Bridge back at Walton Street and end in sight to Copley woe

There will remain just one Towergate Halifax League ground still officially out of action tomorrow after the recent floods.

Sowerby Bridge return to Walton Street for the first team in several weeks, leaving just Copley still on the road.

Bridge’s first team host Blackley having made light of the handicap of playing away.

Tim Helliwell’s side have climbed to joint third in the Premier Division although they did lose at Jer Lane on a Sunday when their conquerors were controversially not allowed to keep their winning points.

Copley will borrow Elland’s ground to host Sowerby St Peters on Sunday but hope their own pitch will be available again the following Saturday when Northowram Hedge Top are due to visit for a second team game.

Copley, who like Sowerby Bridge, Greetland and Mytholmroyd were affected by the flooding river Calder, did get water in their new clubhouse but the main problem was outside.

Chairman Richard Hoyle said: “The real issue was standing water on large areas of the outfield for several weeks.

“That caused some areas to sink a little and left quite a lot of damage. Until the last few days these areas have been a boggy mess with the water-table remaining at around surface level.

“Every time we got another fall of rain the large pools re-appeared. We had a lake that we couldn’t do anything with for two to three weeks.”

“We need a couple of weeks of better weather and over the last few days we have had this .”

Copley, will open their clubhouse on Sunday, September 2.

Copley’s first team must try to concentrate on their cricket because last year’s Parish Cup winners are one of seven clubs divided by only seven points above tailed-off Southowram in the Premier.

The title race appears to be a head to head between Booth and SBCI with seven matches left although Triangle and Sowerby Bridge will be keen to swoop if the leading pair falter.

The leading pair met last week and SBCI took the honours in a close, low-scoring contest to pick up seven points to their rivals’ three.

Booth skipper Robert Laycock was left with a dilemma when his side, sent in to bat, collapsed and were nine wickets down.

Laycock, hitting his third successive half-century, opted to bat out the final over from Ben Summerscales, his side finishing on 133 for nine.

That meant SBCI could only pick up a maximum of seven points rather than 12 and the hosts just managed that with a two-wicket win, thanks to Summerscales’ 21 not out.

Booth stay eight points clear and Laycock said: “Nothing has really changed. We have got to try to win all our remaining games and hope that is enough.”