IT’S THE final countdown! Hardly original but it’s a fact.
The final weekend of the Bradford Cricket League programme starts at midday tomorrow (Saturday) and promotion to the Premier Division from Championship One depends entirely on the outcome of three crucial fixtures.
Batley, having risen from no-hopers to almost certainties, go into their last game at home to old rivals Gomersal, at Mount Pleasant, on the back of three successive defeats and knowing even a resounding victory may not be enough to regain the top-flight position they lost two years ago.
In their last game, at Keighley, they were undone by former East Bierley and Gomersal opener Richard Gould, who hit 84 in his side’s 205 for five to become the League’s second-highest run scorer with 16,241. It was a score that proved to be the main difference between the two sides as Batley mustered just 140 in reply.
Gomersal have had a good run-in to move up into fifth place and, with Batley desperately short of runs, this game really could go either way. However, with Morley now leading the table on 244 points and Bankfoot second on 240, Batley are on 235 points and face a huge task to overhaul their rivals and clinch a promotion place.
Morley go to sixth-placed Baildon, who were beaten by Gomersal in their last game, while Bankfoot are at second-bottom Wakefield St Michaels, who are eight points behind East Bierley, in their bid to avoid relegation.
While nothing can ever be taken for granted the odds definitely favour wins for the top two and that would end Batley’s chances.
While Bierley entertain Keighley looking to put some distance between them and St Michaels, it is a farewell to Championship One for Scholes who, having had their relegation established some time ago, finish with a derby game at home to unpredictable Hartshead Moor.
Ossett, unbeaten in their last four matches, wrap up their season with a game at Pudsey Congs.