Club Cricket

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Rich Dore

The ECB Pre­mier Leagues near their sea­son con­clu­sion

TEN years ago Wake­field Thornes had just achieved pro­mo­tion to the Cen­tral York­shire Cricket League, and were play­ing pre­mier di­vi­sion cricket for the first time in their his­tory.

As ex­pected, the club strug­gled in the di­vi­sion at first but they have man­aged to grad­u­ally build up their side and were able to find their feet and be­came a reg­u­lar top-four club in the di­vi­sion un­til 2015 when they fin­ished as run­ners-up.

In 2016 there was a league shake-up in York­shire and Thornes com­peted in the new York­shire South Pre­mier League, win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion at the first time of ask­ing.

And on Saturday a sea­son’s best un­beaten 90 from Matt Jor­dan fired the club to vic­tory over Whit­ley Hall, to re­tain the ti­tle with one game to spare and cap a mirac­u­lous decade-long jour­ney.

“It’s amaz­ing to think of the club that we were not too long ago, to the club where we are now,” ex­plained Jor­dan af­ter the game.

“I’ve been there six or seven years and every year we’ve signed one good player that brings a good per­son­al­ity and at­ti­tude to the team.

By adding those play­ers it brings some­thing dif­fer­ent that fits in with the club ethos.

“We’ve been bring­ing good young­sters through and they’ve come of age and we’ve built on per­for­mances.

“It’s been a slow build but the de­vel­op­ment of the team and of play­ers has en­abled us to take that next step and make that big push.”

Af­ter win­ning the league last sea­son Thornes were there to be shot at this year. They made a slow start and any ti­tle am­bi­tions looked to be on hold af­ter sev­eral early-sea­son de­feats.

How­ever they were able to turn things around, and put to­gether 11 suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries to seal the ti­tle, with Jor­dan scor­ing the all-im­por­tant win­ning runs.

“At that one mo­ment you think ‘bloody hell, look where we were at the be­gin­ning of the year and look where we are now’, and how we’ve man­aged to come through that,” Jor­dan added.

“Es­pe­cially when you look up to the bal­cony and you see all the lads hug­ging each other and punch­ing the air.

“It’s a re­ally nice feel­ing to be hon­est with you, and it could’ve been any one of those lads.”

As cham­pi­ons of the di­vi­sion Thornes will now look to de­fend their York­shire Pre­mier Cricket crown, a con­test be­tween the win­ners of the York­shire leagues, and have an up­com­ing play-off semi-fi­nal on September 16.

“We back our­selves against any­one,” added Jor­dan. “We’ve played against some good teams this year and held our own. We’re very con­fi­dent, qui­etly con­fi­dent that we’ve got a strong squad and we pride our­selves on how we play as a unit.”

Cel­e­bra­tion: Matt Jor­dan

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