Westgate Cricket Club was founded in 1936 under the name of BROOK & KERSHAW, a Builders and Contractors based at 106 Devonshire Road in the Westgate area of Morecambe Lancashire, and joined the Lancaster & District Cricket League in the third division. In their first year BROOK & KERSHAW finished runners up and were duly promoted, due to Morton's resignation from the league. They continued their success of the first year becoming Division 2 champions in their second year, gaining their second promotion in 2 years.
BROOK & KERSHAW changed their name to WESTGATE in 1939 and remained in the top division until 1941 being runners up to Storeys in 1939 and 1940.
WESTGATE rejoined the league in 1946 and were immediately successful in winning the league that year.
Entering Division “A” in 1937, the second eleven contested there until the end of 1939, being Champions in 1938, under the name of BROOK & KERSHAW II. Rejoining in 1947, played that season in Division 3, following which they returned to Division “A”.
Westgate maintained two teams in the Lancaster & District Cricket League until 1970 when they joined the South Westmorland Cricket League. In the years in between the 1946 championship and their transfer to the South Westmorland Cricket League Westgate appeared in 4 cup finals but sucess eluded them, finishing as losing finalists in all 4. It was not until 1965, in their fifth final, that they achieved success. It was the acclaimed and prestigious Tower Shield competition, a major triumph against Morecambe C. C. There were championships in 1958 and 1961 for the first team, in Division 2. There was a championship for the second team in division 3 in 1961 and division 4 in 1969.
Westgate did not quite make the same impact in the South Westmorland Cricket League as they had in the Lancaster & District Cricket League. It was not until 1973 that they had any sort of success with the second team being runners up in Division 2 and losing finalists in the Tartan Keg Cup.
It was in the newly named South Lakeland League in 1976 that the first team tasted more success gaining promotion from division 3 as runners up. The club then had to wait until 1980 for any further success with the second team winning the Whitbread cup in division 5. They continued their success the following year achieving promotion as runners up to division 4.
The next few years are best summed up by an extract from the book “Of Smittle Spots and Sticky Buns” charting the history of the Westmorland Cricket League. The book starts the Westgate story in 1975 in division 5 and follows the fortunes of the first team and its players until 1993.
‘Moor Hospital had finished comprehensively bottom of the old South Westmorland League in 1974 with no wins in 20 matches. Westgate had finished next to bottom with one win. Within a year they too were in the third division of the South Lakeland League but came straight back on the runs of Gary Birtwistle and Brian Jordan and the wickets of Chris Hill, Ken Tattersall and John Carden. Birtwistle was regarded as a batsmen and Carden had a reputation for cleaning up the tail in double-quick time. A useful asset for any side.
It was Hill and Tattersall with 50-wicket seasons in 1983 that bowled Westgate into the first division, but it was a short lived experience. The old Westgate failing had been the batting and this persisted, especially against first division bowling. The truth was, that until some batting troops were found to support Hill and Tattersall, there was no chance of competition in the top bracket. Chris Hill himself was no mean bat. By the mid 1980’s the cavalry had arrived in the form of some mad keen youngsters. In 1986 there was an usual sight of a Westgate man sitting on top of the second division batting averages. Probably the last time such a prize had been brought home was when Joe Warburton headed the first division of Lancaster & District Cricket League in 1963 and the Westgate ground was actually in Westgate.
In young Peter Wilson, Joe would have seen a precocious talent. A year later runs positively gushed forth as David Howard, Nigel Parkinson and Peter’s brother Andrew “Jockey” Wilson all scored freely to regain first division status. It was a whole new ball game and, as at Silverdale, the new regime was helped by an improvement in the home wicket. The enforced move to Cross Hill Park at the end of the 1960’s had been to virgin territory. For many years the Westgate wicket had also been regarded as “iffy”. With a good young side to play on the improved surface, optimism abounded. And with good cause, promotion to the first division came in 1987.
After many years with little to cheer about, seasons 1988 and 1989 will be talked about for a long time at Westgate. There had been a red-letter day in 1965 when they beat Morecambe Seconds in the Tower Shield final but since then nothing, or very little. In 1988 they won the league's premier knock-out cup competition, the BOC Gases, by beating fellow Cross Hill men Bare and in 1989 they finished runners-up in the championship. Glory days indeed and more individual honours to boot. In 1988 Daren Tomkins won the first division bowling averages and in 1989 opening batsmen Nigel Parkinson scored 676 runs and averaged 52 to win the batting averages. Parkinson was a suitable case for press-ganging. Many a side would have paid for the reliability and consistency he showed in the late 1980’s.
It was Peter Wilson however who was the catalyst, in the space of nine games he scored three league centuries. To the best of my knowledge nobody had ever before scored three first division centuries in a season- not Scott, not Donoghue, not Mason. Yet this remarkable fact was not the main talking point. It was the manner in which he scored all three centuries that had the tongues wagging and those who saw them enthralled. The teams that suffered were powerless to stop the onslaught. In the three innings he scored 326 runs from 92 scoring shots:
v Galgate 105 in 31 scoring shots(48 balls faced)
v Silverdale 102 in 27 scoring shots(39 balls faced)
v Arnside 119no in 34 scoring shots(41 balls faced)
Stupendous stuff, yet he still only scored 8 more runs for the season than Parkinson.’
In 1982 the under 16 side won the southern section of the league, the Cumbria Association Cup and were runners up for all sections of the league. Some the players from this team were to find themselves playing first team cricket earlier than expected as several older players left the club at the same time. This junior team formed the basis of the team that enjoyed success at the end of the 1980’s. After the successful years 1987 to 1989 the club was optimistic and looking forward to further success. This was supported in 1990 when they finished sixth in the first division and won the Tower Shield for the second time in their history beating Carnforth in the final. Andrew Wilson achieved the rare distinction of scoring a century in the final. The 8th of June 1990 saw a historic and arguably the most memorable Westgate victory; playing in the Meagean Cup they defeated Netherfield first team by 4 runs. The Northern League side fielded their strongest side including their professional R. Tucker. Batting first Westgate scored 118 for 4 in their allotted overs, Steve Fisher scoring 40 (off 30 balls) and Andrew Wilson 29. In reply Netherfield were soon in disarray at 11 for 4 due to the bowling of Darren Hope (9 – 0 – 56 – 7) and Chris Hill (9 – 1 – 50 – 2). D.Otway (43) led a recovery but they finished 4 runs short of their target giving Westgate an unpredicted but unforgettable victory.
