LIGHTCLIFFE under 17s completed a League and Cup double last Sunday when they defeated Saltaire in a thrilling final, over 50 overs, at their Wakefield Road ground.
And this latest success came exactly 17 years since they last won the title!
A large crowd gathered to see if the Lightcliffe boys could cap their successful junior careers with a cup win.
Many supporters from Saltaire also enjoyed the Lightcliffe hospitality and warm sunshine meant the scene was set for the season finale.
Winning the toss, captain Evan Edwards elected to bat first and Jacob Waterson (38) and Siraj Hussain (8) put on 26 for the first wicket.
The Saltaire openers bowled a tight line and at 30 for two appeared to be getting the better of the opening exchanges.
Edwards joined Waterson to double the score before the in-form Waterson was given out leg before.
Lightcliffe then lost quick wickets before Kelly joined Edwards at 92-6.
Edwards was finally out for a crucial 54, an excellent captain’s innings, but Kelly played some powerful shots and he and Kris Sharples (11) took the score to 158 before Kelly (31) was last man out.
At tea, both teams were confident of victory.
The supporters returned to the edge of their seats to watch Act 2. Saltaire began the strongest, putting on 60 before Kelly (two for 25) removed both openers.
He and spinner Hussain applied great pressure as Saltaire’s runs dried up. Effective bowling changes and an accurate spell by Tom Lightfoot (two for 33) meant that wickets began to fall but, as the tension mounted, at 97-4 Saltaire remained favourites with 16 overs left.
At this point Edwards introduced Joe Greenwood to the attack.
Not a front line bowler, this was to be his finest hour.
He took three for 21 in a decisive six over spell and Saltaire were left reeling.
Edwards (two for nine), who had urged his team on all afternoon with an aural assault, brought himself back on for the coup de grace.
Within nine balls Saltaire were dismissed and the team and crowd erupted with joy.
Saltaire, all out for 121, were gracious in defeat accepting that Lightcliffe were the stronger team on the day.
Great fielding, tight bowling and assured captaincy saw them home, alongside an indefatigable team spirit.
For eight of the team it was their last game as junior players and a fitting way to finish a glittering junior career.
League Secretary Neil Johnson praised both teams for their excellent sportsmanship and thanked the club for their hospitality on the day.
Lightcliffe CC Junior Presentation Day is on Saturday, September 17 when the team will receive the League trophy to go with their cup triumph.