Cricket season gets underway

THE ALL ROUNDER Bradford Premier League season finally gets underway tomorrow (Sat), although some clubs did kick off their season last week with games in the Heavy Woollen Cup competition.

In tomorrow’s league programme there is plenty of interest as the new format has its first test with the Premier League, not least with newly-promoted Scholes playing host to a Woodlands side who have carried off the title six times in the past 11 years.

This game will be preceded by a minute’s silence following the death of Dr Clive Naylor, who was a player with the club in the Central Yorkshire League during the 1970s and 80s.

Hanging Heaton were challenging eventual winners Pudsey St Lawrence right through last season, and they will be hoping to carry on where they left off with the visit of Farsley to Bennett Lane.

Cleckheaton, champions in 2013 and 2014, fell just short of completing a hat-trick of wins last year but skipper John Wood will be looking to make a positive start to the new campaign when Lightcliffe make the short trip down the A58 to Moorend.

Morley, promoted as Division Two champions, face a tough start when they entertain an East Bierley side who might have struggled at times last year but are still nevertheless capable of producing some outstanding performances.

The newly-formatted Championship A and Championship B divisions are also full interest as the old Central Yorkshire League sides mix with last year’s Bradford League Second Division clubs.

Among the Championship A fixtures is the Batley derby between Birstall and Batley at Leeds Road, while Ossett are at home to Liversedge in another ex-CYL clash.

It is in Championship B that there are new horizons for clubs as Spen Victoria go to Altofts, Hartshead Moor entertain Methley, Hopton Mills are at home to Bankfoot and Gomersal face a daunting trip to Townville.

Spen Vic got an early taste of the new set-up last week when they went to Townville in the Heavy Woollen Cup and crashed to a 124-run defeat. Batting first, Townville totalled 209 but Spen made only 84 in reply.

In the other ties played there were wins for New Farnley, by 76 runs at home to Wakefield Thornes, Methley, 104-run winners at home to Slaithwaite, Morley, 101-run winners over Skelmanthorpe, and Wrenthorpe who beat Cawthorne by 67 runs.

This Sunday East Bierley go to Whitley Hall, Moorlands are at home to Gomersal, Buttershaw St Pauls, from the Conference entertain Birstall, Ossett go to Brook Walton and Scholes are at Treeton.

In the Conference Heckmondwike open their season with a home game against Adwalton, while Crossbank find themselves with a blank week.

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