Shireshead end league title drought with time to spare

Peter Wilson in action against Westgate.
Peter Wilson in action against Westgate.

Shireshead ended their long wait for a Westmorland Cricket League title with a fine performance against rivals Westgate at Clifton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

After deciding to bat first in gloomy conditions, Shireshead lost both Paul and Steve Yates early on to slip to 5-2.

Simon Gould (43) changed the flow of the game as he added 53 accompanied by Liam Parkinson with some lovely strokeplay, before Peter Wilson (38) and Nick Rafferty (47) put on 72 for the fifth wicket in the partnership of the day.

Both Wilson and Rafferty scored fluently all round the wicket to take Shireshead to a position of strength at 142-4 before the innings subsided a little to close on 162, 20 runs short of what would have been expected.

Nisbet, Buchanan and Tattersall stuck to their task well with the ball.

The Westgate reply began poorly as captain Andrew Hill was removed by Dave Jack (2-23) in the first over of the innings.

Worse was to follow for the visitors as James Rafferty (4-19) took two wickets in the eighth over to reduce Westgate to 27-3.

The Shireshead bowlers had now built up a head of steam and were not to be denied as Wilson (4-13) joined Rafferty in the attack.

Creed counter-attacked gamely but Rafferty was now bowling with real pace and Wilson using all his wiles as wickets fell quickly.

Nisbet was last man out with the score at 66 sparking scenes of celebration as Shireshead clinched the title with three games remaining after a wait of 24 years.