The Huddersfield Cricket League showpiece event – the Sykes Cup – takes place at Shepley on Sunday (1pm start).
Hoylandswaine will once again do battle with Moorlands – a repeat of last year’s final – and Moorlands will be out to defy league form and retain the trophy. League chairman Trevor Atkinson is excited for the final and expects it to be another humdinger.
Mr Atkinson also gave us his thoughts on how the Premiership is going and updated Huddersfield Hub on the league’s plans to become an ECB recognised Premier League organisation.
On this weekend’s final, Mr Atkinson said: “Last year’s final was one of the best for many a year. It was a close final and I expect this one to be just as competitive. Moorlands aren’t doing as well in the league this year, which has been a surprise, but they are having a good Sykes Cup run.
“All that I am hoping for on Sunday is some good weather so we can get a good game in. I don’t want a sleepless Saturday night worrying about if it will rain!”
Mr Atkinson hasn’t been surprised with the increased level of competition this season. After two years of Covid-19 impacted seasons he says it’s back to business as usual.
He said: “I’ve not been surprised at the fantastic level of cricket we are seeing. It’s been a great season so far and although Hoylandswaine are leading it at the top, there is a real dogfight at the bottom of the table.
“Several teams could still be relegated as it’s really close at the bottom. We could see some big names going down to the Championship, clubs like Golcar, Delph & Dobcross and even Moorlands aren’t safe and they finished second last year.
“Honley have done well as have Scholes. It’s been great to see Skelmanthorpe come up from the Championship and take their chance and be competitive.
“There are six weeks to go until the end of the season and I genuinely think anything can still happen. It’s very intriguing and we’ll just have to see what happens.”
The Huddersfield League recently announced it had been given the go ahead by the clubs to apply to become an ECB recognised Premier League, putting it on a par with the Bradford League.
Mr Atkinson said: “It’s going to be a two-year project for us. We need to get all the clubs to have a clubmark and that basically means they need to all have well set up committees that are diverse and have safe hands.
“We need all the Premiership and Championship clubs to attain this clubmark before we can move forward. A statement has gone into the Yorkshire Cricket Board. Once that has been rubber-stamped then it goes onto the ECB who make the final decision.
“Getting to be a Premier League recognised league would mean we would go back to the prestigious levels we had 25 years ago. That’s what we want back.
“For many years we have been level with the Bradford League but because they have this status they are asked their opinion on decisions taken by the ECB. Better players move to that league, and there are lots of other positives to go along with it.
“So we will work with clubs to help them attain the clubmark and it should be something everyone is excited about because it would take our league to the next level.”