Broad Oak overturned the odds to defeat holders Moorlands and lift the Sykes Cup for the first time in 38 years – and it could have been written in the stars.
Mirfield-based Moorlands had won the trophy for the last two years and are heading for the Premiership title but close-knit family club Broad Oak caused an upset.
Oak club secretary Dan Rushworth said: “It means everything to everyone involved at the club. It’s a huge success for the club and the biggest since we last won the Sykes Cup in 1985.
“Sunday was an amazing day. I reckon everyone associated with the club was at Armitage Bridge and to win the Sykes Cup in front of so many Oakers was brilliant.
“To go into the final as underdogs in many people’s eyes and beat a top team in Moorlands, who are deservingly going to win the league this year, was incredible.
“From the struggles last year with us just surviving relegation to now winning our first Sykes Cup for 38 years shows great belief and togetherness.
“There’s a lot of people who have put in a lot of hard work over the years – far too many to name – but it’s a club that has pulled in the right direction for years and they deserved last Sunday.
“The club is a real family club. Luke Roberts is our chairman and his dad Alan was captain of the 1985 side. Tom McCreadie, who played on Sunday, his dad Craig is our president and groundsman and he played in that 1985 side too.
“And I’m now secretary and my dad played in the 1985 team too. So going into Sunday I was hoping there was some fate to how it was all setting up.
“There were five players on Sunday who have played for the club since the juniors plus Alex Slack and Dom Finn who have been at the club 10 years or so now.
“So it’s got a core of a side who have played a lot of cricket together at the Oak over the years in some less successful times. Sunday was very special for all of us. Let’s just say we celebrated long into the night!
“Moorlands are a top side and they are rightly going to win the league season because they’re the best side we have played all year. We knew on Sunday we would have to be at our very best to give ourselves a chance.
“We bowled and fielded very well on a good wicket at Armitage Bridge. And to restrict them to 195 we thought we had a chance.”
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Moorlands with captain Eddie Walmsley magnanimous in defeat saying Broad Oak very much deserved the win on the day.
He reflected and said: “Firstly, congratulations to the Broad Oak players who played excellently and deserved to win it. I’m good friends with Dom Finn and, despite losing and it hurts to fall short, it is nice to see good people enjoying success.
“On the day we were way below par and it can happen in league cricket where sometimes you just don’t play well. There’s no argument with who deserved to win the game, the right name is on the trophy.
“On reflection we beat three of the best teams the Huddersfield League has to offer on the way to the final and we are proud of how we got there.
“Unfortunately, we had one bad innings in the entirety of the cup but that’s the beauty of sport. We didn’t bowl well and we fielded even worse which is something we are going to have to put right quickly.
“We are a hungry cricket club and it’s very clear that there is a ‘Moorlands vs the rest of the Huddersfield league’ mentality which we are going to have to match.
“As first team captain it’s my job to rally the troops and get a strong reaction from them. We have a chance to win a league title in the next few weeks which should be plenty of motivation for my players.
“Rest assured we’ll be back next year for the Sykes Cup ready to go again. This is a hungry cricket club which has tasted success and will work hard to get it back.”