Halifax League cricketers were required to rise and shine on a day of largely early starts yesterday, due to a certain England football match, and Copley’s Oliver Thorpe certainly did that.
The all-rounder, man of the match in his club’s 2014 Parish Cup final win over Jer Lane, hit 134 and took 5-45 as his side floored Mytholmroyd at The Arches and lifted themselves out of the Premier Division drop zone.
No 3 batsman Thorpe dominated his side’s innings, being fourth out with the total on 227 against a fourth-placed Royd side fielding a somewhat threadbare bowling attack.
He eventually fell to Adie Gawthrope, who bowled unchanged at one end and ran through Copley’s late order to finish with 7-109.
Royd had Tom Earle run out with the score on five and things didn’t improve as Thorpe and Ian Hartley (4-28) dismissed the visitors for 89 with Gawthrope and Jacob Travis scoring 21 each.
Thornton and Booth weren’t letting the football get in the way of their title ambitions. Their games against SBCI and Warley respectively were the only ones in the Premier to start as normal at 1.30.
Thornton finished the day by far the happier, having extended their lead over the reigning champions to a handy-looking 11 points with 10 rounds of fixtures left.
The consistency that Thornton have lacked in the past has been there so far this season and they made it 11 wins out of 12 with a seven wicket home win over SBCI, who are now second from bottom.
Tom Wood made 101 at the top of the SBCI order before becoming the first of five victims for Ben Burkill.
Chasing SBCI’s 240 all out proved no problem for Thornton, who won by seven wickets thanks to Greg Soames (80) and the Hutchinsons, Nikki (55 no) and Josh (48 no), who added 69.
Only Warley have beaten Booth this season and they did it for the third time, following up their opening day home win and away Parish Cup success with a one-wicket victory at Broad Fold Park yesterday.
Booth made 231-9 and Warley scrambled home with their last pair at the crease. Those are the bare facts of wildly fluctuating contest which had a shattering finish for Booth.
Booth were 129-7 before No 9 Usman Saghir hit 57 not out. Warley then looked out of it at 139-9, only for South African Cameron van Rensberg (59 no) and Amjid Azam (50 no) to win it for the visitors with a last wicket stand of 95 and with seven balls to spare.
Triangle were in typically free-scoring form, piling up 454-6 at home to Sowerby St Peter’s, who replied with 279-8. Triangle moved up to fourth.
Triangle were up against it at 51-4 before Christian Silkstone (165) and Chris Metcalf (135) put the Sowerby bowlers to the sword.
Ben Hoyle (67), Gavin Hayes (63) and Jack Helliwell (55) then denied Triangle maximum points.
Shelf Northowram Hedge Top put 17 points between themselves and the bottom five with a three-wicket win over visitors Southowram, whose 187 all out proved not quite enough.
Dan Pummel (59) was Southowram’s top score as Amir Rashid took 6-46. Chris Conroy (47) and Luke Cole (43) then scored the majority of the runs required by Hedge Top.
Bridgeholme, yet to win in the Premier, are a massive 31 points adrift at the foot of the table after a seven-wicket defeat at Oxenhope
The Eastwood side made 174-8 before Lewis Hopkinson (58 no) and Joe Ousey (50 no) snuffed out their hopes in the second half.
Premier Division: *Booth 231-9 (Saghir 57*, Ric Laycock 40), Warley 234-9 (van Rensberg (59*, Horsfall 5-48), Amjid Azam (50*): pts 5-11.*Copley 247-9 (Thorpe 134, Whipp 40, Gawthrope 7-109), Mytholmroyd 89 (Hartley 4-28, Thorpe 4-45): pts 12-2. Bridgeholme 174-8 (Basharat 43), *Oxenhope 177-3 (Hopkinson 58*, Ousey 50*0: pts 2-11. Southowram 187 (Pummel 59, Rashid 6-46), *Shelf Northowram HT 190-7 (Conroy 47, Luke 43): pts 5-12. SBCI 240 (Wood 101, Burkill 5-29), *Thornton 244-3 (Soames 80, N Hutchinson 55*, J Hutchinson 48*) pts 3-12. *Triangle 454-6 (Silkstone 165, Metcalf 135), Sowerby St Peter’s 279-8 (B Hoyle 67, Hayes 63, Helliwell 55): pts 11-4.
Points (after 12 matches): Thornton 132, Booth 121, Warley 112, Triangle 101, Mytholmroyd 95, Oxenhope 95, Shelf Northowram Hedge Top 94, Sowerby St Peters 77, Southowram 71, Copley 69, SBCI 69, Bridgeholme 38.