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Woodands legend Tim Orrell vows to find fresh challenge
The man who has been at the heart of Woodlands’ rise to become one of the best club sides in Yorkshire may have played his last game for the Bradford League champions – but Tim Orrell is not retiring.
The 44-year-old batsman, who led Woodlands to four consecutive Division One titles between 2005 and 2008 and one Division Two crown, as well as a Priestley Cup win in 2006, signed off on a high note as the club retained the championship with a dramatic four-run win over Bradford & Bingley .
Now he is looking for a new challenge and insists he wants to continue his career in Yorkshire – maybe in the Bradford League.
Orrell, who lives in the Manchester area, said: “I am not retiring, I just want to bat a bit higher up the order than number eight where I have been batting at Woodlands recently.
“I am looking to continue playing in Yorkshire. It is the cricket I know and the cricket I love. I love Bradford League cricket – it is better than cricket in Lancashire. So let’s see where the next chapter is.”
Orrell, who has played for three seasons under Pieter Swanepoel, during which Woodlands have won two titles in a row, said: “I enjoyed my last game.
“The Bingley players clapped me on to the field and I smashed 25 with a couple of sixes to help us to get to 153, which proved to be a winning score. It was a nice way to sign off.
“I wish Woodlands all the best and every success. This has been my club for the last 15 years. I have a lot of respect for the people here. They are genuine people to work with, both on and off the field.”
Orrell established himself as a Bradford League player with Saltaire before he was persuaded to join Woodlands, then in the Central Yorkshire League, in 1998.
Club secretary Brian Pearson said: “We persuaded him that we were capable of achieving our ambitions of joining the Bradford League and winning the championship within ten years.
“Tim was to be the catalyst of those ambitions and thankfully for us he accepted the challenge.
“The first milestone was achieved in 1999 when Tim led us to our first Heavy Woollen Cup final and when we were able to join the Bradford League we were crowned Division Two champions in our first year in 2001.
“Then we reached the Priestley Cup final in 2003 against Bradford & Bingley, when Tim scored a century – the only player ever to score a hundred in a Priestley Cup final and finish on the losing side – and we were in the final again in 2004.
“We were league champions in 2005 and then, in 2006, Tim led us to the remarkable treble of league championship, Priestley Cup and Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy.
“It was an amazing achievement and Tim’s inspirational leadership underpinned all this success.
“Individually Tim has scored more than 10,000 Bradford League runs, the majority for Woodlands.
“His departure is the end of an era and the remarkable Orrell years will go down in Woodlands folklore as the period in which a village cricket club was transformed to become champions of Yorkshire led by an inspirational, personable, pragmatic and influential natural leader.”