Booth champs, Bridge relegated
Booth clinched a famous double with victory in the back yard of title rivals Jer Lane in the Spenser Wilson Halifax League yesterday.
Richard Laycock’s side, who beat Copley in the Parish Cup final last month, went into the last Premier Division programme of the season with a slender one-point lead over Warley in the title race.
Jer Lane, bidding to become champions for the fourth successive year, were also still in the hunt in third place.
Warley blew their chance with a five-wicket defeat at Mytholmroyd, who were staving off the threat of relegation following a stinging 30-point deduction, while Booth looked in trouble at two for two and 28 for three chasing Jer Lane’s modest 168 for six.
However, not for the first time the Laycock brothers came to the rescue with an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 141 to clinch the silverware with three overs to spare.
Skipper Richard Laycock finished on 74 and older brother Robert on 76, having hit a six over long-on to settle matters.
Richard Laycock said: “We didn’t really expect to do the double but this is the most consistent team we have had at Booth.
“Jer Lane have been the team to beat over the last three years and it is great to come here and win the title.”
Lane, who would have accepted the chance to join the Bradford League under the new pyramid system had they been crowned champions, took defeat in a dignified manner.
They formed a guard of honour as the jubilant Laycock brothers left the field and Mick Hustler, who is stepping down as skipper4, said Booth’s success had been richly deserved.
Booth, who have opted to remain in the Halifax League, also beat Warley to the second teams’ title yesterday, prompting a big celebration at their Broad Fold Park ground last night.
The big shock of the day came at Mytholmroyd where Warley were dismissed for 144 by Amjid Azam (5-74) and Ahmed Taufeeq (4-38).
Brothers Jack and Tom Earle scored 83 runs between them as ‘Royd won with 25 overs to spare.
Sowerby Bridge were the unlucky team to go down alongside Blackley, whose fate had already been sealed.
There was a frantic scrap for survival involving several teams and Bridge, who have had to play all their home matches at Stainland this summer after Walton Street’s Christmas flooding, lost a crunch match at Northowram Hedge Top.
They banked maximum batting points with 181 for six but the Rams won by three wickets with the help of 74 from Tom Clee.
Sam Mellor took six wickets bowling up the slope for Bridge, who then learned to their great dismay of success not only for Mytholmroyd but Copley as well.
Copley had a staggering five wicket win at home to Thornton, chasing down a mammoth target of 367 to win with five wickets and two balls to spare.
Josh Hutchinson looked to have shattered their hopes with a sensational 221, which included 26 sixes, but Copley came firing back through Oliver Thorpe (107), Craig Taylor (91), Chris Dennison (65) and Gareth Walker (61) for a victory which must have felt like winning the cup final.
In Division Two, the two promotion places were thrown back into the melting pot with the midweek decision of the league to award match points to Shelf, after Denholme Clough fielded an ineligible player in a fixture in August.
Hosts Cullingworth were left needing to beat Shelf to confirm their place in Division One next season and did so with a 51-run win, Graham Rankin top scoring with 83.
Clough duly replaced their ‘lost’ 12 points to confirm themselves as champions with an easy seven-wicket win at home to wooden spoonists Old Town.
The 21-game Division One programme had been completed the previous week with Queensbury and Oxenhope occupying the top two positions and Low Moor HT and Stones relegated.
Premier Division: Thornton 366-9 (J Hutchinson 221), *Copley 370-5 (Thorpe 107, Taylor (91), Dennison (65), Walker (61): pts 4-11. *Jer Lane 168-6 (Mirza 41, Younas 35, Thomas 3-48), Booth 169-3 (Rob Laycock 76*, Ric Laycock 74*): pts 2-10. Warley 144 (Azam 5-74, Taufeeq 4-38), *Mytholmroyd 150-5 (J Earle 47, T Earle 36, Currie 3-38): pts 3-12. Sowerby Bridge 181-6 (C Whitehill 35), *Northowram HT 182-7 (Clee 74, Mellor 6-83): pts 5-10.*SBCI 93 (Hampshire 39, Turner 6-31), Triangle 96-0 (Madden 54*, Crosland 39*): pts 0-12. *Sowerby St Peter’s 235 (Hayes 86, G Clarke 40, Hoyle 39, D Peel jnr 4-40, Baxter 3-32), Blackley 196-9 (Baxter 49, Stenson 42, Kendall 34, Grenwood 3-33): pts 11-4.
Division Two: Greetland 198-9 (S Whelan 53, D Reynolds 53, A Buckley 6-83), *Bradshaw 203-8 (A Spendelow 86, S Beck 41*, H Hiyat 4-59, C Soulsby 4-81): pts 5-11. *Cullingworth 237-4 (Rankin 83, Terry 67, Welch 43), Shelf 186: pts 12-4. Old Town 56 (W Ali 7-28), *Denholme Clough 57-3: pts 0-12. Clayton 197 (Jonas 42, Garside 36*, Wade 3-28, Hosker 3-44): *Luddenden Foot 204-3 (J Stott 116*, Hosker 48*): pts 4-12. *Outlane 96 (Broadbent 6-24, Stanger 4-62), Upper Hopton 101-5 (Gallagher 39*, Wrigley 4-43): pts 1-12.