The value of Booth’s early-season capture of Steve Senior from close rivals Mytholmroyd is revealed in the Spenser Wilson Halifax League averages for 2016.
The opening batsman topped the Premier Division chart, contributing significantly to Booth’s first title success for 14 years.
He finished with 861 runs at 71.75 to finish clear of Copley’s Oliver Thorpe (642 at 64.20) and his club skipper Richard Laycock (775 at 59.62).
Senior’s transfer possibly posed a problem for league officials when it came to the averages because Senior, who picked up the nickname “Raider” in his Old Town days, had already scored 140 runs for ‘Royd.
It was ruled that only Senior’s runs at Booth would count towards the averages, but he is still expected to receive a trophy for scoring 1,000 runs in a season at the league dinner later this month.
Senior’s run tally was helped by the 205 not out he scored at home to Triangle.
Laycock, who won the league batting prize himself two years ago, said Senior’s signing had been a key factor in their title success.
“He was exactly what we needed. We knew he was good when he came and he has proved himself one of the best opening batsmen in the league.
“We knew we were lucky to sign him and he has fitted in perfectly.”
Warley’s John Currie has won the bowling prize with 39 wickets at 15.13, edging out fellow spinner Chris Greenwood from Sowerby St Peter’s (34 at 15.21).
Currie is a 19-year-old South African with a British passport. He will be studying near Cape Town for the next three years but has indicated he would like to return to Warley.
Currie was pointed Warley’s way by their former player Ian Shaw, who works for Cricket Scotland.
He didn’t take more than five wickets in a game but Warley stalwart Rob Keywood said he was a good player.
“He’s a bit different, a leg spinner, and he bowls a wrong ‘un as well.”
Great Horton Park Chapel missed out on promotion behind Queensbury and Oxenhope in the middle section but they had the top batsman and bowler.
Ammar Syed (516 runs at 64.50) and Matthew Jordan (42 wickets at 9.50) were both stepping up on 2015 when they finished runners-up in the same categories in the division below.
Queensbury have four batsmen in the top 12 but the main reason for their title success was probably the 138 wickets that spinners Amjid Ali and Gurdev Singh took between them.
It has been a memorable year for Cullingworth’s Ben Burkill. The ex-Northowram Fields all-rounder has not only got married but also won the Division Two batting and bowling prizes.
His 855 runs at 71.25 and 40 wickets at 12.98 helped his team finish runners-up to Denholme Clough.
The most notable figures in the second teams’ averages are from Copley’s Karl Whipp.
The ex-Luddenden Foot player scored 1017 runs at an average of 113 to win the Premier batting by a wide margin from Warley pair Dominic Oates and his father Andrew.
Bridgeholme’s Saj Mahmood is also worth a mention. He managed to top the Division One seconds bowling averages with 9.48 in spite of the Eastwood club having some of the shortest boundaries in the league. Taking 79 wickets helped.
Full figures in Friday’s “Halifax Courier”