IT WOULD be very difficult to see anyone overtaking long-time leaders Woodlands to secure the Bradford League Premier Division title, but in-form Cleckheaton are in the running for the runners-up spot after an impressive win over Bradford and Bingley.
If Mally Nicholson’s men can avoid slipping up at home to relegation-threatened Undercliffe tomorrow (Saturday), they could certainly demonstrate the importance of their victory over the second-placed side.
Bingley are currently 34 points ahead of fourth-placed Cleckheaton but they have played a game more.
Recent results have shown that any team is capable of winning in this division against any opposition, but with only six games to go it looks like consistency will be key in the final run-in.
Although relegation-threatened Wrenthorpe last week inflicted only a second defeat of the season on Woodlands in the biggest shock of the season so far, the Oakenshaw side shouldn’t slip up again at home to second-bottom Lightcliffe.
However, the leading clubs should clearly be aware of the fighting qualities being shown by those in the relegation zone.
Undercliffe are one of those sides in trouble but, if Cleckheaton can repeat the superb performance that saw off a Bingley side experiencing their best season for years, they should take the bulk of the points from this encounter.
Yorkshire’s hard-hitting Tom Kohler-Cadmore set up the win over Bingley, blasting 79 runs off just 44 balls, while Nick Lindley (73) and skipper Nicholson (44) ensured victory was achieved with 10 balls to spare against a side who had set a challenging target of 262.
While Woodlands should further their title claims with a win over Lightcliffe, they do have the added distraction this week of a Priestley Cup final against New Farnley on Sunday at Undercliffe.
Talking of distractions, it is hard to believe that Hanging Heaton’s continued involvement in the national T20 competition has not affected their league form in some way.
Yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Townville, saw Hanging Heaton tumble to seventh place.
If the clubs below them win their game-in-hand, Gary Fellows could find his side just 13 points off the relegation places.
Although the home game against Wrenthorpe tomorrow should give them the opportunity to get a long-awaited win, their opponents’ victory over Woodlands last week showed that they should not be taken for granted.