In 1991 the first team finished in the lower half of the table and some of the optimism was starting to disappear. The following year was a disaster as the first team was relegated from the top flight achieving only one win in the league all season. Meanwhile there were more young players emerging from a junior side that were Cumbria Cup Finalist and who were playing in the second team with some success.
In 1993 the first team regained their place in the top flight by finishing as runners up in the second division while the second team finished third in the fourth division. More success was achieved in the cup competitions as both teams won their divisional knock out cups. This was to be the start of an amazing period for the club where honours and finals seem to be an annual event! The following year the first team struggled to keep their division one status avoiding relegation by 2 points but the second team, with several young players won their “double”, the Adam and Gaskell Cup and the Division Four Championship, the first time this had been achieved in the history of the league. The first team for the third time lifted the Tower Shield.
In 1995 the first team retained the Tower Shield and were finalists in the Hackney and Leigh Trophy, more importantly they finished fifth in the league. The second team struggled in the third division initially but finished seventh, a creditably performance given that several of the younger players, notably Danny Wilkinson and Steve Creed, had moved into the first team. This year also saw another successful junior side, captained by David Lord, they won the southern section of the league and won the league play off beating a very strong Kendal side.
The following three years produced only small successes. 1996 saw the juniors as finalists in the Cumbria Association Cup with the first team finishing in the lower half of the table. 1997 the second team were finalists in their divisional cup competition while the first team finished fourth in the league. 1998 the first team again struggled in the first division finishing eighth but reached the final of the Hackney and Leigh Trophy. Four finals since 1995 and no trophies but there was a feeling within the club that Westgate were not far away from the glory they craved. In 1999 the first team at last began to show what they could achieve finishing third while the seconds once again finished as losing finalists in their divisional cup. The potential of the first team was further illustrated in the Jennings Cup (formerly the Meagean Cup) where they reached the semi-final of the competition. In the first round Carlisle were beaten by 79 runs earning Westgate the best team performance award in the competition. Batting first Westgate scored 150 for 9, Steve Creed (47 not out), in reply Carlisle were bowled out for 71, Peter Wilson (8 - 3 – 8 – 3) and Andy Nisbet (8 – 4 – 10 – 2) doing the damage. In the second round, under the captaincy of young Dave Lord, they beat Egremont by 72 runs, Andrew Wilson’s 109 not out (earning him the man-of-the-match award) and Chris Hill’s 8 – 1 – 22 – 6 being the outstanding performances. In the quarter final they eased past Cartmel with Alan Horne (37) being the top scorer with the bat while Chris Hill returned figures of 8 – 4 – 8 – 2 with the ball. There were high expectations as they faced Penrith in the semi-final but sadly these expectations were to be dashed losing by 47 runs. Batting first Penrith scored 228 for 7, Ian Higson (8 – 1 – 18 – 2) returning the best figures. The run chase was led by Alan Horne (36), Peter Wilson (34) and Steve Creed (25) but ended unhappily as Westgate fell short.
At the start of the 2000 season there was an air of optimism that maybe this was the year when at last the club would achieve a trophy and so it proved in what was the most memorable and historic season in the club’s history. The Over Sands Travel Division One cup was won in early August followed by the Hackney and Leigh Trophy at the end of August, in a truly dramatic game, now all eyes were on the Division One Championship. An unprecedented treble, surely unthinkable but this was a young Westgate side, now supremely confident in their ability with two trophies in the bag. The 2000 season was to finish with Westgate treble Champions as Nigel Parkinson guided the team to their first league championship. To quote John Glaister the League historian
“Congratulations to go to Westgate Cricket Club after their marvellous season in which they completed a unique top treble by winning outright the championship of the Westmorland Cricket League, the League Cup and the Division one K. O. Trophy. Such success is unprecedented in the League’s history”
“Seeds for the future were sown in the early 80’s with investment in a youth policy. This season’s phenomenal success is testimony to the good sense of that policy. A wonderful team spirit won several games, never better illustrated than in the League Cup Final when numbers ten and eleven (Ian Higson and Dave Murphy) knocked off 39 runs to win the game. Fielding of the highest order was also the key to the team’s success”.
The youth policy of the club provided the side with all but three players that comprised the first team squad in 2000 and in a season where everyone in the squad contributed to the success they achieved it is perhaps unfair to single out individuals but in Nigel Parkinson, an astute and no nonsense captain, and the talismanic all-rounder Peter Wilson the side had players who could alter the course of the game very quickly.
The treble winning squad : Nigel Parkinson (Capt.), Steve Creed, Paul Griffiths, Dave Hannigan, Alan Horne, Ian Higson, David Hughes, David Lord, Dave Murphy, Andrew Nisbet, Danny Wilkinson, Andrew Wilson, Peter Wilson.
The challenge that now faced the club was to maintain this success. At the start of the 2001 season the aim of the club was to retain the League Championship. They were to come so close to achieving that aim but as history was to record the team was to be cruelly denied in the dying moments of the season. In August the first team retained the Over Sands Travel Trophy and were in contention to achieve “back to back” Championships. The fixture list could not have given a more thrilling climax to the season, the final game was against Arnside who were in the top spot with Westgate 4 points behind in second which meant that only a win would be good enough to retain the Championship. Batting first Arnside moved quickly to 76 for 4 but then Ian Higson with 4 for 10 reduced them to 93 all out. In reply Westgate moved steadily and surely towards their target but at 68 for 2 (Peter Wilson 30 n.o.) with 35 overs remaining the players were taken off the field due to rain. The rain eventually stopped but after an inspection the umpires decided that the ground was unfit and the Championship was lost.
The disappointment of losing the League Championship was tapered by the second team gaining promotion by winning the Third Division Championship, thus ensuring that Westgate would start the 2002 season with a team in each of the top two divisions of the League.
