WITH three of the district’s teams in the top four and three in the bottom four, hardly a week goes by with a fixture that doesn’t impact on the promotion or relegation issues in Championship One.
At present, in-form Batley, having risen to second, look a good bet to land a top-two place while Hartshead Moor, doubtless boosted by the recent appearances of former Yorkshire and England all-rounder Tim Bresnan, have risen to fourth – albeit 29 points adrift of Batley.
East Bierley, on the Kirklees fringes, currently lie fifth but tomorrow’s (Saturday) games look set to shake things up further as Batley go to Hartshead Moor.
In their last game, Batley secured a six-wicket win over Ossett, as Tariq Hussain’s 4-15 helped dismiss Ossett for 122 before Roheil Hussain hit 53 in reply to seal the win.
Meanwhile, Hartshead Moor saw off Baildon courtesy of an unbroken 113-run stand for the fourth wicket between Ali Shan (73) and Mohammed Khan (53) after a score of 51 from opener Chris Wynd.
That win left Batley six points behind leaders Bankfoot, while Moor go into this crucial Kirklees derby 29 points adrift of the second promotion spot.
East Bierley, three points behind Moor, are next up to visit an Ossett side now in second-bottom spot but only four points behind Gomersal and Wakefield St Michaels.
Gomersal, having been narrowly beaten by leaders Bankfoot last week, now face early-season front-runners Keighley tomorrow while Scholes, who are still anchored to the foot of the table, entertain Baildon under the threat of a second successive relegation.
Carlton and Yeadon still dominate the Championship Two title race but Birstall, involved in a derby game at Spen Victoria tomorrow, are creeping up on the rails and are now only eight points behind second-placed Yeadon after a massive 196-run win over bottom club Liversedge.
Key men for Birstall in that game were Rishy Limbechaya (75), Nick Kaye (61) and left-arm paceman James Russell (7-30) as the Leeds Road men earned a vital confidence boost.
It comes ahead of a tough weekend that sees them face neighbours Spen in the league before entertaining Hunslet Nelson in the semi-final of the Jack Hampshire Cup on Sunday.
Hopton Mills go to Jer Lane tomorrow with both sides on 111 points while Liversedge, already 18 points adrift of third-bottom safety, can expect little respite when they go to title-chasing Yeadon.
In the Conference, second-bottom Crossbank Methodists are at home to second-top Great Preston while bottom club Heckmondwike and Carlinghow are without a game this weekend.