THE bails were off in a flash.

So quickly in fact, that many people inside New Farnley’s ground thought that Woodlands’ Scott Richardson had been bowled.

But no - New Farnley keeper Dan Hodgson had pulled off a stumping for the ages standing up to pace bowler Dan Houghton, and Woodlands were on their way to a 67-run defeat in their Priestley Cup semi-final.

The 32-year-old former Yorkshire gloveman, who in another attempted dismissal managed to dislodge the bails and take a stump out of the ground in the time it takes most keepers to knock off the bails, also pulled off a more conventional stumping to dismiss Liam Collins from the bowling of Grant Soames.

The off-spinner, who took 6-73 as Woodlands subsided from 176-4 to 229 all out, had a perfect view of Scott Richardson’s dismissal as he was standing at square leg next to umpire Martin Kellaway.

An admiring Soames said of Hodgson: “He is the best in the comp by far.

“You always know whenever it goes through to him, whether it is a catch or whatever, that he takes every opportunity and creates pressure on the batter.

“One of his stumpings (Scott Richardson) was world-class, and I would like to have seen it on DRS and watched it back.

“I was stood at square leg, and both me and Martin Kellaway were very, very impressed.

“As for mine, it looked like Liam came down a little bit and dragged his foot, and Hodg did the rest and he just makes it look very easy.”

New Farnley won the toss on a boiling hot day and, unsurprisingly, chose to bat, with Mark Lawson (88) and Adam Waite (77) putting on 117 for the second wicket after the early loss of Aidan Langley.

Lawson, opening at first-team level for the first time in a decade, took the aggressive route and his runs came off 75 balls, including 11 fours and two sixes, as Woodlands’ opening pair of Elliot Richardson and Muhammad Bilal offered up too many easy pickings.

Waite’s knock lasted 108 balls and contained nine fours, and with Hodgson making a breezy 41 off 38 balls it looked as if Woodlands would be chasing about 320.

But from Waite and Hodgson adding 70 for the third wicket, New Farnley subsided from 223-2 to 254-8, only to be revived by scoring 31 runs off their final two overs, with Elliot Richardson and Bilal again proving expensive.

Tim Jackson (35) and Sam Frankland (91) laid a platform in championship rivals Woodlands’ reply, but their partnership of 94 took until the 22nd over, after disciplined bowling by Houghton, Alex Lilley, Liam Guthrie and Gurman Randhawa.

Potential match-winners Brad Schmulian and Tom Clee came and went quickly, and only when Collins (18) and Bilal (34 off 12 balls, including five fours and two sixes) were together did Woodlands briefly threaten to recover.

But by the time Kez Ahmed came out swinging at the end, the fat lady was more than clearing her throat.

In truth, Woodlands were outplayed in all three disciplines, with Lilley, Randhawa and particularly Houghton being stingy with the ball.

Soames added: “It is a really good wicket, you can score runs quickly and Woodlands bat all the way down, a bit similar to ourselves.

“We had a bit of a stumble mid-innings, which meant that we were probably 25 or 30 runs short, so until we bowled them out they always had a chance - look at Kez at the end.

“But our 31 runs at the end of our innings made a big difference - in terms of momentum as well.

“Their opening stand was good but it was quite slow and the run rate then was always over seven or eight per over.

“It is a big ground, so when you attack with the bat there is a lot of risk and we took all of our chances.

“We got to grips with the wicket a little quicker than they did, and we have worked a lot on our fielding, and it got us over the line in our quarter-final against Townville. We probably saved 20 or 30 runs there.”

As for the rest of the season, Soames said: “The league has always been our priority, and we are 13 points clear, but we are now in both cup finals (Priestley Cup and Heavy Woollen) so that treble is on.

“Both finals are here, which gives us a bit of an advantage, but they are one-off games and they (the opposition) will be up for it as much as we are.”

Methley will provide the Priestley Cup final opposition for New Farnley at their Barry Jackson Ground on Sunday, August 14 (noon start), after beating Cleckheaton in the other semi-final.

Hosts Methley made an imposing 348-7 after winning the toss, a total that was set up by openers Alex Cree (66) and Jason Marshall (131), who added 181.

Marshall hit 16 fours and five sixes in his 106-ball stay, and James Wainman (39), skipper Tom Chippendale (23) and keeper Jake McCaffrey (24no) then ensured that the 300 was topped as all of the Cleckheaton bowlers suffered.

Cleckheaton were then too reliant on overseas player Yousaf Baber, whose 111 off just 82 balls, also including 16 fours and five sixes, was their only contribution above 50.

Toby Booth made 24, Ethan Lee 29 and Ian Carradice 31 in the visitors’ 245, with Finlay Rooke taking 4-63, Cameron Sharp 3-71 and Gordon Thomson 2-29.