In 2002 the disappointment of losing the Championship the previous year was to be the spur that the Westgate team needed. In August they won the Over Sands Travel Trophy for the third successive year and regained the League Championship by 9 points from Arnside the following month. This year saw the return of Rodger Hill from Settle after a two year absence and the emergence of yet another young player, all rounder Andy Hill, the youngest member of the Hill family. The second team were not to be out done; they won the Milnthorpe Taxis Trophy and finished third in division 2, a tremendous achievement in their first year in the division.
The club were now a formidable force in the Westmorland Cricket League with a powerful squad of players. The team that everyone wanted to beat.
The 2003 season began with high hopes of retaining the League Championship but Westgate were to find that history repeats itself. In August the first team won the all divisions Hackney and Leigh Trophy leaving the League Championship still to be won. Despite their best efforts they were to be once again beaten at the post and had to settle for the runners-up position, losing out by the narrow margin of 3 points. The promising youngster,Andy Hill, played 12 matches for the first team taking 27 wickets with a best return of 5 for17. Meanwhile the second team were contesting for honours in division 2. Having already retained the divisional Milnthorpe Taxis Trophy, at the beginning of September, they were keen to complete the double of league and cup. They needed to win their final game of the season to clinch the Championship which they duly did and the celebrations began. The club had completed an almost perfect season with the second team “double winners” in the second division and the first team League cup winners and runners-up in the first division. Cruelly four days later a decision by the League was to rob the second team of their Championship title. The result in the game between Heysham and Carnforth was to be altered, to a Heysham win, after it was found that the Carnforth side include an illegible player. This meant that Heysham gained an extra 4 points and thus won the Championship from a dejected Westgate second team by 3 points. At least for 4 days the Westgate club could claim they were the Champions, a disappointing and harsh way for the season to end for the club.
Westgate began the 2004 season with a single aim in mind, to regain the League Championship. In Peter Wilson and Nigel Parkinson they had the catalyst to do so but there was one other player who was to play a large part in this season’s campaign, Danny Wilkinson. A product of the Westgate junior side of 1992, an all-rounder, Danny finished the season as the League’s leading wicket taker with 70 victims, one ahead of Peter Wilson! He had 10 five wicket hauls with a best return of 7 for 8. With the bat he scored 286 runs in the League hitting 13 sixes while Peter Wilson scored 728 runs in the League and had a best return of 9 for 11. With the ball these two destroyed opposition batting ruthlessly and with Ian Higson, 33 wickets, as a “backup”, this was a truly fearsome bowling attack. Nigel Parkinson, ever reliable with the bat, scored 460 runs in the League.
The Westgate side won the Championship by a margin of 29 points and in doing so won the John Thexton Trophy for the Divisional Champions achieving the highest percentage of points available. The first team also won the Tower Shield, with Peter Wilson scoring an unbeaten century in the final, emulating his brother’s feat in 1990. The second team finished fifth in the League but won the Milnthorpe Taxis Trophy, for the third successive year.
The 2005 season began with high hopes of further glories but there was to be disappointment instead of honours. Reaching the Hackney and Leigh Trophy Final the first team were to be beaten, the first time in 6 years that they had not won a final. In the League they were to finish as runners-up to Windermere, by 5 points this despite losing only 2 games to Windermere’s 4. The second team finished 4th in the second division and they also reached the final of the Oxbridge County Cup but unfortunately lost in a close game to Keswick. In spite of reaching two finals and the high league positions of both teams many considered this a disappointing season for the club with no trophy to show, the first time since 1999 that Westgate had failed to win anything! There were Club and individual records broken at the start of the season. On April 23rd Steve Creed (126 n.o.) and Peter Wilson (116) against Carnforth in the Tower Shield created a new Club record for any wicket of 202, Steve also created a new Club record for the highest individual score.There was an individual honour of note. Peter Wilson achieved a personal double of winning both the League batting and bowling averages, amazingly the second time he had achieved this feat, the first time was in the treble winning year of 2000. In the history of the League no other player has achieved this.
Westgate were determined to put the disappointment of 2005 behind them as they started the 2006 campaign. The first team secured their first trophy of the season winning the Over Sands Travel Trophy but the League Championship drifted away from them as the season drew to a close and they finished third, the last time they finished that low in the League was 1999. There was an individual performance of note Steve Creed achieved a club record for the highest individual score of 126 not out. Steve was also part of the Club's highest ever stand and first 200 run partnership when with Peter Wilson (116) they put on 202 for the second wicket against Carnforth in a first round Tower Shield game. The second team, captained by Alan Horne, were still a force to be reckoned with in the second division finishing as runners-up and reaching the Milnthorpe Taxis Trophy Final. Yet another Westgate junior, Craig Simms, scored his maiden century while others were starting to emerge: Johnny Boland, Zak Buchanan, Garry Tattersall and Phil Webster. There was success for the Under 24 side winning the West End Dental Laboratory Cup captained by Andy Hill.
The 2007 season saw further success with the first team winning the Hackney and Leigh Trophy but the League Championship had slipped away and they finished well behind in third place. They reached the final of the Tower Shield, a game that was to be played at the start of the 2008 season. The second team could not match the success of the previous year and finished 6th in their division. There were two individual performances this year. Peter Wilson scoring 123 not out and returning figures of 8 for 38 in the same game and Steve Creed, improving on his club batting record, scoring 138 not out, an innings of awesome power.
The 2008 season started with the first team losing the Tower Shield 2007 Final heavily to Milnthorpe. The first team retained the Hackney and Leigh Trophy in the gathering gloom and rain. The fourth time they had won this trophy since 2000, an unparalleled achievement in this competition. In the League Warton were cruising towards a second successive title at the mid-way point, after 11 games Westgate found themselves 27 points behind. To quote the League Historian “Only a stray bullet in the foot could prevent Warton from claiming successive titles”. Westgate would not give up the chase, slowly but surely the lead was whittled away and with 3 games remaining were only 1 point behind. The next game saw Westgate overhaul Warton claiming a 5 point lead to set up a clash that could decide the Championship, the two contenders were due to meet in the penultimate game of the season. It was unfortunate, that with both clubs looking forward to this game, that the weather should intervene and no play was possible, this left Westgate needing to win their final game, at home, to secure a fourth title. The final day of the League season saw further drama at Westgate, overnight it had rained heavily but the wicket had not been covered, any further rain could have put the game in doubt. The Westgate groundsman enlisted the help of several players to help dry out the wicket and clear the outfield of water but when they arrived at the ground they found to their horror that two stray horses had damaged parts of the outfield but luckily not the wicket. With hard work, a determination to make the ground playable and no further rain the game started on time in warm sunshine. Westgate won the game convincingly to claim their fourth title in 9 years.
