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Guiseley win Birtwhistle Cup again
11:31am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Sport
Guiseley continued their domination of the Birtwhistle Cup as they lifted the trophy for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
A comfortable six-wicket win over their neighbours and fiercest rivals Otley, saw the trophy return to Nethermoor again.
Such has been Guiseley’s run of success in the competition that they have now won it nine times since 1998.
And for their veteran skipper Nick Fraser it was the 12th time he has collected the cup in his 25 years at the helm.
Otley rightly went into the final carrying the favourite’s mantle having defeated Guiseley twice in the Aire-Wharfe Second Teams Division One this season.
But Guiseley’s cup pedigree meant they would always be a force to be reckoned with, and so it proved.
The Cross Green side are currently battling with Ilkley for the league title, but their hopes of a double were layed to rest in Sunday’s final at Kirkstall Educational.
Otley skipper, George Huntley, won the toss and chose to take first use of an excellent Kirkstall wicket. However the innings was soon in disarray at 5-3 after seven overs with all of the runs coming in extras.
Tom Brady was removed lbw second ball by Josh Findlay.
Graeme Wolfenden, with 1,000 league runs to his name this year, was always going to be a key figure and when he was caught in the gully by Steve Dickinson off the bowling of 15-year-old Harry Naylor, Guiseley were under- standably delighted.
Things got event better for the Nethermoor side when Huntley was clean bowled by Findlay for 0. An excellent 39 from David Brady and some stubborn resistance from Richard Rhodes (15) helped rebuild the innings while a quick-fire 25 from young Sam Kellett offered some hope for Otley.
The consistently tight bowling from Robert Atkin- son, Bradley Reeve, Dickin- son and David Whittaker ensured that Guiseley’s stranglehold was maintained.
When last man Mick Gray was caught by skipper Fraser with the score on 133 the large crowd knew it was never going to be enough.
Guiseley started positively with 29 off the first four overs. Whittaker fell for 16 shortly to be followed by his opening partner Harry Nicholson who was run out for the same score and at 37-2 Otley may have had a glimmer of hope. However, that was soon extinguished as the two Roberts, Atkinson and Butterfield, put on 86 for the third wicket. Two more wickets fell with the score on 123 but Tom Woodley’s six finished the game with 14 overs to spare as Atkinson was left 42 not out.
In accepting the cup, Guiseley captain Fraser gave special praise to Nick Davis, the Kirkstall chairman, and his club for the excellent way they had hosted the final in their 160th anniversary year.
He also David Hodgson for the way he had presented the ground. Davis presented Robert Atkinson with the man of the match award for his economical nine overs for 18 runs and 42 not out, the third time he has received the award.