HAVING achieved their first ambition of retaining the Waddilove Cup, Steeton now turn their attention to task number two – gaining promotion.

The Division Two club, who made history on Sunday by becoming the first second-tier club to win the Waddilove in successive seasons in the Aire-Wharfe League, are 18 points clear of third-placed Ilkley with six matches to go.

It was a calculated risk to go ahead with the final between Steeton and Rawdon when the Huddersfield League, Craven League and Halifax League had all postponed their blue-riband cup finals by a week, but the hard work of everyone at Collingham and Linton Cricket Club paid off.

The wicket was understandably wet, but the host club made a good fist of staging the final, both in terms of preparing the pitch and looking after the spectators in terms of food and drink.

Steeton won the toss and chose to field, and there was a dramatic start with wickets falling in the second and third overs.

Ben Hemsley bowled Henry Scanlan with a nip-backer, then Nathan Goldthorp being ajudged lbw to Stephen Pearson.

Rawdon were faced with a rebuilding job, with a slow outfield not helping their cause, but keeper James Dobson (28) and Ross Jennings (17) added 38 before the latter was bowled by first-change Paul Quinlan.

A score of 45-2 became 49-5, and the wicket of Dobson seemed key, with the gloveman being sixth out at 62.

Rawdon were in danger of committing the cardinal sin of not batting out their overs when Tyler Willmott was seventh out at 65.

But that receded a little when Andrew Doidge (20) added 26 with his 20-year-old son James (16).

They were eventually dismissed for 111 in the 42nd over, 20 balls short of the maximum, with Quinlan taking 3-23.

Hemsley and Ewan Johnston both claimed 2-22, while skipper Pearson managed a superb 2-9 off 7.1 overs.

Keighley News: Steeton skipper Stephen Pearson lifts the Waddilove Cup.Steeton skipper Stephen Pearson lifts the Waddilove Cup. (Image: John Heald Photography.)

However, Steeton found things no easier at the top of the order, losing openers Matthew Nutter trapped in front to the first legitimate ball and Jack Ramage to an even more contentious lbw decision, both off Willmott.

When Hemsley spooned a catch to make it 33-3 it was game on, but Steeton had the calm heads to see them to a six-wicket victory in the 35th over.

Luke Chapman (33 not out) added 46 with James Robinson (23), before man-of-the-match Pearson (24no) saw his team home with both plenty of wickets and overs to spare.

Pearson admitted: “The toss was quite crucial in the end but before the game I was unsure what I was going to do.

“I took a gamble and bowled first and it paid off.

“In the last 10 overs of our bowling, I was a bit worried as we haven’t been finishing teams off, but thankfully we bowled them out.

“I just thought that the pitch would get better to bat on as it dried out, and thankfully it did.

“But I was a bit worried when they got those two early wickets.”

Keighley News: Stephen Pearson starred with both bat and ball, with the Steeton skipper deservedly named man of the match.Stephen Pearson starred with both bat and ball, with the Steeton skipper deservedly named man of the match. (Image: John Heald Photography.)

Pearson added: “Luke dug in tremendously and got us over the line, and it has been a great effort from the lads both last year and this year.

“I am proud of them and our team spirit.

“The lads from Keighley (Adam Smith, Chapman and Hemsley) have been three tremendous signings and have settled in brilliantly, and you can’t ask much more of them than to win a cup final in your first season.

“Now we need a big push to get us promotion, and I reckon we will need four more wins.”

Steeton had warmed up for the final with a thumping eight-wicket league win over Beckwithshaw the day before.

And there was a sensational win for Harden at home to Ilkley's seconds in Division Three.

The hosts made 209 all out, skipper and opener Andy Wear top scoring with 66, before Ilkley fell apart in their chase.

Five wickets apiece for opening bowlers Matthew Hogg and Ben McGonigle meant the visitors were skittled for just 34, with the big win keeping Harden top of the table.

Weather put paid to high-flying Thackley's clash in that division, while Tong Park Esholt remain in relegation trouble, 11 points clear of safety, after their Division One game with Addingham was called off.

Saltaire did play a mid-table clash with Rawdon, and dropped to sixth after losing by 74 runs to Rawdon.

That was despite poor Mustahsan Ali Shah taking 8-44 for the Bradford District side.

Bolton Villas are third-bottom, but 23 points clear of the drop, in Division Two after losing by 59 runs against Calverley St Wilfrids.

Finally, Bingley Congs stay third in Division Four after edging out Old Leodiensians by 14 runs on DLS.