Quoting the League Historian “The club is not just the team of the new millennium, Westgate can now claim to be one of the few super teams to grace the Westmorland Cricket League since its formation in 1894”. However Westgate actually achieved this distinction in 2004 since “a super team must win 3 championships in a condensed period” Since 2000 Westgate won 4 championships, were runners-up 3 times and finished third twice, surely a record that few teams can equal.
This success had been achieved on the back of the club’s youth policy initiated in the 1980’s and the loyalty to the club shown by the players. Five players played in all four Championship winning sides and all five were Westgate juniors; Steve Creed, Dave Hughes, Nigel Parkinson, Danny Wilkinson and Peter Wilson. Nigel Parkinson captained three of the Championship sides and Peter Wilson one. Five other players played in three Championship sides; Rodger Hill, David Lord, Dave Murphy, Andy Nisbet and Andrew Wilson, four of them were Westgate juniors. Five further players have played in two Championship sides; Paul Griffiths, Dave Hannigan, Ian Higson, Andy Hill and Alan Horne, three of them Westgate juniors.
There is one other “team” person who must be mentioned, the scorer Christine Hill, who scored impeccably for all four Championship winning sides, and without whom the first team would not have such neat, accurate and detailed scorebooks.
Since the year 2000 Westgate have achieved amazing success on the field, such success has been proudly watched by ex-players John Carden, Lionel Cranfield, Ced Dyson and Brian Pedder. Lionel joined the club as a player in 1956, became a committee member in 1959 and has humbly served the club as its President since 1972, the length of time Lionel has served the club is probably a record in itself! Ced joined the club as a player in 1964 and has served the club as its Chairman since 1980. Both have given unswerving service and loyalty to Westgate Cricket Club for which the club is indebted.
The 2009 season began, like others had before following a Championship winning season, with the target of achieving a back to back Championship. However, it was the cup competitions that were to provide not only the successes but also some of the most exciting matches of the season. In April the second team travelled to Keswick in the John Scott County Cup. Set 182 for victory Keswick seem to be progressing steadily toward the target but some tight bowling and excellent fielding slowed their progress and with one ball to go they needed 2 runs to win with one wicket left. The ball was hit into the outfield but the fielders held their nerve and with an accurate throw straight to the keeper’s gloves the scores were tied, Westgate winning by having lost fewer wickets. The Westgate players and supporters started the celebrations, few realised that this was not to be the only game to go to the wire this season.
The first team made a steady start to their League campaign only losing one League game up to the end of June. At the end of June they faced Windermere in the Over Sands Travel Trophy. With a slightly weakened team Westgate reached 172 all out (Peter Wilson 71). In reply Windermere looked to be capable of achieving the target but good bowling (Andy Hill 4 for 22 and Garry Tattersall 2 for 28) and enthusiastic fielding Westgate held the onslaught. With one ball remaining 2 runs were required by Windermere or 1 wicket by Westgate, what followed was unbelievable cricket. The ball was hit into the outfield with the batsmen completing the first run easily to tie the scores then thinking they had won the game, on wickets lost, the batsmen congratulated themselves failing to realise that the ball was not yet dead.. Meanwhile Peter Wilson collecting the ball fired it straight to the gloves of wicketkeeper Dave Murphy who duly removed the bails with the batsman well out of his ground thereby ensuring a tie and a replay.
From the 27 June to the end of July the league campaign took a huge knock with the side losing 3 out of 5 games and taking only 20 points. With two of these games against the bottom sides this could have been a death blow to the Championship ambitions finding themselves 35 points behind the leaders.
In August the Over Sands Travel Trophy Final was won against Shireshead. The fifth time, since 2000, that Westgate have won this trophy, with Andy Hill being judged man of the match. If results in July were poor August provided the final surge towards the back to back Championship Westgate so much wanted. Five matches all won with maximum points took the side to within 7 points of the leaders Warton, who they had to play in the penultimate game of the season. Many saw this as a Championship decider and one that neither side could afford to lose. Winning the toss Warton elected to bat first, losing their first wicket in the first over before rain sent the players from the field. After the break Warton slowly but surely began to amass a total and ensure that they used all their overs. Warton finished with 151 for 9 leaving Westgate with 35 overs to score the runs for victory. Westgate started confidently scoring 29 in the first 10 overs but then with a deep defensive field Westgate’s challenge faltered and with only 18 runs coming in the next 10 overs the game had drifted away from Westgate. Despite some big hitting from Danny Wilkinson Westgate finished 34 runs short of victory and had to settle for a rain affected draw.
Despite winning their last game easily Westgate fell 4 points short of their back to back Championship dreams. There were two centuries scored during the season, Rodger Hill (100 n.o.) completed a much deserved maiden century against Kirkby Lonsdale and Peter Wilson scored 103 against Arnside.
The second team finished 6th following an inconsistent season but several young players started to fulfil their promise Khan Puffett (98) and Zak Buchanan (8 for 28) returning the best performances. Nathan Watts became a regular player while 15 year old Chris Carter, 14 year old Matthew Hannigan and 13 year olds Chris Cape and Craig Buchanan all played several games, and all playing with assurance and confidence. There were also notable performances from the senior members of the team. Saeed Patel taking 8 for 55 against Trimpell and Rob Shillitoe taking 8 for 11 against Ambleside. However the outstanding performance for the second team must be that of the opening pair of Dave Hannigan (90) and Sid Gani (95n.o.) in the game against Shireshead "A" on the 11th of July. Together they put on 191 for the first wicket creating a new Westgate record for the highest partnership for any wicket in a League game as well as creating a new Club record for the highest opening partnership in any competition.
