Local cricket: Farsley in mood to leapfrog derby foes

Andrew Duckworth.

Andrew Duckworth.

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FARSLEY are keeping their fingers crossed they stay clear of costly disruptions in tomorrow’s Bradford League derby clash at Pudsey St Lawrence – and it is not strictly to do with just cricket either.

The pair lock horns at Tofts Road, with hosts Farsley in fourth place in Division One, lying 12 points behind Saints, mindful that victory would see them leapfrog their opponents into third.

The scheduled reverse league fixture between the pair at Red Lane back on May 24 fell on a wash-out of a weekend, but it was not rain that proved a pain in their meeting in the Priestley Cup in Pudsey 20 days earlier.

On the pitch, Farsley were edged out by two wickets, but the major drama arrived away from it, with thieves making off with former Red Lane captain Mark Harrison’s car along with some personal possessions after taking items from the dressing room.

The items were stolen while he was batting with news of the incident side-tracking Farsley, who opened in the cup tie.

It marred a keenly-fought contest and chairman David Storr is speaking for many when he says he hopes it is just about the cricket tomorrow.

He said: “We had a great game against them in the cup and should have won it, without any shadow of a doubt.

“Unfortunately, with the problems we had, with someone stealing Mark Harrison’s car and going into the changing rooms, meant the mindset wasn’t right for the majority of the game.

“Things will hopefully be different now. But St Lawrence have a very good, well-balanced side with some good players.

“They are a tough side to beat, but on our day, I think we can give anyone a good game.

“Hopefully, we will give them as good a game as we did in the cup game and have the right result at the end of the day.”

Looking nailed on for a top-six finish following their promotion as Division Two champions last term, opportunity knocks for Farsley to end the season with a real flourish, with equalling their second place of 2011 even a possibility, if an outside one.

What is not in doubt is that it’s been a season of progression for Farsley, now seeking to end an encouraging year noteworthy for several individual contributions on a high note.

Storr added: “I am delighted with the season we’ve had. Unfortunately, in a few games we haven’t come up with the goods, but in general the guys have done extremely well.

“It all augers well for the future of the club and going forward, we think it’s a good base for next year when we can add to a very good set of players.

“Without any shadow of a doubt, I’d have to say Andrew Duckworth has been our stand-out player.

“He opened the innings for us last year, but this year, he has been batting in the middle order.

“He’s played exceptionally well in that particular area and scored some vital runs for us.

“Obviously, we brought Joe Sayers in at the top and everyone has also looked to Joe at the top of the order to make a mark and he’s played extremely well for us. Plus the fact he has given us that professionalism.

“Ian Philliskirk, who scored his first ton for eight years last weekend, is also always a very strong player, while our overseas player Graham Hume has made some good contributions throughout the year so far.”

Leaders Cleckheaton entertain struggling Morley tomorrow, while New Farnley face a tough trip to Woodlands.

A big clash at the bottom sees Yeadon host East Bierley, with Pudsey Congs heading to Hanging Heaton.

Pick of the Aire-Wharfe League action sees second-placed Burley host Bilton, while in the Central Yorkshire League, leaders Methley visit Carlton and second-placed Townville welcome Birstall.

Wetherby League title favourites Great Preston visit Sicklinghall and the first part of South Kirkby’s key Pontefract League and cup double-header with Fairburn takes place at the Old Mill Ground.

Sarfraz Ahmed.

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