Champs’ skipper ready to gamble

T20 cricket semi-final at Triangle CC - Booth v Northowram Hedge Top. Northowram bowler Richard Laycock.

T20 cricket semi-final at Triangle CC - Booth v Northowram Hedge Top. Northowram bowler Richard Laycock.

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Booth skipper Richard Laycock is promising a more attacking approach in the field as the Spenser Wilson Halifax League champions try to emulate the glories of their 2016 campaign.

The Broad Fold Park club won the Premier Division first and second team titles plus the Parish Cup in one of the finest years in the club’s 124-year history.

Laycock dismisses the suggestion that Booth would be happy with just one major trophy this summer saying: “We will set out to do the same as last year.

“You have to go out with that intention and we know we are capable of doing it.”

The 26-year-old league side all-rounder is unaware just what his men will be up against but knows exactly the level of talent at his disposal.

Booth will go into battle with an almost identical squad as last year. Efforts to sign explosive early-order batsman Niall Lockley have not come to fruition and Jonathan Cockroft is back in as keeper with Tom Collinge out for the season with cruciate ligament damage suffered playing rugby for Heath.

Laycock is happy with his team of ‘winners’ and insists there is room for improvement.

“Out batting was absolutely fantastic last year but we will have to bowl better,” he said.

Booth have a talented and varied attack but their failure to bowl teams out and pick up extra points ensured a tense finish to last season, which finished with a glorious success at deposed champs Jer Lane.

Laycock added: “We have got to be more creative and perhaps take more risks, trying things a bit different.”

Booth start with a home match against Copley on Saturday.

It is a repeat of last year’s Parish Cup final which Booth won comfortably in the end against opponents lacking some key men at Sowerby St Peter’s.

Copley only just beat the drop last season but Laycock is wary of the threats posed by the likes of hard-hiting Chris Dennison, Ian Hartley, Luke Simpson and Craig Taylor.

A bell in memory of the club’s much-missed player Oliver Collinge will be rung as the officials and players take the field at Booth this season.

Laycock knows the importance of a good start and building momentum adding: “It is not necessarily the best team that wins the league.”

He said there has been good attendances at indoor nets at the Crickey Asylum in Sowerby Bridge and he was hoping Morgan Thomas would cut a wicket to enable the players to practice on grass this week.