Final places up for grabs

Actions from the Halifax League Twenty/20 cricket final, Thornton v Sowerby SP, at Stones CC, Ripponden. Pictured is Ross Soames for Thornton.
Actions from the Halifax League Twenty/20 cricket final, Thornton v Sowerby SP, at Stones CC, Ripponden. Pictured is Ross Soames for Thornton.

An appearance on the biggest stage in the Halifax League calendar is only one win away for eight sides on Sunday.

The semi-finals in the Parish Cup and Crossley Shield take place with Booth firsts and Warley seconds still on track to repeat last year’s glory.

Booth have had a dream draw so far and are at home to the lowest ranking side left, Copley.

The champions and leaders should have captain Richard Laycock back after an appendix operation but cannot take anything for granted against the side they beat in last year’s final.

Copley have knocked out fellow Premier sides Queensbury, Sowerby Ss Peter’s and Triangle so far.

Fifth-placed Thornton host third-placed Mytholmroyd in the other cup semi-final.

Royd skipper Tom Earle would love an all-Calder Valley final against Booth at Blackley on August 6 but said: “Thornton is a tough place to go and they have match winners like Josh Hutchinson, who can do it with bat and ball.”

Royd, with Earle’s all-rounder brother Jack to the fore, are in confident mood, however, having had a eight-match winning run in all competitions.

Five of their top six batsmen have scored tons in 2017 while Jack Earle and Amjid Azam have been among the wickets. Slow bowler Adie Gawthrope is their one absentee on Sunday.

Thornton have never played in a Parish Cup final and are keen to put that right.

Club spokesman Mark Higgins said: “We had a lull in form but in the last round of the cup we knocked off 250 at Northowram and won off the last ball.

“That gave us a fillip and we have since beaten Queensbury easily and then bowled out Triangle at their ground for 131, so we have run into a bit of form.”

Thornton, who are captained by Ross Soames, are expected to be at full strength.

Higgins added: “We will go into the game with confidence but know it will be a tough game against Mytholmroyd.”

Warley seconds head to Sowerby Bridge as they look to lift the Shield for a fifth time in six years.

Parish Cup semi-finals: Thornton v Mytholmroyd (umpires A Rawnsley & P Taylor), Booth v Copley (M Orchard & P Butterfield).

Crossley Shield semi-finals: Sowerby Bridge v Warley (P Gatehouse & S Booth), Triangle v Bridgeholme (K Campbell & B Hagues).

Mytholmroyd, Jer Lane, Bridgeholme and Illingworth SM are through to the Halifax League’s T20 finals day at Great Horton PC on Sunday, July 30.

Tuesday’s results: Mytholmroyd bt Blackley by 9 wkts; Jer Lane bt Low Moor by 61 runs; Bridgeholme bt Cullingworth by 44 runs; Illingworth bt Great Horton PC bt 35 runs.