In the Milnthorpe Taxis Trophy in July the second team faced Trimpell in the semi-final. With an early start 11a.m. Westgate won the toss and elected to bat and were soon in trouble at 0 for 3. They recovered to 78 for 7 thanks to Mo Patel (30) and Suchit Desai (25) leading the fight back. It was left to old campaigner Andrew Wilson (44) to take the score to a respectable 147 all out. In reply Trimpell were reduced to 18 for 3 but recovered to 76 for 4 after 16 overs but then with wickets falling on a regular basis finished 128 all out. With the wickets shared between all the bowlers this was a tremendous victory, a real effort.
They faced Sedgwick at the beginning of August in the final, as fate would have it they also faced Sedgwick in the League fixture the day before. Westgate lost the League fixture by 1 wicket with 3 balls left. In the final on the Sunday they were determined to reverse the result of the previous day. Batting first Sedgwick scored 126 all out with Zak Buchanan returning figure of 5 for 37. In reply Westgate seemed to coasting to victory at 81 for 2 in the 20th over but suddenly they found themselves at 101 for 7 with 4 overs remaining. With two overs remaining they were 114 for 9 with the old campaigner Andrew Wilson and man of the match Zak Buchanan at the crease. At the start of the final over Westgate required 4 runs for victory, the first two balls produced no runs, the third ball two. One run was scored off the fourth ball to tie the scores, two balls left and one run needed to win. The tension was felt around the ground as the fifth ball was kept out safely, one ball left and still one run needed. The final ball of the game was played into the outfield, the batsmen immediately set off both just making their ground safely to claim the trophy for the 4th time in the last decade.
In the John Scott County Cup Westgate faced Whitehaven at the quarter final stage. Batting first Westgate were 55 for 7 and struggling to make a respectable score but some stubborn batting from the lower order took the score to 111 all out. In reply Whitehaven were 85 for 4 and looking comfortable but suddenly they lost 4 wickets and at 98 for 8 the game could have gone either way. Whitehaven edged closer and closer to the Westgate score reaching 107 for 8 before Zak Buchanan removed the last two batsmen in three balls to claim victory by 4 runs.
The Under 24’s, captained by Andy Hill, reached the final of the West End Dental Trophy where they faced Netherfield. This game was beset by the weather taking four attempts to complete it. Batting first the Under 24’s scored 155 for 5 with Andy Hill (55n.o.) leading the way. In reply Netherfield never looked as they would threaten the Westgate score and finished 116 all out, Andy Hill with 3 for 27 to add to his half century being adjudged the man of the match.
The success achieved in the cup competitions in 2009 was unprecedented and caused problems with the arrangement of cup fixtures resulting in two cup matches being conceded since no date could be found to play them! Such was the success that from the start of the season in April to the middle of September the club had commitments every Saturday and Sunday which resulted in the first XI playing 31 games, the 2nd XI playing 29 games and the Under 24’s 6 games. The problems with the fixtures was illustrated on the last Sunday of the season when the club was faced with playing three finals, the Under 24’s and two Mid-Week Cup Finals. They won all three to end an amazing year in all the cup competitions.
The Decade 2000 – 2009
“The club is not just the club of the new millennium, Westgate can now claim to be one of the few super clubs to grace the Westmorland Cricket League since its formation in 1894”.
League Championships 2000 2002 2004 2008
League Runners-up 2001 2003 2005 2009
Hackney and Leigh Cup Winners 2000 2003 2007 2008
Hackney and Leigh Cup Finalists 2005
Over Sands Travel Trophy Winners 2000 2001 2002 2006 2009
Tower Shield Winners 2004
Tower Shield Finalists 2007
John Thexton Trophy 2004
1. The John Thexton Trophy is awarded to the Division Champions obtaining the highest percentage of points available.
2. The Tower Shield Competition was not played from 1996 until it was re-initiated in 2004. Westgate won the competition in 1994 and 1995 and therefore by winning it in 2004 completed a “hat-trick” of Tower Shield wins
League Championships (Div.3) 2001
League Runners-up (Div.2) 2003 2006
Milnthorpe Taxis Trophy Winners 2002 2003 2004 2009
Milnthorpe Taxis Trophy Finalists 2006
Oxbridge County Cup (Finalists) 2005
The Second XI have played in the Second Division of the League from 2002, a Division that is comprised mainly of First XI's.
WestEnd Dental Laboratory Winners 2006 2009
The Under 24 competition (WestEnd Dental Laboratory Cup) was inaugurated in 2005
The 2010 season began with Nigel Parkinson relinquishing the first team captaincy, after a long and very successful tenure, to a younger player in the guise of 23 year old Andy Hill. Nigel decided to “give up” first team cricket accepting the second team captaincy with a view to help bring on younger players. The Club for the first time would be running three junior sides with the formation of an Under 12 side a huge undertaking for Westgate Cricket Club. At the beginning of the year the Club had started the process to achieve ClubMark Accreditation, a process that would be ongoing throughout the season.
The first team began their season with a Tower Shield match against the holders, Milnthorpe, a game they won easily to move into the semi-final of the competition. The first full weekend of the League season two centuries scored, the first by Peter Wilson (108) against Trimpell followed by young Aaron Pearce (102 n.o.), his maiden century, against Workington in the John Scott County Cup. Aaron started the season in great form hitting 324 runs in his first 8 innings and 546 runs in the season. The game against Trimpell saw the highest ever 1st XI partnership for any wicket of 172 between Peter Wilson and Andy Hill (72 n.o.)
