Teenage Thorpes star in Copley final win
Copley completed a dream eight days with a 44-run victory over favourites Jer Lane in today’s Halifax Parish Cup final on their own ground.
James Clarke’s side, who had lifted the league’s Twenty/20 trophy at SBCI the previous Sunday, racked up 286 for seven off their 45 overs.
Lane had knocked off 293 to beat Booth at Blackley in the 2013 final but the run chase was beyond Mick Hustler’s side this time.
Almost inevitably, the Thorpe family were to the fore for Copley.
Toby Thorpe showed superb composure and no little skill for a 16-year-old to score 116 and win the Brian Hunter Trophy for final’s top score on a superb wicket prepared by his grandad Tom.
But even that wasn’t enough to win him the man of the match award which went to brother Oliver, 18, whose five wickets undermined the reply of a Jer Lane side who were always up with the required run rate.
That left Toby and Oliver’s much-decorated father Richard, who passed a late fitness test to play in another cup final, as the proudest man in town as Copley gingerly lifted the famous but fragile ancient trophy in the gathering gloom.
It was a long day, with the action going on until 8.25pm, but officials were happy to get events concluded in one visit after the previous two finals had stretched over to a second Sunday.
Rain as the umpires took to the field just before 1.30 led to a 15 minute delay, after Lane had elected to field.
Then a spectator tripped on a raised walkway at the far side of the ground and fell onto the field, leading to an ambulance being called and a 35 minute stoppage in the 31st over of the Copley innings.
None of this flustered Toby Thorpe, who figured in excellent partnerships of 88 for the first wicket with Chris Dennison and 156 with Clarke for the second to give the hosts the springboard for a possible massive score.
The openers made a circumspect start, taking only 10 runs off the first seven overs and encouraging Hustler to swell his slip cordon from one to three.
However, the removal of Sam Wilson from the attack allowed Dennison in particular to lift the scoring rate and the left hander was looking a big threat to Lane before running himself out coming back for a second run while on 61.
Thorpe then started to get into his stride while Clarke also took full toll of any wayward bowling with spinner Simon Collins the chief sufferer.
If Clarke is a candidate for being the best batsman in the Foster’s Halifax League, Wilson is possibly the best bowler and it was his return to the bowling attack which stopped Copley from topping 300.
The pace man picked up five wickets, starting with Clarke for 68 in the 41st over.
Toby Thorpe completed a 119-ball century with a single to third man in the same over but then brother Ollie and he departed to successive deliveries from Wilson in the 43rd over.
Wilson added two more in two balls in the final over of the innings but Copley’s 2011 cup winning captain Mohammed Seraj cleared the ropes with the final one to leave Jer Lane with plenty of their plates.
Spinner Chris Goulden took a low caught and bowled to dismiss Andrew Pinfield with the score on 25 and then picked up the wicket of dangerous Jordan Laban, who had made 93 in the 2013 final, on 53.
Raqeeb Younas was playing a similar anchor role to Toby Thorpe and he received good backing from the sweet-striking Paul Chapman (49) and the classic-driving Jonny Lister (33) as Lane moved smoothly past the 175-mark with seven wickets still in hand and almost 15 overs to go.
However, the wheels came off the wagon for Lane with Ollie Thorpe’s victims including Younas for 67.
When Jason Gelder chopped a delivery from Tony Thorpe onto his stumps in the 43rd over Copley had made another quick addition to their trophy cabinet.