Batley head to Wrenthorpe on Premier return

Batley head to Wrenthorpe on Premier return

BATLEY will mark their return to the Premier Division with a trip to Wrenthorpe when the 2020 Bradford League season begins on April 18.

The club will be back after two years outside the top flight, having suffered instant relegation the last time they went up to the division in 2017.

Despite a late-season slip, Batley managed to win on a dramatic final day to get over the line and win the 2019 second-tier title.

They will start their challenge next season at Wrenthorpe, before their first home tie the following week sees them welcome neighbours Hanging Heaton.

After three trophy-laden seasons, Hanging Heaton underachieved last time out despite an eventual third-placed finish, outside of title contention from the early stages of the season and finishing without any silverware to their name.

They will look to regain the Premier Division title that they claimed in 2017, starting their campaign at Townville. They will have to wait until round three for a first home clash, when they welcome the district’s other top-flight side, Cleckheaton.

Back-to-back champions earlier in the decade, Cleckheaton will be looking to improve on three consecutive bottom-half finishes. They begin the 2020 season at New Farnley before hosting Townville in round two.

The 22-game Premier Division season will finish on September 5, a week earlier than the last of the leagues, with Batley hosting Townville, Hanging Heaton at New Farnley and Cleckheaton away to Morley.

Birstall earned promotion back to Division One at the second time of asking in 2019, and they begin their campaign away at Lightcliffe.

Ossett, Gomersal and Hartshead Moor will be hoping to build on fourth-, sixth- and seventh-placed finishes respectively, with Ossett going to Undercliffe to start the season while Gomersal host Carlton and Hartshead Moor are visited by Pudsey Congs.

Spen Victoria finished fourth in Division Two last time out and begin their latest challenge at home to Wakefield St Michael’s, while Hopton Mills travel to Hunslet Nelson for their opener following a fourth-from-bottom placing in 2019.

Liversedge finished bottom of the third tier last season so join the Bradford League’s bottom two, Heckmondwike and Carlinghow, and plum-last Crossbank Methodists, in Division Three.

Oulton are the visitors at Liversedge in the very first round while Heckmondwike go to Altofts and Crossbank welcome Adwalton.

The fixtures have also been released for the second-team divisions. Hanging Heaton won the Premier Division title last season and begin their defence at home to Lightcliffe, while Batley host newly-promoted Gomersal.

Cleckheaton are the sole Heavy Woollen representatives in Division One and begin at home to Northowram Fields, while five of the district’s sides will compete in Division Two next year.

Hopton Mills, Ossett and Birstall have home ties against Altofts, Undercliffe and Townville respectively, while Liversedge begin at Oulton and Hartshead Moor go to Sandal.

Finally, Spen Victoria travel to Brighouse, Heckmondwike and Carlinghow welcome Hunslet Nelson and Crossbank Methodists begin at Adwalton in Division Three.

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