BRADFORD & Bingley captain Ed Brown admits that their Bradford League T20 Cup final with Hanging Heaton on Bank Holiday Monday will see them start as underdogs.

But he hopes the team’s focus on the tournament will give them a chance, especially with the likes of prolific spinner Bradley Reeve in the ranks.

It is B&B’s fifth T20 final, but Brown’s first with them, and he is glad to be in this position.

He said: “It’s my third season. In the first year we got knocked out early doors and didn’t do ourselves justice last year, and lost to Undercliffe in the quarter finals.

“This year we made it a focus of ours, because you have to do really well to get into the final of the League Cup, as there’s only one team from either side and we got a tough draw with Hanging Heaton being our inter-divisional fixture.

“But we had a reasonable group in the T20, provided we could get past Keighley early and then Cleckheaton.

“We were hoping for it to be a finals day, because it’s a spectacle and a good day out, but we’re just happy to be there.”

Discussing their opposition on Monday, Brown said: “It didn’t go so well when we played Hanging Heaton in the League Cup early on, they got 300-odd and we were bowled out for 140 so it was a tough day out.

“They’ve got really good pedigree in T20 too, having won the national competition in 2018, but just in club cricket, they’re a really well-organised team and know what they’re doing.

“They’ve got most bowling options covered, a couple of good seamers and spinners but it’s their batting that’s very strong.

“Sam Drury, who they signed from Scarborough, he got 90 against us and looks a really good player.

“Add that to the players they already have, like Gary Fellows, Callum Geldart and their captain Ben Kohler-Cadmore, and they bat very deep.

“But they’re quite aggressive which is nice, so it’s always fun to play against them as you know there can be high-scoring games.

“In league games before against them, we’ve tended to fare alright. But obviously this year didn’t go so well against them.

“If you look at the ages of the two teams, they’re a little further on in their careers and we’re quite a young side starting out.

“So it’s nice to challenge ourselves against them. I’m sure we’ll be underdogs (on Monday) but we certainly back ourselves.”

Bradford & Bingley have stars of their own, including young spinner Bradley Reeve, who has taken a hatful of wickets in both the League Cup and T20 competition.

Discussing his influence, Brown said: “Reevey’s class. He’s a bit like Chris Brice, these guys who’ve been in the league for a long time.

“They’re not big spinners of the ball, but Reevey changes his pace nicely and thinks really well about the game.

“As a captain it’s great, because you can go up to him with a rough idea of what we’re trying to get at and he’ll tell me what he wants in terms of fields and what he’s planning on doing.

“He’s good enough to bowl to what he says, so if he says he wants to bowl round the wicket on a certain line, nine times out 10, he’s going to land it in the right area.

“He’s just a clever bowler and a clever cricketer, he knows what he’s doing. He’s our main weapon. He can defend and keep it tight, or he can attack and start running through teams.”

Reeve took a couple of wickets in B&B’s 10-run T20 semi-final win over Pudsey Congs last Sunday, as did Brown, with the skipper having a stellar season himself with bat and ball.

Asked about that narrow victory in the last four, Brown said: “Sunday was a bit tight, but it was a good win in the end.

“At half-time we only had 109 on the board so it felt in the balance.

“But a load of water got on the wicket overnight, and people were down from 9am sorting it out, so it was never going to be a free-scoring pitch.

“If you were full you’d get punished, but if you bowled into the pitch, back of a length, it was hard to get runs.

“Our quicks had to change the way they bowled, and bowl a lot shorter, which you wouldn’t ordinarily do in T20.

“We got a couple of early wickets, a couple of umpiring decisions went our way and we were on top for a lot of the game.

“I did think we were in control for most of it, but it was certainly tight and there was only 10 runs in it in the end.

“But that’s the magic of low-scoring games, it’s always going to be nip and tuck.”

That victory has put them into the final against Hanging Heaton, but before that they have a virtually win or bust League Cup clash with Pudsey St Lawrence tomorrow.

St Lawrence lead the Premier Division West section with 80 points, while B&B sit third on 55, having won two and lost two. Only the leaders of the East and West section will advance to the final, and there are only three games left.

Talking about their season in the League Cup, Brown said: “We were trounced by Hanging Heaton, but we also lost to Pudsey (St Lawrence) on the first day when everyone was feeling their way into things.

“For a long time this year, we weren’t sure whether we were going to start, but then we got that start date and it was only a couple of weeks and we were back out there.

“It took us a bit of time to adjust. We started well in that first game against Pudsey and hit 250-odd but then we bowled really, really badly.

“We do need to beat Pudsey tomorrow if we want to be in with a sniff at the end of the league campaign.

“Last Saturday didn’t help us because we got rained off at New Farnley, so if we’d have potentially picked up a win there while Townville beat Pudsey, it could have been a lot closer.

“But you never know, we’re not going to give up hope, we’d like to be in both finals, but if it comes to be that we only end up in the T20 final, we’ll be content with how we’ve got on.”

And finally, discussing what it has been like for cricket to return this summer, Brown said: “It’s been quite strange, not being able to go into the dressing room, so there’s been a lot of adjusting off the field, but on the field it’s been fine.

“We were quite fortunate as we’ve got Billy Whitford on loan (from Undercliffe) so we actually ended up with more players than a lot of clubs.

“Some seem to have been scratching around for teams but we’ve got decent depth and a young core to the side that hopefully we can keep together for another few years.

“Like everyone, we’re just happy to be back out on the field again.

“The Bradford League have done a decent job in getting together some meaningful cricket, all the games have been competitive and I don’t think anyone could have too many complaints with what’s going on.”