Morley became the first Division Two side to reach the Dyson Insulations Twenty/20 Cup final after pulling off of the biggest upset in the competition’s history.
The team that knocked two-time winners Pudsey St Lawrence out in the first round defeated a full-strength Woodlands side by six wickets after outplaying the JCT600 Bradford League champions in Tuesday night’s semi-final at Albert Terrace.
It was Woodlands second semi-final defeat in 48 hours following their Sovereign Health Care Priestley Cup exit at East Bierley on Sunday, and they could have no complaints.
Morley batted, bowled and fielded better than their opponents and now they can look forward to playing under the lights at Bradford & Bingley’s Wagon Lane ground on Thursday, August 16 against the winners of next Tuesday’s second semi-final between East Bierley and Pudsey Congs.
Woodlands didn’t help their cause with a succession of bad shots, but that shouldn’t be allowed to detract in anyway from the quality of Morley’s display.
All of the Morley bowlers performed well and they were backed by some fine fielding, Seventeen-year-old Chris Rodwell was the most successful bowler with 3-12, while second teamer Richard Winn was the model of accuracy as he returned figures of 2-12 in four overs.
Opener Stephen Piercey (27) was the top scorer for Woodlands after being lucky not to be caught in the opening over of the game.
Apart from a brief flurry of 20 from Sarfraz Ahmed, Morley kept the lid on the scoring rate and managed to bowl Woodlands out in 18.5 overs for 112.
Not using up their overs was a costly mistake by Woodlands and Morley ensured that they were punished for it.
Morley got off to a steady start and though there were some danger signs when they slipped to 66-4 following the dismissal of overseas player Kashif Naveed for 28, they held their nerve.
Skipper Matthew Baxter was determined not to let victory slip from his teams grasp. After moving his side within striking distance of the Woodlands score he sealed victory with three successive fours in the 19th over.
The Morley players hugged each other in celebration as it dawned on them that they had taken their club into its first final since joining the Bradford League in 1998.