Rivals clash in HW Cup semi

Gomersal take on Bradford League First Division rivals Hanging Heaton in the Heavy Woollen Cup semifinal at Oxford Road on Sunday, knowing the odds against them making the showpiece final at Spen Victoria are stacked against them.

The continued absence of prolific rungetter Richard Gould, in dispute with his skipper Richard Whitehurst, has done little to help the cause as the Oxford Road men find themselves propping up the table ahead of a weekend that may yet define their season – despite it only being at the halfway stage.

While Whitehurst’s men go to an East Bierley side fresh from a 400run romp against Bradford and Bingley in their last outing, Gould finds himself at home to Bierley seconds and attempting to help his side to a win, over the Second team Second Division leaders, that would put them top.

With left arm spinner Ben Platt currently third in Gomersal's league batting averages, batting between six and eight, there is a clear inference of under performance in the top order.

But, while there seems little chance of a reconcilliation between Gould and Whitehurst the Gomersal skipper acknowledges Gould's capabilities he reflected, "We have beaten Pudsey Congs, Cleckheaton and Pudsey St Lawrence this season so we have proved we can match the best if we get our game right."

Whilst Whitehurst is desperately short of runs at the moment he also points out the lack of success of his bowlers no one in the League's half season averages. "We are bowling three bad balls an over and you can't carry on like that. 

"Hanging Heaton beat us heavily a couple of weeks ago but if our bowlers can just find a bit of rhythm we can cause an upset. Delph and Dobcross were fancied to win this competition after putting out Wrenthorpe but we went there and beat them."

One man out to thwart Whitehurst is former Gomersal junior Mark Lawson who is currently enjoying a new lease of life as a hard hitting opening batsman and is the eighth highest run scorer in the First Division at the halfway stage.

The former Yorkshire, Derbyshire and England under19 leg spinner is playing a key role in Hanging Heaton's season with both bat and ball but has mixed feelings about that.

"I had a pretty good season in the seconds at Kent last year, making runs and taking wickets, and thought I'd done enough to get a contract," he explained. "But, when it came down to it they said, 'sorry, we don't have the money'. And that was it."

He went on to reveal what is pretty much an open secret when he explained" "Some counties can't even match the wages being offered in league cricket."

The First Division's leading bowler, Rob McFarlane, is struggling with an injury at the moment and is restricted to a batting role for Hanging Heaton but that might yet prove little consolation for Gomersal.

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