Booth maintained their golden trophy run with a comfortable five-wicket win over Calder Valley rivals Mytholmroyd in Sunday’s Halifax Parish Cup final.
Conditions were more akin to winter than summer, with convivial hosts Blackley deserving better than a strong, cold wind which eventually blew in light rain for much of the second innings at the exposed venue.
The 550 brave souls who had crossed league treasurer Bob Airey’s palm with silver saw reigning Halifax League champions Booth follow up last year’s cup win over Copley at Sowerby St Peter’s, thanks to an excellent performance in the field.
Their powerful bowling attack came out on top against an equally potent Mytholmroyd batting line-up on this occasion, helped by some smart catching.
Royd have been scoring runs for fun recently but a total of 170 was under par in the Briggs Priestley Engravers-sponsored event.
Booth moved smoothly to 141 for two and although Royd were encouraged by three wickets in four overs, it was too little too late and Nigel Horsfall stroked the winning boundary with almost five overs left.
Rival openers Matthew Scholefield and Rob Worsnop scored 50 apiece. Booth’s Worsnop added 50 to his two earlier catches to take the man of the match award, decided by host club president David Peel, while Royd’s Scholefield took the Brian Hunter Memorial Trophy for the game’s top score of 58.
They say that catches win matches and Booth, who had suffered from an attack of butterfingers on this ground in the 2013 final and lost to Jer Lane, clung on to seven chances after Royd skipper Tom Earle had elected to bat.
The best of them was Patrick Thomas’s athletic effort in the gully to dismiss Scholefield, who had been particularly severe on Richard Laycock when the Booth captain had strayed while trying to bowl into the teeth of the wind.
Royd had moved threateningly to 94 for two in the 19th over when Scholefield departed, but they lost wickets at regular intervals from then on with Tom Earle’s less fluent than usual 22 the next top score.
There was a fine slip catch from Rob Laycock and secure efforts from the other fielders as change bowlers Thomas and Moazzam Ayub snaffled three wickets each.
Royd needed early wickets to get back into the contest but instead Worsnop and Steve Senior took 59 off the first 12 overs before Tom Earle looked beyond his brother Jack and swing bowler Amjid Azam.
Umpires Ray Taylor and Steve Hunter consulted as rain began to fall but allowed play to continue.
Senior miscued a James Cowens delivery and departed for 41 with the score on 70 but Worsnop, who had been unflustered and solid against the pace of Jack Earle, was joined by Rob Laycock and they took the total to 115.
Worsnop succumbed to a Cowens full toss, lobbing a catch to Tom Earle, and Taufeeq Ahmed accounted for Rob and Richard Laycock while the returning Jack Earle’s yorker dismissed Hasnain Wajid.
However, powerful pair Jon Midgley and Horsfall ensured there were few jitters in the Booth camp with some firm strokes to seal victory.
Booth v Mytholmroyd
J Earle c Wajid b Laycock 9
M Scholefield c Thomas b Saghir 58
L Sutcliffe c Cockroft b Horsfall 13
S Hassan b Ayub 13
T Earle b Ayub 22
T Ahmed c Worsnop b Saghir 17
T Conway c Senior b Ayub 7
A Gawthrope c Worsnop b Thomas 0
J Travis c Rob Laycock b Thomas 4
J Cowans b Thomas 11
A Azam not out 8
Bowling: N Horsfall 7-0-25-1, Rick Laycock 8-1-52-1, U Saghir 9-2-32-2, M Ayub 9-3-31-3, P Thomas 5,5-1-25-3.
BOOTH 172 for five
R Worsnop c T Earle b Cowans 50
S Senior c Conway b Cowans 41
Rob Laycock b Ahmed 24
H Wajid b J Earle 17
Rick Laycock b Ahmed 5
J Midgley not out 10
N Horsfall not out 14
Bowling: J Earle 9-4-31-1, A Azam 7-1-37-0, A Gawthrope 9-1-20-0, J Cowens 8-2-36-2, T Ahmed 4-0-19-2, T Conway 3-0-20-0.