Local cricket: Struggling Yeadon set out plan to climb table

Oliver Halliday of Yeadon.

Oliver Halliday of Yeadon.

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IT’S fair to say Yeadon have enjoyed better starts to league seasons.

The North Leeds outfit may have received some joyous news in the close season when they were propelled to Division One of the Bradford League following the demise of Manningham Mills, but that appears to be where the problems have begun.

Having been forced to wait to see whether their place in the top-flight would be confirmed following the decision to vote Mills out of the league due to administrative and ground issues, Yeadon saw several targets elect to join other clubs.

When their place was finally rubber-stamped, Yeadon – who finished third in the second tier for the second consecutive year in 2013 – may have been ecstatic, but were also left to contemplate a recruitment minefield with scores of players already signed up for this summer.

The upshot has been that the High Street outfit have had a difficult start to the season, losing their three completed games against Pudsey St Lawrence, Hanging Heaton and Bradford and Bingley and with the fixture list affording no respite – it’s leaders Farsley at home tomorrow.

They prop up the table after four games and it was symptomatic of their luck that on a day when they were set fair for one, having Lightcliffe in a sticky situation at 42-4 last Saturday, the heavens opened.

Some chinks of light have arrived with Damon Gormley and Oliver Halliday having taken wickets on occasions and Tariq Mehboob hitting one good knock of 49.

And club representative Duncan Sloane has pledged that Yeadon will battle and are up for the fight as they seek to turn around a tough start to 2014 which has also seen them exit the Priestley Cup, to Morley.

Sloane, mindful that Yeadon also lost the likes of Ben Elvidge in the close season, said: “It was a late call for us into the first division.

“Some of the calibre of players we were looking to attract weren’t interested in playing in the second division and because we got our place late on, we had difficulty in getting players in.

“But the players we have got are good enough. But we must turn up every week and be at the top of our game.

“We’ll give it a go. Once the weather turns, as we’re not getting the right results at the moment, that will help as the toss is so important at the minute.

“We are not downhearted. It’s a long season and we will enjoy it the best we can and we are sure some results will come. Once they do, we will see where it takes us.

“We have goals and realistically feel we can reach third from bottom if we improve results. When we do that, it’s a case of then looking to mid-table to stabilise. But staying up is our first goal.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, second-placed Pudsey St Lawrence welcome Lightcliffe, for whom former Yorkshire player Chris Taylor has stepped down as captain and taken a ‘sabbitical’ from playing.

Woodlands, in third, host old rivals Pudsey Congs, who find themselves in the unaccustomed position of second from bottom.

Champions Cleckheaton are at home to New Farnley. Morley visit Hanging Heaton and East Bierley go to Bradford and Bingley.

Game of the day in the top-flight of the Aire-Wharfe League sees first take on second with Ilkley visiting Otley.

Third-placed Steeton welcome rock-bottom Rawdon, with Burley, in fourth, viisting Bilton.

Guiseley and Pool host Ben Rhydding and Kirkstall Eddies respectively.

Collingham welcome champions Beckwithshaw, who have endured a disappointing start to their title defence.

In the ECB Yorkshire League, leaders Harrogate welcome Castleford, while nearest challengers Yorkshire Academy visit Appleby Frodingham.

Central Yorkshire Premier Division joint-leaders Wakefield Thornes and Scholes are on their travels, calling in at Hopton Mills and Townville respectively.

Ackworth, leading the way in the top-flight of the Pontefract League, head to basement boys Nostell.

The game of the day in the Pontefract League sees Fairburn, in second, play host to third-placed South Kirkby.

Farsley's Mark Harrison.

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