Barkisland have recruited SBCI pair Jamie Sykes and George Hampshire in their bid to make an instant return to the Huddersfield League’s top flight.
The Woodfield club’s firsts have had a year to forget, finishing bottom of the Premier Division with only three wins from 26 fixtures.
Nobody saw that coming, least of all skipper Darren Robinson after top six finishes in the previous four years and a fairly settled team.
Barkisland have joined fellow Calderdale clubs Elland and Rastrick in the Championship with the intention of bouncing back at the first attempt under Robinson.
They hope seam bowler Sykes and early order batsman Hampshire can aid their cause.
Sykes started his career at Barkisland along with his brother Dan, who remains at SBCI.
He has topped the Halifax League bowling averages and he captained the Church Institute to the Halifax League title and Parish Cup double in 2012.
Hampshire is one of the best young batsmen in the Halifax League and scored 767 runs at an average of 45.12 in the most recent season.
The pair will team up with two other former SBCI batsmen, Jamie Summerscales and Alex Kaye, at Barkisland.
Robinson said the pair would be useful additions.
“Jamie has been a consistently good player in the Halifax League while George is a young lad who has had a couple of good years and wants to take the next jump up (in standard).”
Barkisland have lost all-rounder Alex Scholefield, who had joined Kirkburton to continue playing Premiership cricket.
They have their eye on an Australian opening bowler to replace him.
Robinson said virtually all of the first team players had under-performed last season while Zimbabwean opening bowler Tino Mafusiri had gone home half-way through the season after proving a disappointment.
“We got into a rut and losing can become a habit,” he added.
Barkisland will open their season against Lascelles Hall on April 21 and will be away to either Linthwaite or Birkby Rose Hill in the Sykes Cup, a competition the former Halifax League side won in 2008.
Barkisland’s second team remain in the Premiership and they will again be captained by former Old Crossleyans player Richard Dixon in 2018.
RICHARD Laycock, skipper of Halifax League champions and Parish Cup winners Booth for the last two years, has been re-elected as skipper for 2018.
Fellow all-rounder Patrick Thomas will be his vice-captain in succession to Steve Senior.
THERE is a trial for the Halifax under 15s team to play in next year’s Yorkshire Taverners competition at the Cricket Asylum, Sowerby Bridge on Thursday, December 28.
It will run from 2pm to 4pm and the cost is £1.
If unable to attend contact Peter Taylor on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring him on 07905377441.