ONE of the JCT600 Bradford League’s most decorated players is preparing for a career change.
Pudsey Congs left-arm spinner Glenn Roberts is going to hang up his boots at the end of the season and become an umpire.
But before he brings down the curtain on a glittering career which has seen him take more than 500 Bradford League wickets, he is determined to help his club win the Heavy Woollen Cup for the first time.
Congs face Central Yorkshire League champions Townville in Sunday’s final at Spen Victoria and Roberts will be aiming to collect his 15th winners medal with the club.
Since joining Congs in 2001 he has helped them win five league championships, five Priestley Cups, the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy three times and the Dyson Energy Services Twenty/20 Cup once.
And he earned the chance to claim a 16th last night when Congs beat Undercliffe to reach this season’s Twenty/20 final Adam Patel made a sparkling 106 as Congs made 220-3 before restricting Undercliffe to 194-8.
Their opponents in the final under the floodlights at Bradford & Bingley on Thursday, August 14 will be Woodlands who beat Hanging Heaton by three wickets on Tuesday when Scott Richardson hit the final ball of the game for four.
Roberts, who was in charge of last Sunday’s Division Two game between Bowling Old Lane and Great Horton, has already officiated in a number of Bradford League games.
Unlike his team-mates, Roberts has won the Heavy Woollen Cup once before. He was part of the Spen Victoria team which defeated Windhill in 1996.
Roberts said: “I have had some great times with Pudsey Congs and playing the final at Spen Victoria makes it a little more special for me.
“This is the one cup Pudsey Congs have not won and it will be a great way to go out if we can win it.”
Roberts, 40, a sports master at Silcotes School, has only limited availability to play during term time. “It hasn’t helped the team having to find a replacement for me whenever I haven’t been able to play,” he said.
“I feel the time is right for the club to be able to recruit bowlers who can play regularly and help the development of what is a talented young team.”
Roberts is aware that he faces some crucial games in the final weeks of his playing career. Tomorrow Congs visit Hanging Heaton still looking to put distance between themselves and the relegation positions.
That is followed next week by the Pudsey derby against St Lawrence and Roberts added: “We probably need another two wins to be safe and keeping our Division One status is the main priority.”
There are key games featuring the teams below Congs in the table. Bottom team Yeadon host third bottom East Bierley, while second bottom Morley visit leaders Cleckheaton minus three of their most experienced players, skipper Matt Baxter, David Nebard and Colin Nuthall.