WIDNES captain Ian Spencer paid tribute to his hard-working team after they won the first JW Lees Fred Graham Twenty20 Trophy, writes IAN CHEVEAU.
Widnes have had an extremely busy schedule after progressing in each of the cups on offer this season and finally got the success they deserved by toppling Neston in the final of a remodelled Murray Smith Cheshire County League competition.
Spencer, 21, said: 'It was a great day for the club. To
pick up the trophy is a great achievement.
'We have been working very hard, playing every weekend to get to reach the big games and it's good to get the win.'
Widnes had to endure a full day of cricket at Warrington Sports and Social Club to reach the final.
But they quickly disposed of Bramall in the semis by reaching a healthy total of 175-8 (Tony Hurdley 37, James McCoy 22 and Steve Titchard 21) then bowling out the opposition for 100 (Shahid Mahboob 3-25, Bappa Mukherjee 2-26 and Steve Titchard 3-27).
Neston proved a bigger challenge in the final but, after chalking up 160-7, Widnes landed the trophy as Neston's rain-interrupted reply fell short at 144-9.
The big wicket for Widnes came in the second over when Spencer stumped Neston's talented opener Simon Marshall, who has in the County Championship for Lancashire this season.
Neston battled hard but never really recovered.
Titchard took 2-28 and Mahboob 2-29.
Former Lancashire and Derbyshire county star Titchard received the Man of the Finals trophy from league president Garry Hambleton.
Widnes received the winner's trophy plus £400 from William Lees-Jones, managing director of Lees Brewery, who sponsored the tournament to the tune of £2,000.
Although the season is drawing to a close for the Beaconsfield Road club, Spencer has set his sights on a top-four finish in the County League's ECB Premiership.
He said: 'We have had a really successful year.
'I would have been disappointed if we'd finished it empty-handed as we have competed well in all the cups; now I'm hoping we can make a last push up the table.' nWidnes visit Oulton Park on Saturday, while the seconds entertain Bowdon. nJames McCoy produced a fine 131 as Cheshire U17s beat Shropshire at Bomere Heath to make almost certain of an ECB Division One place for next season.