ANY plans for a sedate Sunday lunch should be put on hold as Crosland Moor Manor is set to sizzle with top bowling action.
After a six-year absence, Yorkshire – featuring Huddersfield’s strongest bowlers – are in the final of the British Senior Inter-County Championship and take on Warwick and Worcester (2.00).
Back in 2000, Yorkshire finished runners-up to Greater Manchester, but they are determined not to end second best tomorrow.
This barren spell is a far cry from the heady heights of the mid-Nineties where Yorkshire were the dominant force in British bowling, winning the title three times in a row (1993-1995) plus successes in 1991 and 1998, and were runners-up to Greater Manchester in 1999 and 2000.
In 1989, however, Yorkshire lost to tomorrow’s opponents Warwick and Worcester – and supporters will be hoping history does not repeat itself.
Yorkshire’s main strength this season has been the outstanding results from the away team, under the first year of captaincy by Paul Sigsworth, of Netherton Con.
Sigsworth, however, along with a host of fellow Huddersfield stars, has been switched to the home team with the aim of taking full advantage of the local players’ knowledge and expertise of the Crosland Moor green.
He said: “It was the proudest moment of my career when I was asked to captain Yorkshire’s away team.
“It’s been a brilliant season, we haven’t been beaten throughout the qualifying campaign and right from the word go, the players have been up for it.
“Now, with my switch to captaining the home team for the final (Robert Hitchen captains the away team), I want to make it count.”
Home team manager Graham Hirst said: “Historically Crosland Moor has always been a happy hunting ground for us, and with six Huddersfield lads brought back into the home team, we’ve got a great base.
“We wanted to use Crosland Moor at the beginning of the season because we knew that the green was in excellent condition, the only problem was that there was no water or electricity.
“However, when club officials agreed to stage the final, they have put in a tremendous amount of work to get the venue ready.
“Denis Lowery has the green in excellent condition and other clubmen have painted the boards and washed down seating and I am very grateful to them for all their efforts.
“In bookies’ terms Yorkshire are narrow favourites 4/6 compared to Warwick and Worcester at 11/10, but they have beaten us twice before and in 1989 we lost out to them in the final, so we’ll be aiming not to repeat that, but Warwick and Worcester will be confident as well.
“Our away team are unbeaten this year so we hope they continue their excellent form into the final.
“I’m hoping, as ever, that the great supporters in Huddersfield come out and get behind the lads in the final and I know there’s a couple of buses from Pudsey (venue for the home team’s semi-final success against Cheshire), one from Spen and one from Lower Hopton coming as well so we should have a few hundred on the day and, hopefully, we will give everyone something to cheer.”
Away team manager Keith Hatzer, whose side travel to Forget-Me-Not BC, Erdington, said: “I always say we’ll win the match here, at the away venues. If the away team does the business then the match is won.
“It’s going to be difficult because Warwick and Worcester have beaten us on the last two occasions and we’ve had it rough for the past five years, so any team that comes up against us we’ve owed them one – and as I keep saying about any team who have beaten us since we last won the cup – it’s payback time!
“It’s been an absolutely brilliant season this year, not only has the support been excellent, but the players as well.
“They’ve been playing not as individuals, where a win is all they’ve been bothered about, but as a team where every chalk counts.
“It is a team effort and without that we would not be going anywhere.
“I just hope the lads who’ve moved into the home team do as well as they did for me in the semi-final against Cheshire.
“The players have been putting that shirt on and have worn it with immense pride being Yorkshire through and through.”