Ossett clinch Jack Hampshire Cup final on home soil

IT WAS all too familiar territory for Ossett as they marked their first season in the Bradford League with an overwhelming victory over Conference side Buttershaw St Pauls in the Jack Hampshire Cup final, a competition that was formerly played in the Central Yorkshire League.

Although it took a while for the sides to settle into their new surroundings Championship A outfit Ossett proved much too strong for Buttershaw.

There was a distinct advantage for Ossett to be playing at Queens Terrace. It has not only been a familiar venue for the Jack Hampshire finals over the years, but it is also their home ground.

Batting first, skipper Charlie Orme saw his Ossett side post a really challenging total for their Bradford opponents to chase.

Man-of-the-match Khalid Usman hit a top scoring 64 from 39 balls to lift the total to a daunting 230-7 in 40 overs.

Usman then produced a 6-10 spell with the ball, which left Buttershaw all out for just 93.

Ossett’s cup win followed a fine performance to beat Keighley by five wickets the previous day.

The win moved Ossett up to third behind Batley and Yeadon, but despite their recent form the title looks beyond them as they go into tomorrow’s game at Baildon a massive 51 points adrift of the leaders with only five games left to play.

Batley, at home to Liversedge tomorrow, will have one eye on what is happening at second-placed Yeadon who take on inconsistent Birstall knowing they are only 21 points off top spot with a game in hand.

Elsewhere the outcome of the Championship B title race has looked a foregone conclusion all season as Townville’s surge continues unabated.

In their last outing they bowled out third-placed Methley for just 78 on their way to an eight-wicket win. The runaway leaders are now 43 points ahead of Wrenthorpe, who go to Gomersal tomorrow, while Townville entertain second-bottom Hartshead Moor.

With so much for the management committee to consider in respect of next season’s division constitutions, including promotion and relegation issues, a possible split into four tiers instead of three and clubs leaving or joining the league, it is difficult to make any meaningful comments beyond potential title winners.

But, in the event of Championship A and B merging the top halves of the table to form a first division and the bottom halves doing the same to form a second (as has been suggested), things are looking pretty glum for our district’s clubs.

As it stands Liversedge and Birstall are in the bottom half of Championship A, while Spen Victoria, Hopton Mills and Hartshead Moor are similarly placed in Championship B with Gomersal hovering precariously above that line.

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