctant to come off, retirement being compulsory when reaching three figures.
Sajjad Mahmood fell to three-wicket Ben Fearnley for 82 but a hard-hit unbeaten 21 from Aaron Terry-Davis helped leave Illingworth with a mountain to climb.
Watson was bowled by Aadil Ahmed in the first over of Illingworth’s reply but Hamza Mehmood stood firm with an excellent 101 retired to keep the St Mary’s side in the hunt.
Wicketkeeper Sajad Ghazan (47) added some lusty blows and with 102 runs needed off the last 10 overs and wickets in the tent, Illingworth had an outside chance.
However, scoreboard pressure told, the boundaries dried up and Bilaal Mahmood was handsomely rewarded for some straight bowling.
He hit the stumps five times, including with successive deliveries to dismiss Fearnley and Jason Green, as Bridgeholme ran out convincing winners in what, for Queensbury, had become almost tropical conditions.
Bridgeholme v Illingworth
Bridgeholme won by 64 runs
BRIDGEHOLME 263 for eight
S Harris lbw b McAdam 18
J Barker b Ali 1
S Sajjad b Fearnley 4
T Butt retired 102
S Mahmood c Ali b Fearnley 82
A Thomas run out 8
A Ahmed b Fearnley 0
A Terry-Davies not out 21
J Davy-Day b Watson 7
T Durham b Iqbal 0
B Mahmood not out 1
Bowling: A Ali 8-2-31-1, B Fearnley 8-0-49-3, S McAdam 6-0-37-1, J Watson 8-0-46-1, B Hussain 4-0-29-0, Z Iqbal 6-0-67-1.
J Watson b Ahmed 0
H Mehmood retired 101
Z Iqbal lbw b S Mahmood 13
A Ali c B Mahmood b T Durham 6
S Ghazan b B Mahmood 47
B Hussain b B Mahmood 12
S McAdam b S Sajjad 5
A Sloane not out 4
B Fearnley c Butt b B Mahmood 2
J Green b B.Mahmood 0
K Horsfall b B Mahmood 1
Bowling: A Ahmed 4-2-16-1, S Sajjad 9-2-29-1, T Durham 8-0-73-1, S Mahmood 8-3-21-1, B Mahmood 7.1-0-35-5, J Davy-Day 2-0-20-0.