Warley get a chance to banish 12 months of heartache when they appear in the Towergate Halifax League’s Crossley Shield final on Sunday.
James Cooper’s side take on Southowram at Triangle (1.30) looking to make amends for an agonising defeat in last’s season’s second teams’ showpiece game
On that occasion they looked odds on to win the Shield when chasing a modest Sowerby St Peter’s total, only to suffer a bout of nerves and tie the game. They then lost the replay.
The 20-year-old Cooper’s second year of captaincy has seen a youthful Warley side challenging for the Premier title, following last season’s promotion from Division One.
They have already exceded their expectations at the outset of this season.
Sunday’s probable starting XI, although lacking the father and son combination of David and Ben Atkinson, will all be products of Warley’s junior section, the majority all playing in recent seasons.
This will be Warley’s fifth final in the last 10 years, but they have not lifted the Shield since defeating Triangle in 1994.
Southowram won the competition in 2001 when Simon Walker, the current club secretary, led them to victory over Sowerby Bridge at Sowerby St Peter’s in a match which spilled over into midweek.
Skipper Dave Jowett will select from 13 tomorrow evening but seem likely to include high-profile players such as Safir Hussain and Ian Uttley.
Quick bowler Hussain usually figures among the leading players in the league’s first team averages. He and Uttley, a hard-hitting batsman who captained the firsts to Parish Cup glory on the Rams’ own ground in 2006, are eligible because of work commitments earlier in the season.
It has been a roller coaster ride for the Rams in 2012. Their firsts look set to finish bottom of the Premier but as well as getting their seconds through to this final, Southowram won the league’s Twenty/20 competition at Booth in July.
SECONDS SCORES - Premier Division: Jer Lane CC 261 (D.Horsfall 71, U.Dawood 50; M.Nazam 5-92) Booth 265-5 (L.Thomas 118 no), Southowram 257-7 (A.Johnson 70, A.Veal 57) Clayton 160 (D.Jowett 5-47), SBCI 191 Thornton 131-10, Copley 186-8 Sowerby Bridge 138, Warley 243 Northowram HT 199, Triangle 266-9 (T.Russell 131; S.McNamara 6-77) Blackley 204-7 (H.Hughes 50).
Division One: Outlane 161-8 Shelf 157-10, Sowerby SP 191-8 Bradshaw 192-7, Low Moor 294-6 Stones 270-9, Wibsey PC 127 Greetland 132-4.
Division Two: Denholme Clough 186-7 Old Crossleyans 180-8, Augustinians 225-7 (A. De Boer 67, I.Waheed 66) Stainland 164 (D.Norcliffe 65), Mytholmroyd 255 Luddenden Foot 114, Bridgeholme 142 Queensbury 146-2, Old Town 145 (A.Carrington 65; S.Fleetwood 5-59) Oxenhope 148-4 (L.Fleetwood 85no).