SPECTATORS at the Salem Field fun day were treated to no less than eight hours of frenetic action as Hebden Bridge Cricket Club staged its first ever '666' tournament.
The rules were simple: six players per side, six overs per team, and a "six and out" rule. Appropriately, the tournament attracted six teams, including visitors from Todmorden and Sheffield, a pub side from the White Swan in Hebden Bridge, plus a team of youngsters from Booth Cricket Club.
The group stages saw some real nailbiters. Hebden Bridge A squeaked home by six runs against Sheffield Hitters. The closest match of all saw Booth Juniors, a talented team of 11 and 12 year olds go down to a three run defeat to Hebden B.
The Booth team of Sebastian Holmes, Ely Hey, Richard and Ryan Roberts, Jared Brooks and Jay Glover performed heroically in restricting Hebden to 27 runs and just failed to reach their target.
Star performers elsewhere were the White Swan's hard-hitting batsman Kevin Hogan, with 42 runs, whilst Sheffield bowler Mike Hancock took wickets with his first two balls in the competition.
Hywel Morgan (27*) and Phil Howitt (39*) shared a 71 run partnership for Hebden B against Todmorden but still went down by three wickets, thanks to 27 from Kash Abbas and 24 from Dan Lively. Todmorden opened their bowling with the extremely promising 11-year old Freddie Priestley, grandson of Hebden's former league winning captain Malcolm Priestley.
In the semi-finals between the two Hebden teams, Hebden A took the bragging rights with a 24 run victory, thanks to an outstanding all-round effort from George Kidd, whilst Sheffield produced the performance of the tournament to beat Todmorden with all wickets standing, thanks to openers Allan and Garnett.
In fading light Hebden A took the trophy after a thrilling final in which they beat the Sheffield Hitters by 9 runs.
Chasing 58 to win, the Hitters were practically dead and buried inside 3 overs, with three wickets to Lawrence Massey, only to run the home side close with fine innings from Hancock and Lily.
The winning squad of captain Jeff Anderson, Lawrence Massey, George Kidd, Giles Maddock, John Appleby, Ken Hall and Mike Parry lifted the trophy at around 8.45pm and celebrated with bubbly kindly donated by Pete Gledhill of Todmorden Cricket club.
Dan Lively of Todmorden was the tournament's leading batsman with 60 runs, whilst Robson and Allan, both of Sheffield Hitters, were the leading wicket-takers with five apiece.
The cricket was part of a hugely successful fun day at Salem Field jointly organised by the cricket club and the White Rose Archers, who also use the Hebden Bridge arena as their home base.
Todmorden 70-5 (Abbas 22, Lively 20)
Booth Juniors 25-3 (Holmes 12, Gledhill 2-2)
Todmorden won by 45 runs
Hebden Bridge B 71-0 (Howitt 39*, Morgan 27*)
Todmorden 75-3 (K Abbas 27*, Lively 24, Gledhill 12, Allison 2-18)
Todmorden won by 3 wickets
Hebden Bridge B 27-2 (Cartlidge 11)
Booth Juniors 24-3 (Hey 9)
Hebden Bridge B won by 3 runs
White Swan 27 all out (Kevin Hogan 14, Robson 3-6, Hancock 2-0)
Sheffield Hitters 28-0 (Garnett 12*)
Sheffield Hitters won by 6 wickets
Hebden Bridge A 71-5 (Anderson 14, Appleby 12, Kidd 10, Hancock 2-10)
Sheffield Hitters 65-4 all out (Kenyon 19*, Allen 13, Lily 13*, Anderson 2-8)
Hebden Bridge A won by 6 runs
White Swan 36-2 (Kevin Hogan 28)
Hebden Bridge A 39-3 (Parry 12*, Massey 10, Whitham 2-10)
Hebden Bridge A won by 3 wickets
Todmorden 51-3 (Gledhill 20*, Lively 16)
Sheffield Hitters 52-0 (Garnett 25*, Allen 21*)
Sheffield Hitters won by 6 wickets
Hebden Bridge A 59-4 (Kidd 19, Appleby 11)
Hebden Bridge B 35-5 (Howitt 11, Kidd 2-14)
Hebden Bridge A won by 24 runs
Hebden Bridge A 57 (Anderson 13, Massey 10, Allen 3-16)
Sheffield Hitters 48-4 (Hancock 26*, Lily 11*, Massey 3-2)
Hebden Bridge A won by 9 runs
- This Saturday the club stages a match in memory of Josh Phillips - a Hebden CC member who was also a musician and co-founder of the Open Mic Surgery acoustic music night at Stubbings Wharf.
The match, which starts at 2pom, is against the Museum of Science and Industry for whom Josh worked until his death last November.