Shireshead in cup triumph

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Westgate 1st XI 120 for 7

Shireshead and Forton 1st XI 121 for 7

Shireshead won by three wickets

Shireshead clinched the first part of a potential cup double as they triumphed over rivals Westgate in the final of the Hackney & Leigh Trophy.

The game, played at picturesque Silverdale, was always likely to be a keenly contested affair given the close season move of Westmorland legend Peter Wilson from Westgate to Shireshead. Shireshead skipper Paul Yates asked Westgate to bat first on a wicket where run scoring was always likely to be difficult given the previous day’s torrential rain.

Westgate began steadily as A Hill (21) and G Tattersall (30) added 61 for the first wicket, but 14 of the 25 8-ball overs had already been used up as Shireshead’s bowlers bowled with great control.

The push for runs in the latter part of the innings inevitably brought a clatter of wickets but the dangerous D Wilkinson (29) mixed sensible defence with hard hitting to allow Westgate to post a defendable 120 for 7. All the Shireshead bowlers played their part, Dave Jack (2 for 23) and former Westgate star Wilson (2 for 16) returning the best figures.

The Shireshead run chase began badly as Nick Rafferty fell early, but worse was to follow as Tom Jacques and Wilson also fell. When Phil Oliver also departed in the same D Conroy (4 for 27) over, to an incredible one-handed catch by Tattersall, Westgate sensed victory. However they had not reckoned with man of the match Simon Gould. Gould was joined by his skipper Yates, with the score at 22 for 4. In contrasting styles the two left-handers added 69 with Gould (61) playing the innings of his Shireshead career as he struck four 6s and five 4s in a memorable counter-attack, whilst Yates (18 not out) was at his obdurate best. The fall of Gould brought a nervy ending as two more wickets fell, but the skipper was still there as Stephen Yates finished the game with a towering six off Conroy to secure a 3 wicket victory with 10 balls to spare.