MIRFIELD CC stalwart Pat Neal reached a milestone last Saturday when he scored his 14,000th run for the club, writes Andrew Hunt.
However, on what should have been a day of celebrations it was far from plain sailing for Mirfield’s captain.
Opening the batting in in the Huddersfield Central League Section A clash at home to Denby, Pat needed eight runs to reach the 14,000 landmark but having made four, he sustained a nasty cut after top edging a delivery into his chin.
After an hour-and-a -half at Dewsbury District Hospital having stitches, Neal made a quick dash back to Memorial Park. He resumed his innings when Mirfield’s ninth wicket fell and he scored five more runs to pass the milestone.
Pat’s assocation with Mirfield goes back 25 years, during which time he has played with the club in three different leagues.
He was part of Mirfield’s successful Central League side during the 1990s and having featured with them during a spell in the Bradford League, he remained at the club when they moved to the Huddersfield Central League.
Pat has served on Mirfield’s committee for 20 years, while he is the cricket secretary and first team captain.
“Ever since I started playing cricket at the age of 13, I have kept a record of every innings I have played,” he said. “I have played for Mirfield since 1986, both for the first and second teams, and I knew going into this season that I needed 50-odd runs to reach 14,000.
“I didn’t feel any pain on Saturday but the adrenaline must have worn off, as I was a little groggy on Sunday, although that could also be to do with the time spent chasing leather during our cup tie that day.”
Pat has scored 13 hundreds and a staggering 84 fifties on his way to the 14,000 mark, while he has won a Heavy Woollen Cup, a Central Yorkshire League title, the Jack Hampshire Cup and two Wheatley Cups during that spell.
He scored 8,577 runs in the CYL between 1986 and 2000, 2,535 in the Bradford League between 2001 and 2004 and 2,889 runs in the Huddersfield Central from 2005 until now.
Pat has never captained a Mirfield team to a trophy success. Last week’s win saw them top of Section A and he would love to guide his side to the title before making a return to the Central Yorkshire League next year.