Bradford League: Cleckheaton set sights on retaining crown after missing out on the treble

Cleckheaton spin king 'Andrew Deegan
Cleckheaton spin king 'Andrew Deegan
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CLECKHEATON chairman Dave Worrall insists he would not have sacrificed a league victory last Saturday for Priestley Cup final glory the following day.

The Moorenders’ hopes of a trophy treble may be over after they were humbled by Pudsey St Lawrence at Undercliffe on Sunday, but opportunity tantalisingly knocks if they claim 16 points or more at Farsley tomorrow – which would see them retain the Bradford League top-flight crown with a game to spare.

John Wood’s side, aware of the advances of second-placed Woodlands, maintained their buffer with a Division One win over Lightcliffe at Moorend last Saturday.

Once again, for seemingly the umpteenth time this season, overseas man Tanzeel Altaf came to the party, hitting a quick-fire 55, although pride of place went to spin-king Andrew Deegan, who took a tremendous 7-22.

The win was timely, with Woodlands keeping themselves in the hunt with a triumph over East Bierley.

Cleck’s lofty position has softened the blow of being denied their first-ever success in the Priestley Cup win, according to Worrall, whose side visit Farsley tomorrow, while Woodlands go to Pudsey Saints.

Worrall said:“We are top of the league with two games to go, got to the Priestley Cup final and are still in the Black Sheep, so there’s lots to play for still.

“We won in the league on Saturday and then lost on Sunday. But I wouldn’t have swapped either of those. If we only had to win one, I would have wanted to win on Saturday.”

On tomorrow’s opponents, he added: “Farsley have had a decent season, are back where they belong and have some good players.

“They can be pleased with their season and will want to finish on a high, so we have got a little fun on our hands.

“We are just looking at winning the game. Do that and we are alright then. You can look too much into stats.

“We are carrying one or two knocks, but I am sure we will deal with it.

Offering his take on Sunday’s final, when Cleck imploded in the face of telling bowling from Richie Lamb and Steve Watts, Worrall added: “You cannot take anything away from Pudsey St Lawrence.

“They played very well, while we never really got into it.

“They tried stuff and it all came off for them. Good luck to them.

“My disappointment was that there was a big crowd there and they didn’t see the real Cleckheaton. They (Pudsey) played better on the day and it happens.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, a battle of the bottom two sees Yeadon host Morley, with relegation to be officially confirmed for the loser, although it’s virtually nailed on that both will be in Division Two next term.

Places are up for grabs in the top four, with third-placed Hanging Heaton welcoming the only other side in the relegation mix, East Bierley, while Pudsey Congs visit Bradford & Bingley and New Farnley go to Lightcliffe.

Newly-crowned Waddilove Cup winners Otley, on course for a first league and cup double in the Aire-Wharfe League since 1988, can take another giant stride towards achieving that with victory at Steeton in Division One today.

Nearest rivals Burley visit relegation-haunted Rawdon. Rock-bottom Ben Rhydding go to Beckwithshaw and Pool are in similarly grave need for points at home to Collingham.

In the ECB Yorkshire League, frontrunners Yorkshire Academy host Scarborough, while in the top-flight of the Central Yorkshire League, leaders Methley welcome third-placed Wakefield Thornes, with title rivals Townville host Ossett.

A big clash at the top of Division One of the Pontefract League sees Ackworth host Fairburn. Leaders South Kirkby visit Streethouse.

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