Talk about a captain’s performance! New Zealander Brad Schmulian led Bradford League side Woodlands to Yorkshire Premier League play-off glory at Headingley on Sunday with an all-round performance for the ages.
In seeing off Appleby Frodingham, champions of the YPL South, Schmulian claimed 3-41 with his leg-spinners, had a hand in two run outs and amassed a superb unbeaten 100.
Woodlands chased down a 151 target inside 30 overs to lay to bed the disappointment of the last two White Rose Trophy finals at Headingley, in which they have been beaten by Sheriff Hutton Bridge (2019) and Castleford (2021).
Speaking to the Bradford League website, Schmulian said: “Getting to Headingley and winning after two near misses has been our goal, and I am so proud we have been able to do it.”
Woodlands had to come from behind to reach Headingley, pipping league leaders New Farnley to the Bradford League title late in the season.
“Who would have thought six weeks ago that we would end up winning three trophies,” said Schmulian. “First, we won the T20, then the league and now this.
“I could not be prouder of my team.
“We kept believing even when New Farnley were ahead of us in the league. We just kept believing, and after winning the league we then had the opportunity to take part in the play-offs.”
Schmulian, 32, is a South African-born New Zealander who plays his first-class cricket for Central Districts.
He has been a long-standing overseas player at Woodlands.
After Appleby Frodingham elected to bat, it didn’t work out for them.
They could only stumble to 150-9 from 50 overs, including opener and captain Alex Grimes’ grafting 59 off 121 balls.
Seven of the nine wickets fell to spin. Chris Brice claimed 3-33 from 15 overs, Schmulian 3-41 from 13 and Kez Ahmed 1-29 from nine.
In reply, Woodlands fell to 5-1 when Sam Frankland offered a return catch to Jordan Neil, giving the Scunthorpe side a glimmer of hope.
But it was quickly snuffed out by Schmulian and second-wicket partner Tim Jackson, who made an unbeaten 41 off 70.
Schmulian, however, finished with 100 off 94 balls, including 13 fours and the fixture’s only six.
He reached his century at the start of the 30th over before, two balls later, Jackson hit the winning boundary to spark joyous scenes for a side who finally got their hands on a trophy that has been so near yet so far in recent seasons.