JOSH Marsden not only felt cup final stress but a weight much closer to home ahead of the Priestley Shield decider at excellent hosts Pudsey Congs.

The strapping 19-year-old opening bowler explained of the clash against East Bierley: “My dad has never won the Shield and it has been a big family thing so I felt the pressure on my shoulders of going out and doing it for him, and I was nervous before the match.”

However, the pace bowler needn’t have worried about making it a third Marsden loss in the Shield final after his dad Richard’s twin setbacks for Pudsey St Lawrence.

Marsden took the man-of-the-match award with the superb analysis of 7-3-12-6 and was backed up by bustling fellow opening bowler Mark Lawson (10-0-24-4) as they castled five-time winners East Bierley, who opted to bat but were skittled out for 48 in just 19 overs.

Bierley were eight down only a third of the way through their innings, and after the league’s management board decided to have the tea interval rather than carry on with the second innings, New Farnley won by 10 wickets in reasonable time to put their name on the Shield for the first time.

No Bierley batsman made double figures – James Tucker and Rob Barker both scored eight – and almost half of their runs came from ‘Mr Extras’ – 21 via 14 wides and seven leg byes.

Marsden’s nerves disappeared immediately, however, and he said: “As soon as that first ball came out and was near-enough perfect I knew that my run up was flowing and I was in a rhythm.

“I didn’t bowl many bad balls – there were just a few that tailed down the leg side and the rest came out very clean.”

Pudsey Congs’ Ralph Middlebrook was adamant that it was a decent wicket, and that was backed up by umpires Helen Maguire and Craig Townend (who said that New Farnley’s opening bowlers wouldn’t have looked out of place in Championship Division One or Two first teams) and by Marsden himself, who ironically had only taken nine wickets previously this season and added: “It was a very good wicket with good bounce and carry.

“It was more a case of me hitting a good length where it flew through, hitting a rhythm and bowling as I can, and Mark was excellent at the other end, hitting his lengths and stacking up good balls and we built pressure as a partnership.

“There was not a lot of resistance from the batsmen but that wasn’t because of the quality of their shots. It was more a case of good bowling.”

Bierley skipper Ross Monaghan, James Higgins and wicket-keeper Liam Walsh fell swiftly to make it 8-3 before the biggest stand of the innings – 17 between opener James Tucker and Barker.

Both fell at 25, however, and the procession continued as Tom Hoyle, Dan Abbott, Tom Ormondroyd, Reece Clark and Wayne Robinson made their way back to the pavilion.

Alex Monaghan was left high and dry on six not out but New Farnley did not then make the error of being gung ho with such a small total to chase.

Joe Suggitt (40 not out off 40 balls) and Aidan Langley (five no) batted properly in reply, putting away the bad balls and capitalising on some misfields to knock off the runs in just 11.2 overs, meaning that the match only lasted 30.2 overs in total.

And just to put the tin lid on it for Bierley, Abbott had to be taken off in his first over for bowling two beamers.

Marsden said: “It is always a positive feeling knowing that you are chasing less than 50 and the batters can be positive but take their time.”

Ross Monaghan said: “It was not the result that we were after and we were disappointed but we have had some fantastic results to get here and beaten some good teams along the way, especially in the semi-final (beat section leaders Hanging Heaton by 55 runs).

“It is a day out that we didn’t envisage we would have at the start of the season and we will go back to the club and have a few beers.”

Despite a smattering of morning rain, Bierley opted to bat – as most would have – but Monaghan admitted: “It was a 50-50 decision but we had to bat and it just wasn’t our day.

“There are no qualms at all. We have not gone out there and played bad shots. We have just been bowled out by a better team.

“Congs is one of the best wickets in the league and if we had put a score on of 180 or 200 then scoreboard pressure comes into play but Josh bowled very well and got six for nothing and there are not many grounds where he will get the bounce and carry that he got here and he has nicked a couple of our best batsmen out.

“When we were bowling we had them 0-5 after five overs but we knew that we had to take wickets regularly to stand a chance, and when you are chasing such a low score then you only need one or two people to score 10 or 15 and it goes away from you.”

As for the apologetic Abbott getting taken off for those dangerous deliveries, Monaghan said: “That is not something that you see in many league games never mind a cup final but Dan is not that sort of person (to do it deliberately or regularly).

“It is one of those things that when the pressure gets to you and you are trying your best it does not always come out (of the hand) well.”

The finalists, who ironically meet each other in the second teams’ Premier Division at South View Road next Saturday, now have different ambitions as far as the league is concerned.

New Farnley are in second place (on 269 points) behind Hanging Heaton (280) ahead of next weekend’s double-header final weekend for the division, while East Bierley are looking downwards in eighth on 161 points, 13 in front of second-from-bottom Baildon.

Marsden said of their championship bid: “It is very open,” while Monaghan added: “It is a battle for us to stay up.

“Pudsey Congs have gone (bottom with 111 points) but there are six other teams fighting to stay up and we play New Farnley on Saturday at home and Woodlands (third with 268) away next Sunday, who are both battling for the title.

“We will have a say in that but we need to worry about picking up enough points to remain in the division.”