RAWDON upset the odds and scored a dramatic ten-run win over holders Guiseley in Sunday’s Birtwhistle Cup final at Bardsey.
With five players missing from their semi-final winning line-up, century maker Rob Ellliott, batsman Duncan Stowe, the experience John Hughes, James Doidge and George Powell, they appeared to be facing an uphill struggle.
Guiseley have won the cup nine times since 1998 and they weren’t going to give it up without a fight.
But Rawdon had a secret weapon, 18-year-old leg spinner Stuart Ward. He won the man-of-the-match award after opening the bowling and taking 4-10 in his nine overs as Rawdon defended what looked a small total of 116.
Guiseley plunged to 37-8 as Ward and Ben Hunter (4-28) did a great job for their team.
Skipper Nick Fraser wasn’t throwing in the towel. Oliver Woodley (18) added 30 with him for the ninth wicket.
Fraser, who had played cautiously to that point, then went on the attack.
He struck three successive sixes off Wayne Martel before the bowler took his revenge and clean bowled him with the next ball for 49. Guiseley were all out for 106.
Jake Hodges (28no) and Henry Scanlon (21) were Rawdon’s top scorers against tight bowling from Robert Atkinson (4-22) and Woodley (3-29).