THERE WERE massive celebrations in the village as Uppermill lifted the Versasteel Saddleworth and District Cricket League’s Tanner Cup for the first time in 31 years.
Uppermill, runners up in 1994, 2000 and 2009, defeated Moorside in possibly the most dramatic final in the competition’s 88-year history.
For only the second time, a replay was needed as the first match ended in near darkness shortly before 10pm in stalemate after an epic eight-hour match in which there had been two stoppages for rain.
Both teams scored 196 and, though hosts Moorside lost one less wicket, the rules of the competition meant a rematch.
The replay saw Uppermill, with home advantage, triumph by only four runs after another pulsating encounter.
Paul Thomson top scored with 70 as Uppermill posted a total of 226 all out before Moorside made 222 for nine in reply, Danny Anchor making a heroic 107 which earned him the man-of-the-match award as his side.
Club Chairman Paul Seddon, who was the Uppermill scorer, said: “It was a massive achievement for the club and savoured more because we had lost our three previous finals.
“It is great to finally do it. They are a great bunch and the beauty is that most of them are local lads.”
SADDLEWORTH were the victors in the Moore Cup, the second-team knockout, as they defeated Friarmere by a far more emphatic margin of five wickets in the final.
Friarmere made 165 all out and Saddleworth were emphatic victors making 169 for five in reply with Steve Taylor the man of the match following his five wickets for 24 runs with a top score of 70.
The triumph was special for Saddleworth pair Jason Fish and Gary Pemberton as it completed a full house of trophies as they had already won the Division One and Two titles as well as the Tanner Cup.
Saddleworth are now chasing a league and cup double as they are in second spot. Though leaders Uppermill have a sizeable advantage, Saddleworth still have to play them and the clash of the top two may well determine the title.
Heyside created a league scoring record plundering 473 for four in their First Division match against Micklehurst, professional Gerrie Snyman making 223 not out and Nick Campbell 125.
The Saddleworth League has received two further applications from Wythenshawe and South Manchester, both members of the Manchester and District Association, to join in 2014. They have already elected Whalley Range, also from the same league, next year.