ONE cherished seasonal mission may have gone begging again for another year for Hanging Heaton stalwart John Carruthers, but he might be provided with a nice consolation tomorrow.
Carruthers’ hopes of a full set of local league honours by picking up a Priestley Cup winners’ medal were dashed again last Sunday when the Tewits lost out to Cleckheaton in the quarter-finals, with the club’s search for a first win in the competition since 1986 continuing.
It represented deep-seated disappointment for Heaton, who reached the final last year and lifted the Heavy Woollen Cup and are now left just to focus on league matters after an inconsistent run of late.
But for Carruthers, a personal milestone is firmly in view, with the bowler requiring just two more victims to join the elite band of Bradford League players who have amassed 1,000 league wickets - which could be achieved tomorrow.
Carruthers said: “I look at the quality of some of the players who have done it such as Richie McCarthy and I don’t know if I can be held in the same breath as him. He was phenomenal.
“To reach that landmark is a tough achievement if I am honest. To get 10,000 runs and 1,000 wickets is poles apart I think.”
That accolade may be a feather in the cap of Carruthers, but the proverbial team man is equally keen for the Tewits to get ‘back on the horse’ after a barren weekend in league and cup last week when they saw their colours lowered by Cleck’ in the cup and by East Bierley in the league.
The league fixtures afford them no let-up tomorrow at title-chasing Pudsey St Lawrence, who beat Woodlands twice in 24 hours last weekend and are in the mix for a league and Priestley Cup double.
Carruthers added: “We usually struggle there against a good outfit on a good pitch. They know how to play at home and I’ve got to say that this year, they are probbaly the favourites to win it. Especially after what they did at the weekend. By all accounts, they are a very close-knit team and cover a lot of bases.”
“We have done well in the cups in previous years and taken our eye off the league a little bit and want to do better in it this year. It’s quite an open league, with obviously three really good sides in Cleckheaton, Pudsey St Lawrence and Woodlands and the rest can beat anyone.”
On their cup exit to Cleck’, he continued: “We didn’t bowl particularly well on a helpful wicket and 150 was enough to be chasing, if we’re honest.
“We are just not quite putting it together at the moment. It was frustrating that we didn’t really turn up and play.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, leaders Cleckheaton head to Bradford and Bingley, while a key derby sees Farsley welcome Pudsey Congs.
New Farnley and Morley head to East Bierley and Lightcliffe, with Yeadon hosting Woodlands.
In the top-flight of the Aire-Wharfe League, leaders Otley host Collingham, with second-placed Kirkstall heading to Ben Rhydding. Burley, in third, host Ilkley, with third-from-bottom Beckwithshaw hosting the side just above them in Rawdon.
Bilton host Pool and Guiseley welcome Steeton.
Action in the Premier Division of the Central Yorkshire League see frontrunners Methley go to Mirfield Parish Church and second-placed Scholes go to Wakefield Thornes, in fifth.