Halifax Cricket League: Copley confident for clash with champs

Copley captain Oliver Thorpe
Copley captain Oliver Thorpe

Copley may not be the big underdogs many might have expected when they travel to play Booth, the Spenser Wilson Halifax League champions for the last three years, on Saturday.

The team from The Arches head into the game in second spot in the Premier Division - two places above their hosts - after a fine start to the season.

Only Illingworth have more points than Oliver Thorpe’s side, who go to Broad Fold Park after back-to-back five-wicket wins over Mytholmroyd and Triangle.

Copley could so easily be outright leaders; their game against Shelf Northowram HT was washed out late on when they looked favourites and their sole defeat came by one wicket at home to Sowerby St Peter’s when visiting No 10 Lyndon Baxter hit 32 not out off 20 balls.

Secretary and former player Tim Rushton said: “We have a good, young side and a lot of the players have been together for two or three years and seem to be gelling well.”

Copley have one key addition this season, Liam Hickson from Oswaldtwistle CC. The quick bowler, who has 15 wickets so far, works alongside skipper Oliver Thorpe in the PE department at a Rochdale school.

Thorpe, who had an outstanding 2018, continues to weigh in with runs and wickets. Will Rushton, 18, is keeping wicket to good effect and getting runs while the rest of the team is chipping in.

Copley finished seventh in the Premier last season but had drop fears at one stage. Rushton added: “I think we won five of our last six to pull clear and beat Booth and Thornton (the top two). We have carried that momentum into this season.”