One of the most eagerly anticipated Huddersfield cricket events has to be the T20 finals day, which has seen some memorable clashes down the years. Some of the most thrilling showpieces have been in the T20 format which is why they’re so well attended across the board. Who can’t forget a marvellous century scored by Delph’s Bruce Cruse in the 2008 final, or the superb victory by a then-second tier Hoylandswaine team over Scholes in 2009. Since those early days the T20 Trophy has been dominated by Hoylandswaine - who won the trophy three years consecutively from 2013 to 2015 - and Delph & Dobcross, holders in 2016 and 2017. In the six seasons of the T20 Shield’s existence, the award has been won by six different teams; all of which were fixtures in the 2018 Premiership season which bodes well for the two competing Championship outfits bidding to take it home this season.
Match: Slaithwaite v Elland
Two teams who are no strangers to competing in big cup finals contest the T20 shield this time with Elland reaching the final on a wildcard after the unfortunate disqualification of Rastrick, their conquerors in the semi-final following the a rule infringement. Slaithwaite, who have home advantage in this years finals day, have worked their way past Lepton Highlanders (by 23 runs), Edgerton & Dalton (by 20 runs), Denby Dale (by 49 runs) and finally Emley Clarence (by 7 wickets). In contrast, Elland received a bye in the preliminary round before routing Meltham in a 9-wicket first round win. The quarter final presented itself with an away draw at Clayton West, themselves finalists in the last two seasons, but a solid performance saw them defend a 180-7 first innings score by 21 runs. After the unlikely scenario of progressing to the final at Rastrick’s expense, perhaps Elland could be the first club to win both the T20 Trophy (in 2010) and the T20 Shield?
Match: Honley v Hoylandswaine
Our showpiece event; the T20 Trophy sees the top two in the Premiership go head to head in a fascinating clash of two of the form teams in the Huddersfield League this season.
Hoylandswaine descend upon Slaithwaite’s Hill Top ground in search of their first T20 Trophy win since success at Thongsbridge against Shelley back in 2015. SP Singh’s team, brimming with former and current county talent, have received a recent setback by departing two competitions in two weeks following defeat at the semi-final stages of both the Heavy Woollen Cup and the Sykes Cup. They’ve enjoyed a stress-free journey to the T20 Trophy final after topping a group containing Skelmanthorpe, Cawthorne and Kirkburton with a 100% record. This led to home advantage at the quarter final knock-out stage with a comprehensive defeat of Mirfield Parish Cavaliers by 8 wickets before a trip away to Scholes awaited in the semi-final. Scholes were unable to defend a 167ao total but Hoylandswaine needed to work hard as they won with 3 wickets left.
Honley book their first appearance at the final stage of the T20 in ten seasons following the aforementioned defeat by Delph in 2010. They were drawn into possibly the trickiest of groups and emerged group winners being victorious in all three matches against Scholes, Shepley and Shelley. Timmy Taylor’s team, a canny blend of youth and experience were rewarded with a home draw against a dangerous Thongsbridge side where they were victorious by the narrowest of margins. Honley’s 156-6 first innings total only enough by one single run as the visitors agonisingly fell short on the final ball. The semi-finals saw Honley, missing several vital first teamers, put in a superb performance to win away at Kirkburton by 6 wickets. They’ll be hoping on the availability of Notts player Will Fraine to add his obvious quality to Honley’s ranks.