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Nail-biter still fresh as Keighley gear up for Priestley Shield final
Ask experienced Keighley all-rounder Dave Hall what his most nerve-wracking moments of the season were and the answer comes back in a flash.
He said: “It was our first-round match against Gom-ersal in the Priestley Shield.”
Division Two side Keigh-ley – who face top-flight Woodlands in the final at Farsley on Sunday – bowled out the holders for 56, Alex Towler taking 3-13 and Paul Wilkinson 3-22, but the Lawkholme Laners also struggled mightily in their reply before getting home by one wicket.
Hall explained: “Neither Allan Birkett nor myself were playing that day as our lads were having trials for Yorkshire, but we couldn’t concentrate on anything while the last four overs of the match were being relaid to us over the phone.
“It is definitely a lot worse listening live to playing.”
Having claimed one Division One scalp, Keighley proceeded to bag three others on their way to Sunday’s final of the Bradford League’s knockout competition for second teams.
Pudsey Congs fell by 53 runs in round two and Hanging Heaton by 99 runs in round three, while Alex Towler’s side had an eight-wicket victory over Morley in the semi-finals.
Hall, a former skipper at Cullingworth, said: “We took a lot of confidence from defeating Pudsey Congs and, although we know very little about Woodlands, we are just concentrating on our own performance.
“I used to tell the lads at Cullingworth that if that is right then you will win nine times out of ten.”
Keighley are at full strength, with the return of Luke Chapman, who scored 107 against Hanging Heaton, and Andy Waggett.
Hall is also hoping that the Shield won’t be their only piece of silverware this season.
They are in fifth place in second teams’ Division Two with 180 points, but, crucially, have a game in hand on everyone down to Idle in ninth, who Keighley face on Saturday at Cavendish Road.
Hall said: “If we win our game in hand, then we are right in the mix.”
The final on Sunday starts at noon.