Heywood skipper Bobby Cross has admitted winning the JW Lees Wood Cup at Crimble was the greatest moment in his club career.
Cross, 30, was named man of the match for his chanceless 88 not out that saw Heywood overhaul Walsden’s target of 163 in a game that finished on Wednesday night after rain and then failing light meant it ran on to fourth day.
It was the first time the league’s most prolific amateur has claimed the man of the match award in a Wood Cup final, and the fifth time he has won the cup with Heywood.
Cross said: “I am very proud to have been part of that game – the whole club stood up really well and it was so pleasing to bring some silverware to cap what has been a pretty incredible couple of years for the club.
“To be able to walk off on Crimble in the evening sunshine with all our supporters happy and knowing that we could collect the trophy was the best moment I have had as a Heywood player and one I will never forget.
“To then share the evening with my teammates and friends was extra special. That team deserved the trophy, we were challenged at Unsworth and by Crompton and to come through the test at Clifton in the semi final was a brilliant effort.
I said before the game that we were very lucky to get chance to play in a final at Crimble and the organisation, the condition of the ground, the volunteers and the support were first class.”
Cross also reserved praise for Andy Dawson, who hit 35 out of a crucial sixth wicket partnership of 74 with his captain.
Cross continued: “Andy Dawson deserves special mention, coming in when the pressure was firmly on against a good attack he played sensibly and kept the scoreboard moving. He can be very proud of himself.”
For Chris Kaye, 44 and a first teamer for 25 years, it was the sixth time he has won a Wood Cup, and he admitted it was the icing in the cake for him.
He took 3-12 off 10 overs as Walsden didn’t know whether to stick or twist against him, claiming the key wickets that stopped them getting away and setting a big target.
He said: ”Having won it a few times now, I’m more pleased for the younger players – to taste success early in their Heywood careers can only bode well and generate hunger for more in the future.
“For me to win another late in my career is the icing on what has been an amazing 10 years for the club.
“And what can be said about the captain? What an amazing innings, a true man-of-the-match performance with Andy Dawson playing a vital role too.”
This was the first time Heywood had won the Wood Cup since 2007, and the 11th time they have won it in total.
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