Leaders’ softly-softly approach

Cricket - Parish Cup 2nd round - Mytholmroyd v Thornton. Thornton bowler Bradley Weatherhead.
Cricket - Parish Cup 2nd round - Mytholmroyd v Thornton. Thornton bowler Bradley Weatherhead.

THORNTON CC cricket chairman Mark Higgins insists there will be no premature It’s Coming Home-style messages emanating from his camp in the near future.

The Hill Top Road outfit have promised too much in the past, and then not quite delivered, to make them bullish about their title prospects in the Spenser Wilson Halifax League this summer.

Thornton have an 11-point lead over Booth at the top of the Premier Division after their seven-wicket win over SBCI last Saturday and the reigning champions’ stunning one-wicket defeat at home to Warley.

Thornton are also through to T20 finals day at Stones, where they won the same competition in 2013.

That T20 win and a second tier title success in 2003, in their first year in the league, is a poor trophy return for a club which has had one of the strongest first teams for several years.

Higgins said: “So far we have found a level of consistency which we have not had for a few years and we have been playing well as a team.

“It is a handy advantage and for us it is about keeping the momentum flowing.

“It is nice for us when teams like Booth and Triangle lose but we are not going to say that the league’s coming home or, like England, it might come back to bite us on the bum.”

Josh and Nikki Hutchinson have been the stand-out performers for Thornton in 2018 with more than 1,150 league runs between them. Josh also has 25 wickets to cement his status as one of the league’s top all-rounders.

New arrival Ben Burkill from Cullingworth has scored 350-plus runs and taken 10 cheap wickets while Greg Soames and Brad Weatherhead are others to make a mark.

Thornton will be without Ross Carnall for tomorrow’s trip to Mytholmroyd but Ross Parr returns.

The visitors will try to avenge this year’s Parish Cup defeat at Moderna Way and Royd’s own version of Josh Hutchinson, Jack Earle, is injured, which should make their task less testing. However, Higgins said: “It is never easy down there.”

Three pages of local cricket in Friday’s ‘Courier’