CLECKHEATON go into their derby game at home to leaders Woodlands needing a last-ditch effort to have any chance of making an already unlikely challenge for the Premier Division title.
Mally Nicholson’s men are only 16 points adrift of second-placed Hanging Heaton, but the season has so far been marred by an inconsistency that has produced three wins and three defeats from six completed games.
The weather has not helped but while Woodlands, along with all but one club, have had three abandoned games, they have won all of the rest and go into tomorrow’s game with a 49-point advantage over Cleckheaton.
Over the years there have been a number of very wet summers, with last year’s baked pitches a distant memory, but Woodlands have consistently mastered the challenging conditions better than most.
While Cleckheaton desperately need to put a dent in the leaders’ unbeaten record for their own sake, Hanging Heaton will be wishing their neighbours well as they seek to make the most of their game at second-bottom Undercliffe.
The 33-point lead that Woodlands hold over Hanging Heaton is a daunting enough target to overhaul and Gary Fellows’s men cannot afford to see that gap extended.
Staying with Hanging Heaton, their T20 clash with Yorkshire CCC at Bingley on Monday night promises to be an entertaining affair.
And all parties concerned will be doubtless muttering their petitions to Jupiter Pluvius to mind his own business for a few days. His presence has already been felt far too much by everyone so far this season!
With so many rain-affected and abandoned games, teams must make the most of what play is possible to accumulate bonus points.
In last week’s games, for example, Woodlands picked up five batting points from their 264 for six at home to Methley, and then added another as the visitors lost two for 10.
Elsewhere, Hanging Heaton were restricted to just four points as their opponents, Bradford and Bingley, held out on 172 for nine.