Two in bid for cup

TWO local cricket clubs’ third teams are bidding to lift the Halifax Leagues prestigious Sunday cup.

Holders Rastrick play their semi-final on Sunday, while Lightcliffe are in the other semi hoping to finally get their hands on the trophy.

Rastrick are gearing up for their Rod Warhurst Cup semi-final against Elland.

After a closely fought win against Booth last Sunday, Rastrick hope that their winning streak goes on to place them in the final for the third time in three years.

Rastrick won the cup last year, and with a mostly unchanged team are favourites to lift this year’s trophy.

Skipper Jason Middleton said: “Last week Booth scored 157 for their first wicket in 24 overs, and most teams would have fallen apart, but we pulled together and with some tight second half bowling from Jonathan Bamforth and myself managed to restrict Booth to 222.

“Teams need to be looking at 250 plus to be in with a chance of winning a game,” he said.

Rastrick Cricket Club host Sunday’s event with the game starting at 2pm and the bar open from noon.

Lightcliffe’s third team head into Sunday’s semi-final against Booth with confidence high and an unbeaten cup and league season to protect.

Mark Whiley’s men, combining a blend of youth and experience, have gone from strength to strength this term under his leadership.

After topping their group with four wins, they have started their league season in a similar vein and have won both their games.

The semi-final tie has been switched to Mytholmroyd (wickets pitched 2pm) as both teams have other commitments on their grounds.

Skipper Whiley said: “It’s been a great start to the season. We have been playing exciting, entertaining cricket and have been rewarded with some fantastic wins.

“The older end of our team have been scoring the runs. The experience of Colin Saunders, Kev Booth, Brucie Lunn and player-chairman Steve Hartley has counted at key times.

“With Mick Wood chipping in, and Patrick Wild and Tom Denham beginning to get among the runs we have plenty of players who can get runs on the board.”

Lightcliffe lost agonisingly in the final two years ago. They also missed out on a final four years ago, and lost a 2003 final against Triangle in the Paul Keighley era.

This time they are determined to go one better.

Skipper Whiley said: “I don’t underestimate Booth, who have some big game players, and if we get to the final we want to win it this time.”