Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Keighley claim Shield against the odds - Wood you believe it!
Richard Wood hailed Keighley’s Sovereign Health Care Priestley Shield triumph as the pinnacle of his career – after admitting he thought hopes of beating Wood-lands in last Sunday’s final were over.
The Lawkholme Lane outfit won the Bradford League’s second-team knock-out competition for the first time in 29 years, thanks to a heroic last-wicket stand of 43 between Wood and Hammy Shahzad in 37 balls.
Former England and Yorkshire captain Ray Illing-worth chose Wood as man of the match after the 36-year-old made an unbeaten 35 – following an accomplished display behind the stumps – and combined with Shahzad (29no) to see Keighley to a thrilling victory.
Wood played for 14 years for Keighley’s first team and was part of the side who beat Baildon to win the Heavy Woollen Cup in 2002.
But he claimed winning the Shield in such dramatic circumstances topped that success.
He said: “This was by far the best in my career.
“It was an absolutely amazing win. We thought we were dead and buried. Needing 40-plus with one wicket left – we thought that was it.”
Wood, who returned to Keighley this season after a two-year spell at Aire-Wharfe League club Harden, paid tribute to his match-winning partner Shahzad.
He said: “It was his six and four in one over that really broke it down for us and made us think we could do it.
“When he comes off, Hammy can really hit a ball on his day and he struck the ball brilliantly.”
The last-wicket stand saw the Division Two side edge past top-flight Woodlands’ total of 206-8 in front of a big crowd at Farsley, including a large contingent from Keighley.
Wicketkeeper Wood, who claimed one catch and a stumping, said: “It was amazing to get the man of the match award from Ray Illingworth and, from the club’s point of view, I am made up for everyone. We had a lot of spectators there and they all played their part.”
Keighley are now hoping to go one better and win promotion from Division Two.
Having claimed an impressive FIVE Division One scalps on their way to winning the Shield, Alex Towler’s men are currently in third place – 16 points off second-placed Bradford & Bingley and a further point behind leaders Pudsey Congs, whom they host on Saturday. Crucially, they have a game in hand on both sides.
Wood said: “We just want promotion now. We have a good team, with the likes of Steve Reape, Andy Waggett and Ashley Robinson, and we just need to go up.
“On our day, we can give anybody a run for their money.”
Keighley look like being depleted for Saturday’s crunch clash as Towler and Paul Quinlan are unavailable, while Alan Birkett is injured.