It’s close in cup final, but Booth lose out
BOOTH’s emphatic win over Warley should have prepared them, but they could not stop Copley’s nail-biting two-wicket win in Sunday’s Briggs Priestley-sponsored Halifax Parish Cup final at Southowram.
It was turned 8pm when Mohammed Seraj lifted the trophy after his side had resisted a late Booth fightback in a game which only just survived the weather.
Heavy pre-match rain meant the start was delayed by an hour and Copley set their stall out from ball one.
Robert Worsnop was out to the first delivery from Richard Turner and Booth needed a last-wicket stand of 53 from Robert Cockroft and Moazzam Ayub to get up to 125 all out.
Copley were at 64 without loss before wickets started to tumble and at 112 for eight with two overs left it was anyone’s game.
However, Turner finished off the job he had started by launching the first ball of the last over straight down the ground for six to win.
Booth skipper Robert Laycock had elected to bat on a wicket which was well covered by hosts Southowram.
However, Copley skipper Mohammed Seraj clung on to a low slip catch to dismiss Worsnop.
Booth were soon four for two, Matthew Brown caught behind by Matthew Maslak off Turner.
He and his 15-year-old opening partner Oliver Thorpe maintained a tight line and the youngster accounted for Laycock, who edged the first ball of the 10th over on to his wickets.
At 24 for three Ian Hartley got enough pace and bounce from his second ball to find the gloves of the experienced Ian Sharkey, who was caught behind after hitting three boundaries in his 18.
Wickets began to tumble and Booth were at 72 for nine when wicketkeeper Cockroft and spin bowler Ayub came to the rescue.
Cockroft looked composed in scoring 31 not out while Ayub hit 23 before holing out to Scott Skinner on the boundary in the 41st over.
Booth needed early wickets to get back into the contest, but Seraj and Thorpe were untroubled in a 25-over stand which took Copley more than half-way to their target.
The outcome seemed a foregone conclusion but Seraj’s departure for 39 suddenly changed things.
Jon Midgley got the breakthrough when Richard Laycock juggled but held on to Seraj’s uppish cut to point.
Richard Laycock then came back for a second spell and removed Neil Whittaker and Thorpe, who made 30.
Copley were suddenly 97 for five with five overs left.
Patrick Thomas and Nigel Horsfall had bowled out after picking up one wicket apiece and Richard Laycock had only one over left, leaving Robert Laycock to rely on Ayub and Midgley.
They accounted for Scott Skinner and Will Mitchell-Smith between them to leave 16 required off three overs.
Richard Laycock dismissed Ian Hartley and conceded only two runs off the 43rd over, leaving Peter Hoyle to watch as Turner struck the winning blows.
A boundary through long off was followed by a six on to the pavilion’s patio as 11 came off the penultimate over bowled by Ayub.
That left Copley needing three from Midgley’s final six deliveries and Turner required only one of them.
Booth captain Robert Laycock was proud of the effort shown by his players.
“We knew we hadn’t got enough runs but we worked hard to get back into it and with three overs to go I thought we’d won.
“I don’t think any of our batsmen played bad shots - we were out to good balls.”