The first team made a promising start to their League campaign despite an early loss to Arnside. Batting first they set Arnside a target of 214, after 20 overs with the score on 72 for 4 Westgate seemed to be in control however a 5th wicket stand of 107 in 17 overs took the game away from Westgate and the game was lost. Disappointing as it was this was the only defeat the first team suffered in all competitions until the end of June. At the beginning of June Peter Wilson (130) scored his second century of the season in a Hackney and Leigh Cup match against Kirkby Lonsdale. This was an innings of destruction he scored the first 50 in 44 balls and reached the century just 31balls later. In the same match David Lord (67) shared a second wicket partnership of 168 with Peter Wilson lasting 68 minutes which basically destroyed the opposition. The League game against Shireshead started in a completely different vein. After 10 overs Westgate were struggling at 32 for 5 with the main batting back in the pavilion. Danny Wilkinson (42) and Khan Puffett (55) staged a recovery, Wilkinson in the only way he knows taking only 23 balls to hit his runs while Puffett taking 54 balls was a little more reserved. David Hughes (55) then followed their lead scoring his runs at a run a ball and with some useful hitting from the tail end Westgate finished on 226 all out after 40.2 overs. This batting performance showed the strength of the Westgate batting line up with the last 5 wickets putting on 194 runs. In reply Shireshead clearly decided to chase the target and were 182 for 5 with 12 over remaining. With the re-introduction of the opening bowlers Westgate took 3 wickets in 3 overs, Shireshead needed 36 off 10 overs with 2 wickets left. The 9th wicket fell with 4 overs remaining but Westgate were unable to claim the last wicket to secure victory.
Probably the most exciting and most heartbreaking match of the season was the League game against Championship rivals Milnthorpe. Batting first Westgate scored 252 for 8 declared in 42 overs, a declaration that would eventually prove a decisive factor in the result, by giving Milnthorpe 3 extra overs to chase the runs. In reply Milnthorpe made steady progress toward their target, as the Westgate bowlers struggled to take wickets. The game was to go to the very last ball, as the teams started the final over the best Westgate could hope for was a draw while Milnthorpe needed 6 runs with 5 wickets left. The tension built throughout the over, 5 balls gone but only 2 runs scored, the final ball and 4 required to win. The whole ground was silent as the bowler started his run-up, he bowled a slightly short of a length ball which the batsman swung at, connected and to the disappointed Westgate supporters and players the ball soared over the boundary for the winning runs.
At the beginning of July Westgate travelled to Silverdale where once again the strength of their batting was to be a decisive factor in the game. Silverdale set a target of 169 for victory, Khan Puffett (50) led the Westgate reply, at 107 for 3 off 25 overs Westgate appeared to be in control of the game but in the next over they were reduced to 110 for 5. With 7 overs left the score had moved to 142 for 8 with Darren McDermott (15 n.o.) and Saeed Patel (22 n.o.) at the crease. Through some careful batting and determination these two saw Westgate home with 2 overs remaining. The following game saw Westgate travel to Championship holders Warton, with Danny Wilkinson (6 for 30) in devastating form with the ball backed up by Peter Wilson (4 for 28) destroying the Warton batting. Chasing 70 to win Westgate achieved the total easily winning by 5 wickets. With 4 games remaining the League Championship was within Westgate’s grasp, they were top but the Championship could be won by any of four teams. The August Bank Holiday saw Westgate aspirations to be League Champions take a big knock taking only 8 points from the two games and once again losing in a tense finish this time against Shireshead by 1 run.
The League Championship went into the final Saturday of the season with 4 teams still in contention, Westgate were lying in third place and needed to win and hope that Shireshead the League leaders at the start of the day did not gain more than 7 points. With everything to play for the Westgate side found themselves asked to bat on a wet wicket and struggled to 95 a.o. With news filtering through from the other games that most of the possible Championship winning sides were in trouble Westgate took the field determined to win the game. Silverdale were 64 for 6 and the game evenly balanced, as the 7th wicket went down at 71 further news filtered through from the other games, Westgate would be Champions if they won. Despite renewed urgency to win the game the Westgate bowlers could not take the last three wickets needed, lost the game and finished in fourth position.
The disappointment of the League was soon to be forgotten the following day as the first team contested the Tower Shield Final against Trimpell. Batting first they scored 198 a.o. Peter Wilson (64) and Steve Creed (43) being the main contributors. In reply Trimpell never looked liked threatening the Westgate score being 95 a.o. with 15 year old Matthew Hannigan taking his first ever wicket for the first team. Peter Wilson was adjudged Man of the Match.
Peter Wilson cemented his standing as one of the foremost and dominating bowlers in the League by winning the Divisional Bowling Award.
The second team had a disappointing start to their League campaign winning only two out of their first 7 games but they had progressed to the semi-final of their divisional cup competition. However, from the beginning of June the second team were unbeaten in the League, winning 10 games where they took maximum points, 2 winning draws and 3 rain affected games, giving them 230 points, which is usually enough to win the Division. With 3 games remaining the second team were leading the division from Sedgwick and had their eyes on the Championship. In the Bank Holiday game against Shireshead they were unable to capture the last Shireshead wicket and had to settle for 10 points while Sedgwick took 15 in their game to reduce their lead at the top. The penultimate game was to prove decisive in the Championship race, Westgate played Holme a bottom of the division side and were expecting to win. Batting first Westgate amassed a score of 193 for 7 declared. Holme were determined not to lose the game as they batted slowly and stubbornly reaching 103 for 6 to deny Westgate valuable points. Meanwhile Sedgwick took maximum points and also top spot. Going into the final League game Westgate had to win and hope that Sedgwick lost points, unfortunately even though Westgate beat their local rivals Bare to take maximum points, Sedgwick took the points they needed to win the Championship.
Once again junior players showed that they had potential to play at senior level; Nathan Watts, Chris Carter, Jack Friel, Matthew Hannigan, Craig Buchanan, Chris Cape and Connor Jeffreys and all playing with assurance and confidence. All rounder Matthew Hannigan was also to make his first team debut during the season. Nathan Watts was to take his first 5 wicket haul with 5 for 27 against Bare. Both these juniors were also outstanding fielders while Chris Carter started to show promise as a batsman and an off-spin bowler (Best return of 3 for 13).
While the younger players were starting to show promise the older players were still producing some notable performances with the bat and ball. With the bat Nigel Parkinson, Dave Hannigan and Sid Gani all made significant contributions. With the ball Saeed Patel 51 wickets at an average of 9.35, which won him the League Divisional Bowling Award, with a best return of 8 for 60 against Sedgwick; Rob Shillitoe, Sid Gani and Andy Nisbet all were part of a strong bowling line-up. In the field Dave Hannigan was unrivalled in the League being awarded the League Divisional Fielding Award.
