*Blackley 252-9 (Asif 40), Booth 165 (Johnstone 47) Triangle 217-8 (Palin 45, Sykes 41), *Illingworth St Mary’s 221-5 (Patchett 67*, Kelly 51). Final to be played at Illingworth St Mary’s CC on Sunday 19 August – start 1:00 pm Blackley v Illingworth St Mary’s
SEMI - FINALS REPORTS The two Crossley Shield Finals both produced shocks as first the holders and Premier Division leaders, Booth, was knocked out by eighth-placed Blackley at Lindley Road whilst at Illingworth St Mary’s the home team, leading the Second Division, pulled off the performance of the competition thus far in defeating Triangle, currently fourth in the Premier Division. As a result Blackley, last winners of the Shield in 1986, will travel to Illingworth for the Final – venues been arranged before the season commences. St Mary’s last won the trophy in 1982 in a period when it entered the competition as a non-League team, being in the Airedale & Wharfedale competition at the time.
Blackley batted first in its tie and a solid and steady effort from all its batsman resulted in a total of 252-9, the team contribution evidenced by the fact that the top scorer was Naeel Asif with 40 runs, the wickets being shared by five Booth bowlers. Surprisingly the visitors were never really in contention and at 75-5 the writing was on the proverbially wall. Only Mark Johnstone (47) caused any problems for the Blackley bowlers and fielders, indeed most were of their own making as extras was second best ‘scorer’ with 40 runs. Anthony Langton’s 3-17 in his nine overs did the initial damage from which Booth never recovered to lose by 67 runs.
Triangle, record nine-times winners of the Shield along with Warley, got the shock of their lives at The Ainleys as St Mary’s triumphed by five wickets. The Grassy Bottom outfit batted first and, in semi-final comparisons, posted a par score of 217-8, Anthony Sykes scoring 41 early runs with George Palin’s 45 runs badly needed at No 9 when the scoreboard read 126-7. His effort however proved in vain as the home team’s batsmen, firstly led by a half-century from Liam Kelly (51) and then concluded by Daniel Patchett (67 not out), were home and dry with nine overs to spare. An intriguing Final is now in prospect with the fortunate home advantage of a Second Division team perhaps balancing the status of the Premier Division traveller.