BOOTH took maximum points from their tough final fixture at Triangle yesterday to complete a hat-trick of titles in the Spenser Wilson Halifax League.
An outstanding innings from opener Steve Senior, who made 149, held them together in the first half of the contest and then skipper Richard Laycock took 6-47 as Triangle were dismissed for 203 in reply to Booth’s 264.
The result meant heartbreak for long-time leaders Thornton, who had looked almost certain to be champions before the weather intervened the previous weekend. They made short work of relegated hosts Southowram yesterday and finished an agonising one point shy of Laycock’s men.
It was Booth’s fifth major trophy success in three seasons - the Parish Cup slipped from their grasp this summer - and they emulate Jer Lane, who notched three titles in a row from 2013-2015. Jer Lane, by coincidence, won the Bradford League’s Conference title yesterday.
Senior hit eight fours and 11 sixes in an epic knock, keeping Booth’s hopes alive almost single-handedly as wickets tumbled around him at Grassy Bottom.
Booth were in dire straights at 97-5 on the small ground but Patrick Thomas (18) and Nigel Horsfall (28) eventually provided some support.
Kurtis Whippey took the first two wickets and three more near the end before Senior was last man out, run out in the 43rd over.
Triangle would have fancied their chances but Laycock dismissed the top three in their powerful batting line-up and then took a catch off Thomas’s bowling to take the key wicket of Christian Silkstone, who had hit 316 on the same ground against Thornton a fortnight earlier.
Dan Crosland (51) and Carl Fletcher (57) rallied the home side from 53-4 with an 87-run stand. Moazaam Ayub ended their innings and Laycock eventually returned to clear up the tail, the last four wickets falling for the addition of only five runs.
Thornton met initial resistance at Southowram. Ian Gledhill (33) and Tom Belfield (22) put on 41 before the former was run out and Ross Parr then came to the fore with five wickets as the Rams folded to 87 not out.
Visiting supporters must have been preparing to start their engines ready for a dash down to Triangle as destructive batsman Josh Hutchinson strode out to bat. He didn’t disappoint, hitting 61 not out as he and Ben Burkill (26 no) completed a 10-wicket win in 10.1 overs.
With Southowram and Bridgeholme already down, there was little more than some jostling for final positions to play for elsewhere.
Triangle finished third, ahead of Warley who were unable to take to the field at soggy Bridgeholme.
As Halifax League press officer Paul Whiteley remarked in the wake of the Eastwood club’s recent ground gold medal: “At least the famous blooms didn’t need watering!”
Sowerby St Peter’s have finished a creditable fifth thanks to Matthew Hoyle’s excellent innings in an 81-run win at home to Shelf Northowram Hedge Top, who are eighth.
Hoyle, better known as an opening bowler, was promoted to No 5 and responded with 165 in his side’s 284-9.
Oliver Hemingway (57) and Harry Talbot (50) fared best in a curious-looking Hedge Top batting order with Patrick Lennon (5-39) the key performer in the second half.
Joseph Ousey (93) and Lewis Hopkinson (60) put sixth-placed Oxenhope on the way to a 189-run win at Mytholmroyd, who have had a poor second half of the season.
Royd used nine bowlers but were upstaged by Oxenhope, who used 10!
Copley jumped a couple of places into seventh with a comprehensive 173-run win at SBCI. There were more runs and wickets for Oliver Thorpe (51 and 5-34), who has had a superb summer. Alex Blagborough hit 55 in Copley’s 241-6 before the Church Institute capitulated for 68.
Premier Division: *Bridgeholme v Warley - no play rain: pts 2-2. Oxenhope 333-9 (Ousey 93, Hopkinson 60, Fielden 48), *Mytholmroyd 144: pts 12-4. *Southowram 87 (Parr 6-45), Thornton 91-0 (J Hutchinson 61*): pts 0-12. Copley 241-6 (Blagborough 55, Thorpe 51, A Rowles 40), *SBCI 68 (Thorpe 5-34): pts 12-1. *Sowerby St Peter’s 284-9 (Hoyle 165, Deshpande 4-44), Shelf Northowram HT 203 (Hemingway 57, Talbot 50, Lennon 5-39): pts 12-5. Booth 264 (Senior 149,
Whippey 5-99), *Triangle 203 (Fletcher 57, Crosland 51, Ric Laycock 6-47): pts 12-6.
Points (after 22 games): Booth 221, Thornton 220, Triangle 196, Warley 188, Sowerby St Peters 159, Oxenhope 153, Copley 146, Shelf Northowram Hedge Top 145, Mytholmroyd 143, SBCI 137, Southowram 115, Bridgeholme 70.