CLINICAL Crossflatts won the Bradford & District Evening League finals day at a sun-soaked Great Horton Park Chapel.

On a day of one-sided contests, the Division One runners-up defeated Thornton by 29 runs in their semi-final before beating Greenfield by 53 runs in the final to become the latest first-time winners of the Les Benson Memorial Trophy.

Competition favourites Greenfield had seen off the challenge of the hosts, who had won Division Two, by 100 runs in the opening semi-final.

However, the main discussion point of what was a long day occurred late in Crossflatts’ semi-final against Thornton when umpires David Wilson and Alan Parkinson removed the bails after an altercation between Crossflatts wicketkeeper Dom Bennett, whose side were well in charge, and some of the Thornton players.

A Thornton player was bowled but the key question was, was it a legal delivery as it may have bounced twice before reaching the popping crease.

Confusion reigned for a while – had the match been abandoned? Which side was the more culpable? Would there even be a final? – but it turned out that the umpires had opted to leave the field to take the heat out of the situation after angry words had been exchanged between the players.

The match resumed after a swift meeting in the clubhouse between league officials and the umpires in what was in essence a 15-minute cooling-off period.

Crossflatts skipper Bennett said of the incident: “It was just getting out of hand and a bit hot under the collar and it was decided that the best thing to do was have a cooling-off period, and fortunately things got sorted.”

He added: “We made a good start in the final. We knew that they had three key batsmen and we got two of them out quickly and did what we had to do.

“We did well, scoring 166-7, although we could have then done better in the field.”

Bradford Mutual Sunday School League side Greenfield won the toss and opted to bat against Great Horton, whose Ewart Street ground looked in great nick in the glorious sunshine.

It proved a wise decision as Greenfield clattered 174-4 in their 18 overs, with Waleed Akhtar (29) and Danish Hussain (45) putting on 74 for the first wicket, Saltaire all-rounder Sajad Ali boosting the score with 51 not out at No 3.

Alex Kennedy, who had won the league’s Waddilove Bowling Award for Division Two, bore the brunt of the assault, conceding 21 runs in his only over.

Park Chapel were never in the hunt in their reply and were castled for 74 with an over to spare, with Ryan Frankland-Martin top scoring with 17, closely followed by ‘Mr Extras’ (14) as Greenfield used eight bowlers.

Crossflatts also opted to bat after winning the toss in the second semi-final against Thornton and, fresh from their Wynn Cup T20 victory in the Craven League, scored 139, with overseas player Bright Njanji making 57 not out, retiring and then resuming his innings when nine wickets had fallen.

Billy Whitford added a quickfire 28 as Tom Ashley took late wickets to finish with 4-18, pegging Flatts back from 96-2 with six overs remaining.

Thornton, whose target remained tantalisingly out of reach, then lost wickets at regular intervals and ended on 110-8, with Tom Clee (43no) leading the way against Mohammed Shahnawaz (3-10).

The final was therefore between the league’s most potent batting line-ups, and Crossflatts again won the toss and batted.

Pinch-hitter Shahnawaz went early but opener Haris Hussain (36) and Njanji (33) took the score to 70 before Greenfield’s bowlers got on top, reducing Flatts to 109-5 before Amjid Hussain (41) boosted the total to 166-7.

Ali was the pick of the Greenfield bowlers with 2-30.

They needed to make a good start but collapsed to 12-4 against spinner Waz Hussain (3-30) and Zahir Abbas (2-10), who dismissed key batsman Ali and Mohammed Asim for ducks.

Danish Hussain (26), No 6 Sohail Khan (50no) and No 10 Waqas Rashid (17) did their best to mount a repair job but Greenfield’s goose was cooked and they were dismissed for 115.

In total, 778 runs were scored in the three 18-overs-per-side matches at an average of 7.2 runs per over and 16 runs per wicket.

League secretary Phil Poole Snr thanked hosts Great Horton Park Chapel before league president Geoff Fisher and league chairman Brian Lymbery presented the individual trophies to the finalists and the Les Benson Memorial Trophy to Crossflatts skipper Bennett.

Awards for 2019 season – League batting (Barlow Trophy): Elliot Richardson (Buttershaw St Paul’s). League bowling (Waddilove Trophy): Alex Kennedy (Great Horton Park Chapel). League fielding (LB Briggs Trophy): Kevin McDermott (Buttershaw St Paul’s). League wicket-keeping (Steve Priestley Trophy): Chris Brown (Great Horton Park Chapel).

Division One, batting: Richardson. Bowling: Phil Poole Jnr (Denholme). Division Two, batting: Simon McDermott (Great Horton Park Chapel). Bowling: Kennedy.