Copley out to repeat 2014 win

Actions from Copley v Sowerby SP in Halifax League. Pictured is Alex Blagbrough
Actions from Copley v Sowerby SP in Halifax League. Pictured is Alex Blagbrough

STAVING off Premier Division relegation, while some of their highly-promising youngsters gain more experience, is the main goal for Copley in the remainder of the 2018 Halifax League season.

In the meantime, a little T20 success wouldn’t go amiss at Sunday’s finals day sponsored by Foster’s at Stones CC.

The slog-fest is an all-Premier Division affair and Copley, third from bottom of the table, are the big outsiders against opposition from the top four.

They meet leaders Thornton in the first semi-final at 11am and Triangle will cross swords with Warley in the second game at 2pm. The final is scheduled for 5pm.

Copley will be without a couple of their most promising players, Ben Cliffe and Gavin Whipp, who are on Yorkshire under 15s duty, but their chances shouldn’t totally be written off.

They were not particularly fancied for the 2014 competition but lifted the trophy at SBCI under James Clarke. They will be looking to experienced campaigners Craig Taylor, Ian Hartley and Mark Baldwin to show the way while Oliver Thorpe and Alex Blagborough have put in some notable performances this season.

Copley spokesman John Cliff, the club’s treasurer and a junior coach, said T20 cricket was something of a lottery and he was confident the side could put a score on the board. Bowling reasonably tightly might be a bigger challenge.

Copley survived by the skin of their teeth in the Premier Division last season and Cliff believes how his side fare against the teams around them in a “mini division” at the bottom will determine whether they buy more time for their up-and-coming players to develop.

He said Copley had been playing catch-up from the start of the season when two washed out games had left them with only four points. One of those games was against Bridgeholme, who are currently well adrift at the bottom.

Copley have another big Sunday the following weekend when they stage the Parish Cup final at one of the league’s most attractive grounds.

That will be between Triangle and Warley, who limber up with their T20 clash at Ripponden, where plenty of runs look guaranteed on a small ground.

Christian Silkstone will lead Triangle after Michael Midwood stood down recently.

TEAMS - Copley: O Thorpe, A Rowles, A Blagborough, W Rushton, M Rowles, M Baldwin, C Taylor, J Wrigley, I Hartley, C Hallwood P Nadella, A Abideen, C Chew.

Thornton: R Soames, N Hutchinson, G Soames, J Hutchinson, R Parr, B Burkill, R Carnall, R Brooksbank, M Clayton, B Weatherhead, J Blencowe, O Dunn, T Shackleton, M Shanks.

Triangle: N Madden, M Midwood, C Silkstone, A Stocks, C Metcalf, M Uttley, J Gledhill, C Fletcher, E Denham, L Turner, J Graham, T Sykes, Z Rushton, G Palin.

Warley: M Whitworth, J Sarwar, G Keywood, S Hassan, D Syme, C van Rensberg, A Azam, L Senior, L Duckitt, F Khatana, H Razzak, J Whitworth, J Rashid.

Umpires: S Pullen & R Taylor.