GOLCAR tackle Elland at Swallow Lane tomorrow in the Romida Twenty/20 final, with both clubs eager to salvage something from an otherwise disappointing season.
Sykes Cup holders Golcar crashed out in this year’s first round (although the Seconds are holding up the club’s honour after reaching the Paddock Shield final), while Elland were bullied out by Delph & Dobcross in the semis, and both club’s have endured a roller-coaster year in the League.
Elland gained some measure of revenge on Tuesday night when they pipped Delph by a single run, Stuart Fletcher getting the crucial wicket of Matt Norvall with the match’s penultimate delivery to put his side into the final for the first time.
And Golcar’s supporters were hailing the efforts of Craig ‘Bully’ Ruscoe, who trampled all over Hoylandswaine’s hopes of a repeat Trophy win with a belligerent unbeaten 70 to bring a nine-wicket win and a first final appearance for the Swallow Lane men.
In fact, Golcar’s last two wins have been rather one-sided (they trounced Skelmanthorpe during the previous week), and although I’m sure they would quite happily settle for a third walkover in succession, on the grounds of making it a spectator spectacle, another final-over thriller would certainly suit the neutral better.
Ruscoe is a particularly dangerous player in this form of the game, as is Elland’s Jimmy Thornton, both men easily capable of clearing boundaries, walls and surrounding houses with ease.
Ben Robshaw, too, is a big striker of the ball for Golcar, although he perhaps lacks consistency.
Australian all-rounder Leigh Kentish also hits the ball as hard as anyone in the Drakes League, as he demonstrated when lashing a quickfire 35 in the quarter-final win over Skelmanthorpe.
For Elland, Greg Finn showed that excellent timing is just as good as physical strength when belting 78 off 40 balls at Delph, while the Hullen Edgers will have Lee Baxter back (he missed Tuesday’s win because of work commitments) and have another two big hitters in Greg Buckley and the dangerous Ryan Robinson.
The battle at Swallow Lane gets under way at 2pm.