Jones hat-trick helps Three Bridges secure third-place finish

Three Bridges' Adam Jones took 4-23, and a hat-trick, in their home win over Middleton. Picture by Steve Robards
Three Bridges' Adam Jones took 4-23, and a hat-trick, in their home win over Middleton. Picture by Steve Robards

Matt Blandford hailed Three Bridges for being greater than the sum of their parts after a seven-wicket home win over Preston Nomads on Saturday saw them finish third in their first season back in the Premier Division.

Nomads, electing to bat, were bowled out for 161 in 45.3 overs thanks in part to a hat-trick from Bridges’ Adam Jones (4-23).

The visitor’s reply was relatively hassle free as they hit 164-3 in 27.4 overs to secure the victory and cap a great 2019 Premier Division season for Bridges.

Blandford: “We went into this season knowing that as a team if we play to our potential we would do more than just compete in the Premier Division.

“We are obviously chuffed with finishing one point off second place in our first season back.

“One of our biggest strengths as a side is the fact we all know our roles and we pull together.

“We are not a side that is completely reliant on one individual, every single player this year at some point has won us a game of cricket.”

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Openers Nathan Poole (27) and Usman Khan (24) got Nomads off to a solid start as they put on 57 for the first-wicket but Bridges struck back in style.

Jones helped himself to a hat-trick as the hosts reduced Nomads to 57-3 in lighting quick time.

A deadly spell from Ollie Blandford (2-22) and Michael Rose (1-20) saw things go from bad to worse for Nomads as they spluttered to 77-6.

The visitors rallied as Jake Hutson (22) and Kashif Ibrahim (43*) put on 51 for the seventh-wicket but Matt Blandford (3-42) removed Hutson to see the score at 128-7.

Matt Blandford then bowled Navin Patel (three) at 133-8 but a late surge from Ibrahim pushed Nomads to 161 before the loss of their last wicket.

The Bridges reply got off to a superb start. Openers Conor Golding (38 off 30 balls) and Sam Cooper (45 off 34 balls) combined to make 79 for the first-wicket in double-quick time.

Golding’s quickfire innings was ended by Will Collard (2-39) before he struck again to bowl Cooper with the Bridges total at 95-2.

Joe Walker (seven) was the next home batsman to fall to Collard but this time it was a superb piece of fielding that did the damage as Collard bagged a run out.

The score was now at 112-3. Needing 49 runs to win it was left to David Winn and Ollie Blandford to steer Bridges home.

Winn struck 44 while Blandford hit 21 as the hosts ran out victorious in their final fixture of 2019.