Drop costly for Booth as Sykes spurs the champs

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TRIANGLE could hardly have made a more impressive start to their defence of the Towergate Halifax League’s second teams’ title, thrashing visitors Booth by 232 runs.

The game between the clubs’ first teams, last season’s top two in the Premier, was off but Triangle can cover a fair proportion of their ground and John Moore’s seconds made the most of their chance with a 12-point haul under the changed rules.

A familiar name did the damage with the bat, Tony Sykes taking advantage of being dropped in the slips by Neil Thomas early in his innings to score 134, even managing to hit leg-sided sixes with just one hand on the bat.

Triangle had only around 70 on the board after 20 overs but their total rocketed to 325 for nine to leave Booth firmly on the back foot.

Seamers Mark Uttley and the returning Roger Smith looked as if they would finish the job quickly, taking the first nine wickets between them with Booth barely past the 50-mark.

However, while Thomas stood firm, last man Jacob Finney struck 29.

Moore turned to opening batsman and very occasional slow bowler Tracey Whippey in an effort to pick up the last wicket - now worth three extra points - and Finney hit his first delivery into the air for Whippey to take a return catch.

“We’ll never hear the last of that,” said Moore, who hopes to have Robert Cole back in his ranks next weekend following the bowler’s return to the club.

Warley and Sowerby Bridge also banked 12 points from home games in the top division.

Warley beat Clayton by 103 runs thanks to seven wickets from Amjid Azam after father and son Andrew and Dominic Oates had hit half-centuries.

Russell Bland (81) and Craig Marsden (six for 67) were the star performers for Bridge in a 47-run eclipse of Jer Lane, closely followed by Darren Chapman who bowled 15 tight overs, taking three for 32.

Dave Jowett’s 68 helped Southowram to 184 for seven at Blackley but overhauled that score thanks to Brett Spencer’s unbeaten 82, which included 10 boundaries. He received great support from Dave Pell, who hit his first senior 50.

Northowram Hedge Top skipper Danny Fearon took four wickets and hit 61 but visitors Thornton produced the better team effort to win by 29 runs.

The Copley versus SBCI contest was off as were the games at Stones, Augustinians and Old Crossleyans in the lower divisions.

A 10-man Stainland side was bowled out for 24 at home to Bridgeholme in the bottom section, seven wickets falling with the total on 15. The visitors wrapped up a 10-wicket win in a game lasting only 22.2 overs.

Queensbury recovered from 32 for five to post a winning score of 220 for nine at home to Mytholmroyd in a game between two relegated sides.

Dave Griffiths (59) and Jack Richardson (62) blunted and then dominated the visitors’ attack and although Hussain smashed 49 off 21 balls for the visitors, Lockley’s five wickets dismissed ‘Royd for 110.

Adil Hanif took six for 30 on his debut as Denholme Clough beat Old Town.