CROSSFLATTS second team’s dream of playing their first team in the Wynn Cup final at Gargrave on Sunday, August 11 have been dashed.

The second strings, who are battling to avoid relegation from Mewies Solicitors Craven & District League Division Two, were beaten by 50 runs by Bingley Congs’ first team in a delayed semi-final at Ryshworth Park.

Congs, boosted by a decent effort by openers Johandre Barnard (37) and Ben Hemsley (18), backed up by a more sedate 23 by Mohammed Adil, made 133-8 in their 20 overs.

Many spectators thought that the outcome would be tight, but only opener Brian Freimanis (16) and big-hitting Ben Hinchcliffe (24) made double figures in the reply as the hosts were restricted to 83-8.

Vijay Amirtharaj (1-14) and Jim O’Hara (3-18) kept Congs in check, despite Charlotte Boulton being hit for three sixes in one over, but Matt Roberts (3-10), Adil (1-13) and Ben Hemsley (0-14) were just as potent with the ball when the visitors were fielding, latterly scurrying through their overs against the backdrop of a leaden sky and the persistent threat of rain, which ultimately proved more of a worry than the Crossflatts batsman.

Congs vice-captain Chris Hemsley said: “First innings run on the board on a good wicket was a key thing as was pressure with the ball early doors in the second half.

“They didn’t want to lose wickets but they then had to take chances because of the grip that we had with the ball.

“When your openers – Ben and Dre - score 50 between them in a twenty20 match it gives you the platform to get up towards 150, but Crossflatts bowled really well, fielded really well and Lee (Bailey) set a good field to protect the boundaries and we were happy getting the singles in the middle of our innings.

“We were happy going at five runs an over, six runs an over and putting the bad ball away but keeping wickets in the tent for those last three or four overs, but unfortunately we went into a sequence of hitting a four and losing a wicket, but our total was competitive – 120 and above was.”

Hemsley said of the opposition: “We were conscious that we were playing a second team but a very good second team from Division Two with 11 keen players.

“The ball got damp but the outfield was fine and it is a big field and it is difficult to cover all of the spaces but congratulations and appreciation has to go to Crossflatts for their efforts in getting the game on in difficult circumstances after Saturday’s weather.

As for the final, Hemsley said: “It is going to cause some difficulties in terms of selection and I am sure that there will be a lot of people available for that game and there were a lot of lads here that normally would not have played.

“But what we want is for everybody to be fit and available to give us problems in that Tuesday night selection meeting against what will be a very strong Crossflatts first team.

“It will be a matter of whichever team takes the risks but I hope that it is a good, hard-fought game that will be a credit to Craven League cricket.”

Congs are third in Division One, while Crossflatts, who beat Oakworth by 46 runs in their semi-final on July 14, are the leaders.