friendship suspended!

Simon Wheelwright
Simon Wheelwright

Booth and Mytholmroyd go chasing silverware at each other’s expense on Foster’s Halifax League Twenty/20 finals day.

SBCI host the semi-finals and final on Sunday and the Calder Valley pair meet in the first game at 11am with Southowram taking on Copley in the second match at 2.0. The final is scheduled for 5.0.

The Booth versus Mytholmroyd encounter is arguably the more mouth-watering confrontation.

The pair are third and second respectively in the Premier and claimed notable scalps in their last eight T20 contests, Booth beating champions and league leaders Jer Lane and ‘Royd accounting for holders Thornton.

Mytholmroyd chairman and first team batsman Simon Wheelwright said the sides would be putting friendships aside for two and half hours on Sunday.

“We know each other inside out both on and off the field and everyone gets on.

“But on the field we are both as competitive as each other and it will be no different at the weekend.”

Wheelwright said Mytholmroyd had been lucky to negotiate the first round at Oxenhope, winning by one run, but had improved after that and quickly settled the tie against Thornton.

He is hoping spinner Adie Gawthrope could be a trump card for his side on a decent sized ground by Halifax League standards.

Wheelwright is working on Sunday and Chris Overend and Spencer Harris come into the side with Ben Barker the other player to miss out.

Booth all-rounder and league side player Richard Laycock believes the contest will be different to what the sides are used to.

“SBCI’s ground is massive compared to Booth and Mytholmroyd so it will be tougher for the batsman and I’m not sure what a par score will be,” he said.

“I hope it is a nice day and the pitch is firm but the batsmen might have to run more ones, twos and threes than normal.

“I think it will be a fairly even game. Everyone seems to think we are two closely-matched teams and it could depend on who bowls the best.

“Both teams bat down to eight or nine but if a few bowlers can get their overs out of the way without conceding many, that could decide it.”

Booth have used 15 players in beating Stones, SBCI and Jer Lane in this year’s Twenty/20, causing a selection dilemma for this weekend. However, Laycock thinks they will stick closely to the side which downed Jer Lane.

Booth have won the competition once before, at Triangle half a dozen years ago, when they beat Mytholmroyd before going on to account for Bradshaw in the final.

Meanwhile, Booth and Mytholmroyd have important league games on Saturday as they look to bridge the gap to Jer Lane over the last eight games of the season.

Mytholmroyd host Warley while Booth go to Sowerby SP and both Valley clubs have still to play Jer Lane at home.

Laycock said: “If we win every game we might be somewhere near - we have just to look after ourselves.”

Wheelwright is of a similar view. He said: “We just need to make sure we stay in the hunt until the last couple of weeks and then see what happens.”