Sponsored by Foster’s at STONES CRICKET CLUB The T20 Finals Day, a victim of the weather on the original date of 29 July, nearly suffered the same consequence on a partly wet and blustery day at Ripponden Old Lane but a magnificent effort from the Stones CC ground staff, plus a shrewd switch to a T10 competition by the League Executive, ensured that all three ties were played to a conclusion. All four captains of the semi-finalists were happy to play the ten overs per side alternative, as opposed to what most likely would have a resulted in unwelcome bowl-offs. A Rules note is that players in this competition have to retire when they reach a half-century – a factor that played a part as five batsmen were required to do so throughout the day.
First Semi-Final: Copley 114-1, Thornton 119-1. The Copley openers were the first at the crease and made a brilliant start as Alex Rowles (51 retired) and Alex Blagborough (51 retired) set up the innings. However once they had departed there was little on offer from its other four batsmen who reached the middle – just three runs coming from their bats. In reply Thornton paced its innings to perfection and needed just 8.5 overs to overtake a target of 115 runs with Josh Hutchinson (55 retired) on top form, ably supported by Ben Burkhill (26 not out), Ross Soames (18) and Nikki Hutchinson (10 not out) ensuring a place in the Final.
Second Semi-Final: Warley 124-6, Triangle 109-4. Warley lost the most wickets in its innings during the afternoon but nevertheless also hit the highest score as Triangle was set a run rate of 12.5 runs per over. Its three main contributors were Amid Azam (37), Greg Keywood (32) and Daniel Syme (19), Christian Silkstone (2-12) being the only bowler to take more than one wicket during the day. It was however Triangle skipper Silkstone, in fine form in the 45 overs format, who brought the most comment of the day as he chose not to bat until the second wicket had fallen, by which time the run rate had crept up somewhat. Despite the efforts of Daniel Crosland (31), Chris Metcalf (22) and a belated 29 not out from the skipper Triangle fell short by 15 runs due to some tight Warley bowling.
Final: Warley 111-3, Thornton 98-4. Thornton won the toss for the Final and inserted Warley. Despite losing Azam for a duck and Keywood (10) early the innings was accelerated by Syme who hit a blistering 50, before having to retire, one huge six only inches from dropping down the chimney of an adjacent house! Shazad Hassan (30) and Haroon Razzak (10 not out) and skipper Matthew Whitworth (11 not out) adding vital runs in the last couple of overs. The Thornton response was well on track as Josh Hutchinson (55 retired) and Burkill (33) took the score to within striking distance of the 112-run target but after their departure the innings fell away, due in part to some excellent captaincy by Matthew Whitworth, to see Warley win by 13 runs. The T20 Trophy was presented to the Warley skipper by Anthony Briggs, Business Development Manager for Heineken, brewers of Foster’s, and the Man-of-Match award, judged by Stones CC cricket chairman David Mobbs, went to Warley’s Daniel Syme for his 19 and 50 retired, the latter including six sixes. Thanks were expressed to all from the host club who contributed to the event, in the face of some challenging conditions, and to Steven Pullen and Raymond Taylor who umpired all three ties with aplomb.