In the Milnthorpe Taxis Divisional Trophy they beat Warton “A”, Holme and Bare on their way to the Final where their opposition were Ingleton. Batting first the Westgate batting never got on top of the Ingleton bowling and only Dave Hannigan (25) looked comfortable. They were eventually all out for 86. Despite losing a wicket in the first over Ingleton never looked in any problem as they won the game by 6 wickets. This was Westgate’s 6th appearance in the final in 9 years, being winners 4 times, surprisingly the only times they have lost is to the same opposition.
The Under 24’s reached the semi-final of their competition but lost to the eventual winners Barrow.
The Mid-Week youth side after losing their first game went on to win the Premier Division, they reached the final of both cup competitions where they faced the same opposition. Both finals were close affairs Westgate winning the Knock Out Cup and were runners-ups in the Premier Cup.
The junior sides tasted success this year, the newly formed Under 12’s were runners-up in the League and semi-finalists in their cup competition. The Under 14’s finished 4th in the League and reached the final of their cup competition finishing as runners-up in a very tight game which went to the last over.
On August 23rd 2010 the Club achieved ClubMark status and were designated as a Focus Club.
The 2011 season began with the news that Peter Wilson was unavailable for selection on a regular basis and with the “loss” of two further first team players as the season progressed this was going to be a testing season for the Club.
The first team began their League campaign with three successive maximum point wins. In the first game against Bolton-Le-Sands they were struggling at 64 for 4 chasing 166 to win when Garry Tattersall (31 n.o.) was joined at the crease by Danny Wilkinson (48 n.o.) in the 20th over. These two “opposites” slowly recovered the situation taking the score cautiously to 100 in the 28th over, then in the next 10 overs destroyed the opposition bowling as they saw the team past the winning post. In the next game Peter Wilson made his 2011 debut against Milnthorpe. Electing to bat Milnthorpe were in a comfortable position at 91 for 2 after 30 overs, but Wilson (4 for 17) and Andy Hill (3 for 31) reduced them to 139 a.o. In reply Wilson (78 n.o.) ably supported by Steve Creed (32 n.o.) saw Westgate home in 30 overs. The third game was a real “nail biter” against Silverdale. Having been put into bat Westgate struggled to 122 a.o. in 36 overs, Aaron Pearce top scoring with 24. In reply Silverdale looked to cruising to an easy win at 97 for 4 in the 22 over, Danny Wilkinson (4 for 24) took the 5th wicket, 6 runs later Andy Hill (3 for 19) bowled Silverdale’s top scorer Moffatt for 51. The score was now 105 for 6, in the next 5 overs Wilkinson and Hill both struck twice to destroy any hope Silverdale had of winning, as they fell 8 runs short.
The first team lost to Heysham in their next League game, their only loss in the League until the end of July, but extracted revenge by beating them in both the Hackney and Leigh and the Laurelle Cup Competitions just over a week later. At the end of May, Kirkby Lonsdale were dismissed for 33 with Andy Hill taking 6 for 23. June saw Peter Wilson playing on a regular basis, he took 16 wickets and scored 300 runs in the 5 games during the month. On the 25th June at Arnside, opening the batting, he set a new Club and individual Division 1 League batting record scoring 189 n.o. including 5 sixes and 27 fours. He then promptly opened the bowling taking 4 for 48 as Arnside batted out the draw.
The following week saw a top of the table clash against Warton. Batting first Westgate scored 170 for 9 in 45 overs with Aaron Pearce top scoring with 38, closely followed by David Lord and Dave Hannigan with 34 each. Warton began their reply by scoring 12 off the first over but also lost their first wicket, they lost their second wicket in the next over and after 9 balls they were 12 for 2. They staged a recovery to reach 57 before the next three wickets fell after 22 overs, it was at this point that they started to bat for the draw finishing on 98 for 7 with Peter Wilson returning bowling figures of 18 overs 12 maidens 14 runs 4 wickets. With the gap at the top of the table now narrowed Westgate entered the second half of the season with the confidence that they could win the Championship Title. However they were brought down to earth three days later when they were beaten in the semi-final of the Laurelle Cup by Shirehead. Winning the toss Shireshead batted first and helped by some woeful bowling and fielding reached 156 for 6 after 20 overs. In reply Westgate were never in the hunt and finished 47 runs short.
The second half of the League season was to be frustrating and annoying as the weather intervened in 5 of the remaining 10 games, with no play at all in 3 of them. As Westgate struggled to achieve results in the rain affected games Warton were managing to achieve wins in their games pulling away at the top of the table. The League Championship was decided by the August Bank Holiday weekend and Westgate had to settle for finishing as Runners up. There was some consolation in the fact that Westgate were in the final of the Tower Shield for the second year running after destroying neighbours Bare in the semi-final at the end of July. Batting first Westgate amassed a score of 254 for 7 with Andy Hill scoring 90 n.o. In reply Bare were never in the hunt and finished 100 a.o. with Garry Tattersall taking 4 for 23 and Peter Wilson 3 for 5.
There were first team maiden half centuries for Garry Tattersall, Aaron Pearce and Jack Turton. In dismissing Kirkby Lonsdale for 10 in a Division1 game, Westgate now hold the League record for dismissing a side for the lowest score in both top two divisions. (Shireshead were dismissed for 9 in a Division2 game in 1993)
The final of the Tower Shield saw Westgate playing Arnside. Winning the toss Arnside elected to bat and were soon in trouble at 4 for 3 but determined batting from their middle order recovered the situation, with the help of some poor fielding from the Westgate side, to finish on 188 a.o. In reply the Westgate batsmen scored steadily and after were in a strong position at 100 for 2 after 22 overs but with the dismissal of Peter Wilson for 68 the challenge started to fall away and they were to finish 30 runs short of the total needed.
