SKIPPER Richard Laycock will be an absentee when Booth start their quest for more Spenser Wilson Halifax League honours this weekend.
All-rounder Laycock is at a wedding so Patrick Thomas takes charge of the 2016 and 2017 league and Parish Cup winners at Warley.
“Everybody at the club has been asking why I am missing a match for a wedding but I have known about it for two years and a very good friend is getting married,” said Laycock.
“It should be the only game I miss this season.”
Opening batsman Rob Worsnop, whose wife is expecting imminently, will also miss the opener, as will middle order batsman John Midgley, who has work to do on the farm after all the bad weather.
Laycock believes Booth have the strength in depth to plug the gaps with Thomas and Moazzam Ayub possible candidates to move up the batting order.
Despite not being available for the opening game, Laycock has backed the league’s decision not to delay the start of the season after the wet spring.
He believes clubs like Booth, who have invested in drainage and pull out all the stops in an effort to play at home, should get a chance for one of their teams to pick up points when perhaps some of their rivals are inactive.
Booth have had no changes to their squad over the winter and their chances of continuing their run of success this summer appear brighter after the defection of Jer Lane, their main rivals in recent years, to the Bradford League.
While there was no love lost between the clubs, Laycock conceded that Lane had been strong rivals.
He is not sure where the main threat lies this summer but believes Triangle have recruited while Mytholmroyd and Thornton will be tough to beat. He said Saturday’s foes Warley “have had potential for so long,”
Laycock, whose brother Rob joined the 1,000 run club in the league last summer, insists Booth’s appetite for success is undiminished.
“We know we will be the team to beat again. We have got to focus, be as consistent as we can and if we do slip we will need to come back stronger.
“Our players are all winners now. They have had a taste of success and want more.”
THE SWITCH of Ben Burkill from Cullingworth to Thornton was among the transfers confirmed by new league registrations secretary Julie Pearson earlier in the week.
All-rounder Burkill had a superb 2017, particularly with the bat for Cullingworth, and played in the trophy-winning league select side.
Thornton, who finished third in the Premier last year, will be hoping he can help them take the extra step to winning major trophies.
A couple of players have returned to their former clubs following Jer Lane’s switch to the Bradford League.
Batsman Ian Hall has gone back to a Southowram side promoted to the Premier while spinner Simon Collins has returned to the ranks of Bradshaw, who have gone up to the middle section.