Cleck in poor form before trip to leaders

Any satisfaction felt at Cleckheaton CC regarding the success of Andrew Gale and Joe Sayers, with Yorkshire, will be tempered by a quick glance at the current Bradford League First Division table.
Finishing sixth, seventh and sixth in the past three seasons has seen the Moorenders take on the guise of ‘Mr Average’ when it comes to defining their status within the top flight, but things are suddenly looking very different this term as they languish in last place.
With only one win in five league games, going down by 44 runs after being bowled out for 91 at home to reigning champions Pudsey Congs in their last outing, Cleckheaton go to current leaders Bradford and Bingley tomorrow (Sat) needing to turn the table on its head.
Skipper John Wood, with 210 in five overs and a topscoring 25, is clearly still doing his bit and leading from the front but while James Lee (425) and Iain Wardlaw (347) performed well with the ball it is difficult to see where the runs are going to come from at Bingley on that form.
Tim Jackson and Mark Cummins have recorded the only twohalf centuries to date but with with bonus points comparable to many other clubs there appears to be a need to find the killer instinct and consistency.
Some results have been very close but there will be no margin for error at Bingley who already have a 12point lead and seem determined to go one better than last year's runnersup spot.
Gomersal entertain Manningham Mills hoping to push themselves up the table and avoid getting dragged into the kind of relegation battle that hung over much of last season like a cloud while Hanging Heaton have a tough game at home to East Bierley but the kind of challenge that will clearly define their bid to become serious title contenders after a good start.
It was good to see teenager Andy Gorrod (55) amongst the runs again for a young Gomersal side, along with new signing Shabbir Rashid (97), but the defeat at the hands of Undercliffe was not expected. With five players failing to score and EIGHT failing to get into double figures it is not hard to put the finger on the problem there.
Hanging Heaton fared even worse in the three wicket defeat at home to Baildon where James Stansfield (53 not out) almost stood alone for the Bennett Lane men as they crashed to 97 all out. Chris Goodair (11) was the only other player in double figures.
What has truly marked this season however is the failure of any one club in either division to truly stand out not one club can boast an unbeaten record.
In the Sovereign Health Care Priestley Cup, Spen Victoria's win over Bankfoot has landed them a second round tie at Pudsey St Lawrence, a rerun of the 1990 final, East Bierley, having seen off Second Division leaders Lightcliffe, are at home to Great Horton, while Hartshead Moor and Cleckheaton, having both drawn first round byes, now meet each other in a derby clash at Highmoor Lane. All second round ties to be played on Bank Holiday Monday, May 30.

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