Triangle shaping up nicely for the start of the new Halifax Cricket League season
Cricket returns to the hill tops and valley bottoms of the ENCO Halifax League on Saturday with 11 First XI matches in its Premier and Second Divisions, the First Division programme commencing a week later.
The top section promises to be a tight affair with five teams arguably having a chance of taking the title.
Triangle are the slight favourites, but close behind will be Thornton, Illingworth St Mary’s and Booth. The fifth club in this mix are dark horses Blackley who impressed after gaining promotion in 2019.
It will take a sterling effort from the likes of Sowerby Bridge, Bradshaw, Warley and Mytholmroyd for any to break into that top five and they look likely to battle in out in mid-table, much like last year.
Copley is currently the enigma of the League. It has one of the best grounds and 14 titles in its account but why has it struggled in recent seasons? There is little to indicate any change at the moment and, along with SBCI and Shelf Northowram HT, the bottom three look likely to be a repeat of last season.
The undoubted pick of the opening day fixtures is at Grassy Bottom where Triangle entertain Booth in the only clash between title contenders.
The Second Division has an odds-on title favourite in Queensbury, expected to return to the First Division after relegation in 2018.
Who accompanies it is perhaps the most unpredictable of all with four teams, Bradley & Colnebridge, Outlane, Stones, and Greetland lining up behind with Southowram and Cullingworth not ruled out. Bridgeholme and Old Town, both opting not to play last season for different reasons, will be simply glad to be back in action whilst Augustinians and Leymoor will surprise if not finding it hard going.
Saturday’s Fixtures. Premier Division: Blackley v Bradshaw, Illingworth St Mary’s v Shelf Northowram HT, Mytholmroyd v Copley, Sowerby Bridge v Thornton, Triangle v Booth, Warley v SBCI. Second Division: Augustinians v Greetland, Leymoor v Queensbury, Outlane v Cullingworth, Southowram v Bradley &; Colnebridge, Stones v Old Town. Free Date: Bridgeholme