LEE Goddard was only going to play once last weekend - in the Heavy Woollen Cup final against Townville on Sunday.

However, after five weeks out with a broken thumb, the New Farnley skipper was persuaded by his team-mates to also play the day before in the Bradford Premier League at home to Bankfoot.

Goddard only scored 17 against the Bradford side, but he proved that his thumb would stand up to the rigours of batting, and on Sunday he scored 102 to win the man of the match award as Townville were defeated by four runs in a dramatic conclusion.

The 39-year-old former Derbyshire and Durham keeper, who nowadays is not a gloveman any more, said after the victory: “I broke my thumb five weeks ago against Hanging Heaton and only had the splint taken off last Wednesday and then tried playing yesterday.

“Honestly, I was not very confident about playing a double weekend. My ideal would have been just to play today but the lads thought that it was best to test it yesterday to see if I could play today, and there has been no reaction from it so far.”

The final, which was well-staged by New Farnley on their own Barry Jackson Ground - and credit to groundsman Mark Mason and his helpers for getting the game on - was an excellent advert for Bradford League cricket.

Goddard said: “It has been a great day on a tough wicket which has produced a fantastic game of cricket. The atmosphere was tremendous. Townville have always have had good support but I feel for them, even though they made it a fantastic game of cricket.

“They are losing matches. We didn’t win that match, they lost that match by showing a bit of inexperience at the wrong times.

“Townville are a good side. We respect them as a side and a club and they have not got over the line again this time but they are not far away and their time will come.

“I would always back our boys but if we had lost that game I would still be saying what a fantastic game of cricket it was in front of a great crowd.”

Townville, third in the Premier Division, were strong favourites against the leaders and holders with three overs to go, needing 18 runs to win with five wickets left.

However, Goddard revealed: “I wasn’t worried because they still have to get over the line on what was not a flat wicket and we have the experience of Guthers (Liam Guthrie) and Houghts (Daniel Houghton).”

Sent in after an hour’s delay to the start due to rain, New Farnley were 2-2 after the dismissals of openers Aidan Langley and Mark Lawson by Tom Brook.

However, Goddard, soon began cashing in on width and then length that was too full.

Adam Waite (23) and Dan Hodgson (17) proved able partners for him, but it was his 96-run partnership with Steve Bullen (57no) for the fifth wicket that set New Farnley up nicely.

Goddard hit 14 fours in his 131-ball stay, while Brook (2-31), Jack Hughes, who got the odd ball to bounce and grip on a hybrid wicket where the ball generally stayed lower, plus Harry Clewett and James Glynn (2-46) bowled well as New Farnley ended on 222-6.

Townville also had to start carefully, and the third-wicket stand of 51 between Clewett (23) and Harry Warwick was ended by a direct hit by Alex Lilley, who had bowled so well to take 2-19 off his 10 overs.

The throw mirrored the earlier dismissal of Hodgson by Jonny Booth on a day when the fielding of both sides showed the Bradford League in a good light.

A lot now rested on the shoulders of Warwick, but he didn’t disappoint, scoring 91 off 101 balls before being bowled by a delivery from left-arm spinner Gurman Randhawa that kept low.

Nevertheless, Townville, who had been 163-3, seemed to have the match in their grasp, but lost their last five wickets for 12 runs to lose by just four runs in fading light thanks to a crucial second spell by pace bowler Guthrie (4-56).

When asked if he would have bowled had he won the toss, Goddard admitted: “It is a very good question - as a team we were going to bat first but my gut feeling was to bowl first.

“However, as a team decision we would have batted first but I wasn’t unhappy either way.

“We were 2-2 on a pretty sticky wicket where the ball was stopping.

“It was not a wicket that we are used to. Normally hybrid wickets are hard and flat but because of the weather it made it really difficult.

“What we have played on this year have been really good - they have had bounce and carry and pace, which is what you want, but this was a really different challenge and what a great game of cricket. Credit to Townville.”

As for recovering from that dreadful start, Goddard said: “I knew that I had to bat long. We had time, we didn’t want to panic, we didn’t want to go too hard too early and just try and build a score. When you are 2-2 you have to rebuild for a period of time and they bowled nicely.

“They lost their length and a little bit of line at times and we had to take advantage. Our first 100 came in 34 overs and our last 100 in 14 overs, which probably tells you the story of our innings and how difficult we found it in the first half of our innings.

“At tea, I thought that we had a good score on that wicket and we had the momentum. They came off with their heads down a bit and we were spirited and wanted to take that into our bowling.”

He then praised Townville’s man of the match Warwick, saying: “Harry played brilliantly, chanceless, and the ball that got him out kept a little bit low, which was the story of that wicket really so credit to him and he almost got his team over the line.”

As for thinking on your feet as captain, Goddard admitted: “We have got some plans but sometimes you have to stray from those plans.

“Lills bowled 10 overs at the start, and that wasn’t the plan but he bowled really well, and then Laws is injured - an Achilles - so he couldn’t come back (for a second spell) so it was a case of him bowling as many overs as he could but he is coming through for us.

“With Lills bowling 10 and Laws bowling eight we knew that we still had the two spinners to come, which was going to be really difficult.

“Jack (Hughes) bowled really well for them and was difficult to get away so we knew that we didn’t have to bowl the spinners too early because the other lads were doing a good job.

“We had six bowlers and they had only five so we had more options than they had, and Gurwan is just class. He doesn’t give anything away and has been a really fantastic addition for us.”

He then explained his use of pace bowler Guthrie, saying: “People think that just because Liam can bowl quick then he is going to do it every week, and that is not always the case.

“I have been in this league a long time and seen some really good quick bowlers go for plenty.

“People question why he doesn’t open the bowling, but he does a job that we need him to do and he has proved today why he is such a good bowler and why he has a first-class contract in Australia for Queensland after moving from WA (Western Australia).

“Liam has proved his worth today, coming back when they were in the ascendancy and has pulled it back our way. I am chuffed for him and would not have minded had he won the man of the match award.

“I cannot wait to get back here in a fortnight (playing the Priestley Cup final against Methley). I just hope that it is nicer weather.”