The 2011 season saw the second team with a blend of experience and youth. The second team began the season at home to Coniston. Batting first they scored 216 for 2 declared, with Captain Nigel Parkinson 64 n.o. and “the old pro” Sid Gani 55. In reply Coniston were dismissed for 55 with Rob Shillitoe taking 4 for 14 and Zak Buchanan 3 for 8. This game saw the Westgate debut of 16 year old Dylan Conroy who celebrated by taking his first League wicket and first catch for the Club. The next game against Trimpell was a much closer affair, batting first Westgate struggled to 96 a.o. mainly due to a last wicket stand between Alan Horne (28) and 15 year old Craig Buchanan (10 n.o.) In reply Trimpell were reduced to 35 for 5 but despite losing another wicket passed the Westgate score in the 38th over. The third game of the season against local rivals Bare saw an unusual name on the team sheet, that of Peter Wilson. Winning the toss Bare batted first and were dismissed for 81 with Peter Wilson taking 5 for 17. In reply Westgate reached 48 for 1 after 14 overs and looked to be cruising toward victory suddenly the situation changed as 4 wickets fell for 5 runs. At 66 for 6 the game could have gone either way, at this point Peter Wilson was joined by Dylan Conroy, the old head and youthful confidence saw Westgate home. The next game was against Warton in the Divisional Cup, this was to be another tense game. Warton batting first scored 82 for 8 in their 20 overs with Mohammed Patel taking 2 for 3 and Sid Gani 3 for 14. In reply Westgate looked to be struggling with 4 batsmen out for a “duck” and only Sid Gani (26) and Roger Phillips (16) reaching double figures. At 69 for 8 Warton were sensing victory but the old heads of Nigel Parkinson and Rob Shillitoe made sure of victory with 3 overs to spare.
The League game at home against Cartmel saw 5 under 16 players in the team. Losing the toss Westgate were asked to bat and were soon in trouble at 19 for 3, Dave Hannigan (80 n.o.) ably supported first by Roger Phillips (16) and then his son Matthew (15) recovered the situation to 104 for 6 after 30 overs. With 8 overs remaining 15 year old Alex Briggs (10 n.o.) joined Hannigan and together they put on 41 runs to take the score to 165 for 7. In reply Cartmel lost two quick wickets but slowly recovered to 41 for 2 after 16 overs. The next over was bowled by 15 year old Craig Buchanan and by the end of the over Cartmel were 41 for 5 as Craig took a “hat-trick” his first at senior level. His first wicket was a caught and bowled to dismiss Anderson, followed by two inswingers to shatter the wickets of the next two batsmen. Cartmel were eventually dismissed for 121. The second team were to lose their next two games both against Burneside in the League and the Divisional Cup. The League game saw Nathan Watts top score with 29 and Dylan Conroy score 26 and take 3 for 10 with the ball. In the next League game against Shireshead Dylan was to miss out on a deserved half century by two runs.
By July the team were third in the League and underlined their growing strength and confidence as they visited Warton. Batting first Warton reached 178for 8 in their 45 overs, a challenging target but the Westgate side never looked in any danger of losing the game as Sid Gani (67 n.o.) and Phil Webster (50 n.o.) guided them home with 1 over remaining. The loss of the two out of the next three games all but saw the chance of finishing as Champions lost, they had to beat League leaders Ambleside to have any chance or recovering the lost ground. Winning the toss Ambleside were asked to bat first and as the potential Champions responded by scoring 235 for 4. The Westgate reply was solid with Dylan Conroy (28) leading the way, at 100 for 3 after 35 overs the game appeared to be destined for a draw until Phil Webster (73 n.o.) supported by Matthew Hannigan (27 n.o.) lead an assault on the target, this pair scored 76 runs in the last 9 overs to leave Westgate 176 for 3.
The away game against Cartmel saw a remarkable bowling analysis from young Dylan Conroy of 2.1 overs, 1 maiden, 6 runs 5 wickets. His first 5 wicket haul for the Club.
Despite winning 3 of the last 5 games the second team had to settle for third in the League. The biggest achievement of the 2011 season was the introduction of several junior players into the senior cricket arena, the youth policy of the club is now producing a new generation of players that will serve the Club for years to come. The most remarkable part is that there are more juniors in the “pipeline” ready and waiting for their chance at the senior level. Altogether 9 juniors played at senior level in 2011: Dylan Conroy, Matthew Hannigan, Craig Buchanan, Alex Briggs, Chris Cape, Ryan McMenamin, Elliot Chapman, Lewis Parkinson and Sam Frith.
The Mid-Week team swept all before them winning the Premier League Championship and reaching the final of both cup competitions. They faced the same opposition in both finals, local neighbours Torrisholme, easily brushing them aside in both games to complete a Mid-Week treble. 17 year old Jack Friel was adjudged the Man of the Match in the Knock-Out Cup final while Dylan Conroy was adjudged the Man of the Match in the Premier Cup final.
The 2011 season saw Westgate enter a side at Under 13 and Under 15 levels into the National Club Competition. While the Under 13 side was knocked out in the first round of their competition the Under 15 side progressed to the southern section county final. In the game against Furness Elliot Chapman scored a maiden half century, in 24 balls, for the Club.
The Under 16 side were runners-up in the League, losing only to eventual winners Lancaster. They also reached the semi-final of their Cup competition losing to a strong Arnside team in the gathering gloom of an August evening. Several Under 16 juniors should be mentioned for their performances throughout the season for the Club: Dylan Conroy scored 635 runs and took 51 wickets including one 5 wicket haul. Craig Buchanan scored 420 runs and took 49 wickets and also played for the District Under 15 side. Matthew Hannigan scored 366 runs and took 29 wickets. The Under 14 team were unlucky not to finish higher than third after challenging for the Championship throughout the season. Two games are worthy of mention, the game against Shireshead with a weakened team which ended in a tie and the game against Lancaster, chasing 132 for victory they ended just 8 runs short. The Under 12 side were a very young side and struggled against older more experienced opposition but they did win two games and played with enthusiasm and exuberance throughout.
A hat-trick is a rare event but the 2011 season saw 4 junior players achieve this feat: Elliot Chapman, Denver Lalonde, Craig Buchanan and Matthew Hannigan.