Scholes have the best record of any Paddock Shield club in the last 25 years and are hoping some explosive talent can catapult them to an eighth win in that time.
Captain Matthew Boorman goes into the match without two of his best players, semi-final heroes Ashley Pamment and Jamie Clayton, both being unavailable, but he’s far from short of flair and know-how.
The Chapelgate side have an abundance of all-round ability, no shortage of trophy-winning experience and some potential match-winners to boot for Sunday’s 1pm start on their own pitch.
“Barkisland are obviously a very good side who won the double last season, but we are a very good side as well and we’re looking forward to taking them on, especially with our ‘Western Terrace’ in full voice,” said Boorman, 27, who will be playing in his third final (one win, one defeat) and last season won the Premiership Two bowling prize.
“I think people would have made Barkisland heavy favourites if the final had been at their place, but at Chapelgate I think it’s a lot more even.
“Our supporters will give us an extra push and, providing we don’t leave anything out there on the pitch and can look back saying we couldn’t have done any more, then I think we’ve got every chance.
“We want to make sure we give it everything and produce our skills in every phase of the game. It’s a final, so you have to concentrate the whole way through – and especially when you get on top.”
Those are wise words after what happened to Scholes’ first team in last year’s Sykes Cup final, coincidentally against Barkisland firsts, when they collapsed from a winning position.
Jordan Saville and Boorman have both done well with the bat this season and are dangerous leg-spinners into the bargain (Boorman is leading wicket-taker with 32 and 18.66), while in Eden Pearson and Mark Floyd they have two of the most powerful batters around in Drakes Premiership Two.
Former Town footballers Duane Holmes and Ian Bray are also in the squad, while wicketkeeper Richard Holmes is among the very best in the entire league (first teams included) and Josh Langfield (25 wickets at 19) has the best Paddock Shield bowling performance of the season under his belt – eight for 10 against Elland in the first round.
“When you can bat someone like Josh Langfield at No11 then you know you’ve got a batting line-up of strength, with everyone capable of getting 50,” added Boorman, who won’t make his selection until after the league match against Slaithwaite.
“Sav and Floydy have got us off to many a good start this season and, on his day, Floydy is one of the most dangerous players in the league.
“It’s also nice to have James Wharton available because he hasn’t been able to play that much this season with his commitments as Yorkshire Under 15 captain and with the North of England at the Bunbury Festival.
“All the order are capable of getting good runs, though, and in the bowling, we aren’t stuck with a set five, we have plenty of options to back up Langy – our real go-to man who is not only consistent but a real talent who can do plenty of damage.
“Eden Pearson is a proper uphill specialist at Scholes and there could be Duane, Floydy, Ian Bray as well as myself and Sav – and Wharton can throw down a few offies if required, so we are not short.”
And his final instructions to the team?
“Make sure we focus for every minute and back each other up like the good team we are,” he answered.
“We have the skills, we just need to make them count. That means working hard if it’s not going for us and, if it is, not getting over-confident at any stage. Stay focused.”
Scholes: (from) Matthew Boorman (Capt), Josh Langfield, Eden Pearson, Jack Bryson, Mark Floyd, Duane Holmes, Richard Holmes (Wkt), Ian Bray, Gurdeep Farma, James Wharton, Jordan Saville, Ronan Coleman, Matthew Firth. Scorer: Vicky Holroyd.