‘Royd aim to stun final foes

Tom Russell will lead Mytholmroyd into battle on Sunday
Tom Russell will lead Mytholmroyd into battle on Sunday

Tom Russell knows what it takes to win a Crossley Shield and he believes Mytholmroyd have a chance of upsetting hot favourites Warley on Sunday.

The sides meet in the Foster’s Halifax League’s big game of the season for second teams at Old Crossleyans (1.30) and many people will expect Warley to take the first step towards a double.

Craig Brennan’s side are top of the Premier Division while ‘Royd ply their trade in the middle section, and have only managed to raise 10 men for their last two outings.

However, the under dogs are back to full strength for Sunday and last year’s Division Two champions should not be written off on their form in this year’s Shield.

They have already put out Premier sides Blackley, Booth and Jer Lane.

Russell, who took over the reins from Matt Bauer early in the season, described the semi-final win over Lane as “massive.”

He added: “We didn’t expect to go there and win but every single player played out of their skin and we won quite comfortably.”

Russell is calling for a similar effort at Broomfield.

“In order to win we will need everyone to perform to their absolute maximum again and we will also need a bit of luck, but the lads are quite positive.”

Tom and his father Jon, also a batsman, have a rare hat-trick of Crossley Shield final wins on their cricketing CVs. The pair were successful with Royd in 2006 and 2007 and then with Triangle in 2008

Mytholmroyd’s final squad

Tom (Sicknote/Harold) Russell: Number three batsman who is hoping to emulate his dad’s success as a Shield-winning Royd skipper, if he can stay injury free.

Martyn (Growler) Astin : Wicketkeeper and middle order batsman who is the heart of Mytholmroyd CC and desperate to put more silverware in the cabinet. Uses all his experience to help the skipper.

Jon (Albert) Russell: Middle order batsman and change bowler, who led Mytholmroyd to Shield triumphs in 2006 and 2007. Very consistent with bat and ball and still one of the fittest players on the pitch.

Luke (The Length) Sutcliffe: Opening batsman who has produced some devastating knocks this year, notably his 212 against Blackley and 86 not out in the semi–final against Jer Lane. Averaging almost 80.

Spencer (Spenner) Harris: Opening batsman and bowler. Has had family and football commitments but when available has made significant contributions.

Ben (Bird Seed) Burnside: Top order batsman who has hit form at the right time with a match winning ton at Outlane. Took two key catches in the semi-final .

Sam (Dylan/Pebble/Bryn) Walker: Opening bowler with lots of first team experience. Backed up his all-rounder claims with an aggressive quarter final knock at Booth .

Nathan (Plan B) Harris: Has developed into a superb opening bowler, highlighted by his quarter final four for 45 against Booth which ripped out the middle order.

Dan (Digger) Murgatroyd : Middle order batsman and slow bowler who has developed into a confident all- rounder. A superb fielder and gritty batsman.

Ben (Bats with a wig) Barker: Middle order batsman who has developed into a second team regular this year. Useful middle order hitter and has made some excellent catches.

Saad (Saadala) Hussain: Hard-hitting middle order batsman: superb fielder. Capable of clearing the ropes at any ground.

Matthew (Squidward) Bauer: Has produced match winning performances with five for 42 against Blackley and three for 29 at Jer Lane.