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We fancy our chances on big field says Broad Oak Sykes Cup skipper Jack Hargreaves

Ben Hyde could be key but we are strong all round

Braod Oak's Ben Hyde in T20 action.

Broad Oak are relishing the prospect of a Sykes Cup final appearance and skipper Jack Hargreaves is bristling with intent.

The 25-year-old all-rounder would love to take the silverware back to Gillroyd Lane for the first time since 1985, and he believes they have the ability to do just that.

Kiwi signing Ben Hyde could spearhead their effort with either bat or ball, but Hargreaves insists the Oak are the furthest thing from a one-man team.

“It’s brilliant for the club and the lads to be in the final and our players are hitting a lot of form right now,” he explained.

“I’m very happy with where we are as a team, I’m very happy with who we are up against and, do you know, I fancy our chances.

“I think we are the underdogs, but on a big pitch at Elland and bearing in mind Scholes play on a small one, you never know. If we get Joe Carter and Devon Smith early, you just never know.”

The Oak are hoping opening bowler Alex Slack will have recovered from a pulled hamstring to take his place in the line-up.

Adam France, Jack Wadsworth, Harvey Booth, Hyde and Hargreaves have been among the seam wickets, while leading the attack is off-spinner John Keeling with 42 victims.

Hyde, with 704 runs, and Dom Finn with 535, are the backbone of the batting, but they boast a very long order.

“We have such a deep order with the bat and yet we’ve also got lots and lots of bowlers, so it’s like having 13 men,” smiled Hargreaves.

“People asked at the start of the season how we were going to replace Henry Cooper, but Hydey could end up with 1,000 runs and 40 wickets, so that’s not a bad answer.

“Ben came here as a batter but he is seriously one of the best bowlers, and certainly most consistent, that I’ve seen in the league.

“He will bowl 15 straight through for very little, you can throw him the ball whenever you need to and he is a very good pro.”

Hargreaves feels the Oak deserve to be high in the Drakes Premiership and also their chance in the All Rounder-sponsored showpiece.

“We bat all the way down and while I’m looking forward to seeing Hydey on a big pitch in a final, you look at someone like Dom Finn, who has worked so hard this year,” added Hargreaves.

“He is in the nets every day with his brother, Greg, and he is totally reliable. We have had him batting at No3 and he is just accumulating runs.

“But when you’ve got people like Adam France and Matt Butters going in at No8 and No9, you know you’ve got plenty of batting.

“John Keeling has done a tremendous job with his off-spin for the bowling attack and I’m really pleased we’ve bowled in partnerships.

Broad Oak bowler, John Keeling.

“Slacky and Adam give us some strike, but Jack Wadsworth will tie people down and, while he might not pick up the wickets he deserves, he allows other people to collect them – and he doesn’t mind doing that job for the team.

“We are really looking forward to it and, like I say, on a big pitch we fancy our chances.”

And what of the opposition from Chapelgate?

“Scholes are a great side,” he said.

“Carter is first class and Devon Smith is world class, but they don’t make a team.

“It’s the locals like the Brook brothers, Noble, Chadwick – they are the ones who make the team – and we know what to expect from them in terms of bowling outside off stump with two on the leg side.

“We’ve been doing our preparation and we’ve got our game plan and, like I said earlier, I fancy our chances on a big pitch like Elland.

“I think it’s going to be a really good game, and that’s what people want.”

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