Back row; Will Baker, Sam Holmes, Will Kelly, Sam Kelly, Sam Woledge-Wilkinson, Sam Miller, Ben Grimmitt. Front row; Dom Kelly (coach), Louis Turner, Adam Dean (cpt), Lucas Shaw, Dan Grimmitt, Alex Shaw (manager) Missing from picture; Hasan Shakoor
The Sunday just gone saw a packed Jenny Lane play host to the Cup final of the Aire Wharfe Under 18 Denison Trophy. A very emotional day saw Baildon finish as close runners up to a very talented Pudsey St Lawrence side who squeaked home by the narrow margin of 24 runs.
The day in itself was a triumph for the organisational skills of Alex Shaw and Dom Kelly. Along with their army of helpers (including the players themselves), they made sure that Jenny Lane was looking at it's absolute best. The whole club came out in support of the side with all four senior sides strongly represented in the crowd. The main reason for this turnout is the fact that the senior players had not come to support a junior side, they had come to support their colleagues. The day before the final took place, across the 44 players in action for our 4 adult sides, 14 were current juniors. Although not actually worth a trophy, it is an achievement which means that our club will still exist (hopefully!) in 10 years time, surely the biggest prize there is.
The game itself was a close affair with Baildon landing the early blows with key wickets taken in a rapid opening spell by Sam Kelly. Sam's hard work was followed up by a miserly spell from Louis Turner. It's very hard to categorise exactly what sort of bowler Louis is, other than to say that he is always effective. His mix of cutters and slower balls is very hard for batters to set themselves against. Missed opportunities in the field and a late rally from St Lawrence saw them recover from their early losses and post a competitive 126 all out. In reply, Baildon got off to a good start with Sam Woledge-Wilkinson continuing his good form striking a rapid 22 before being dismissed. This then became the pattern of the innings with key batters getting in but not being able to go on and make the key match winning contributions that were required. When all seemed lost, Louis Turner and Will Baker combined to edge Baildon closer to the St Lawrence total, sadly they both lost their wickets as the team ended up just short.
Adam Dean's side owed much to the competitive spirit of Louis Turner, who with bowling figures of 3 for 15, a run-out and 27 runs, would have been in pole position for the man of the match award had Baildon got over the line. Defeat was hard to take for a team who had worked so hard to reach the final. However, all the Baildon supporters in attendance were united in their belief that the side had done the club proud and represented the village to the very best of their abilities. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who is looking forward to the future and anticipating what these players can go on to achieve.
A big thank you goes out to James Grimmitt for capturing the day in the fantastic pictures shown below...