Confidence in the Barkisland camp is sky high as they bid to cause a major upset in Sunday’s T20 Trophy final against Hoylandswaine at Broad Oak.
Darren Robinson’s fast-improving side are 10 matches unbeaten in all competitions heading into Saturday’s Drakes Premiership trip to Shelley.
They have been especially destructive in the allroundercricket.com Trophy, however, beating Golcar, Hall Bower and Elland in the group stages before disposing of powerful Delph and Kirkburton line-ups in the knockout stages.
Now they face the biggest test of all in league leaders Swaine, who are led by the outstanding Australian Michael Cranmer – who made 171 on Wednesday on his debut for Derbyshire Seconds against Lancashire and is in superb form.
Robinson – no mean all-rounder himself – has guided Barkisland to third place in the top-flight, however, and says his squad are determined to make the most of a first appearance in the short-format final (they won the Examiner Eights in 2004).
“Hoylandswaine are definitely the favourites with the players they have got, but anyone can win a one-off final and that’s the way we are approaching it,” said Robinson.
“We have had a very good 20/20 competition and, obviously, our league form is excellent, so confidence is sky high in all forms.
“It’s our first appearance in the new final and we are all really looking forward to it. We’ve played well and we want to perform again and finish the competition in the right way.”
Jamie Summerscales, Alex Kaye and Aussie LJ Brown provide power at the top of the batting order, while Alex Scholefield, Robinson and 16-year-old Luke Bridges are not to be under estimated in the middle order.
Matt Steers can also give it the ‘long handle’ late on, but he is part of a varied Barkisland bowling attack which could potentially throw some stingers under the Hoylandswaine juggernaut.
“We’ve got a good, all-round team, with some aggressive batsmen and genuine variety in our bowling,” added Robinson, who has a leg-spin option is Aussie Chris Williams.
“There are probably six or seven bowlers I can throw the ball to and they all have different qualities and styles, so it’s good to have the options.”
The T20 Trophy final will start at around 4pm, following the T20 Shield final (for clubs outside the Premiership) between Almondbury Wesleyans and Moorlands, which starts at Noon.
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