Bradford League: Red-hot Farsley braced for calm before storm

Farsley's Mark Harrison.
Farsley's Mark Harrison.
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THE vast majority of July very much represents the calm before the storm for high-flying Farsley.

After a consistently excellent 2016, the Red Laners have proved it is no flash in the pan and sit in an impressive second spot in the Bradford Premier League ahead of games this month against the current bottom four of Batley, Pudsey Congs, Cleckheaton and East Bierley.

Dan Hodgson

Dan Hodgson

While nothing can be taken as read in the ultra-competitive top flight, it represents a tantalising opportunity all the same for Ryan Cooper’s side, who have cut Hanging Heaton’s lead to five points ahead of their weekend home game with basement club Batley.

The gap was cut courtesy of a Dan-Hodgson inspired victory over Townville last Saturday, with several others, including Adam Ahmed and Mark Harrison also chipping in on the wickets front on an afternoon when Farsley were without a couple of regulars.

On the league picture, Harrison, mindful that Farsley end July with a potentially key home game with champions Pudsey St Lawrence, which precedes a trip to Hanging Heaton, said: “It is getting interesting now, isn’t it..

“Now we have got Batley, who are starting to surprise a few and, in this league, everyone can beat everyone and you can’t take anything for granted.

“But if we can put a run together – and we have lost only one game all year and we’d like to think we can get a few wins in the next weeks – we can apply a bit of pressure to the teams up at the top and then see where we are before hitting St Lawrence and Hanging Heaton back to back.”

Clearly a healthy club on the up with the flower of youth blossoming, fear will certainly not come into the equation for Farsley during a second half of the season which they are fully intent upon relishing – led by a dynamic captain in Cooper.

Harrison added: “We are building for the future. The side are very young and all positive and they have got no fear. There are people stepping up.

“Last week, Adam was quiet, but last weekend, he got four wickets, while Hodgy missed the Woodlands game through injury and to be without our wicket-keeper/batsman was a big miss and he got a century on Saturday.

“If everyone is performing and doing their jobs, we back ourselves to give most teams a good game.

“The only way you are going to win things is by six or seven blokes actually doing something.

“If you get one or two in a strong league, you are not going to.

“But we are very fortunate, as we have some quality players.

“The captain Ryan is also doing a great job and has taken the bull by the horns and is very positive about it. He is with his battling too and he changed the game last Saturday.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, Hanging Heaton visit Townville, while St Lawrence go to Bradford & Bingley.

New Farnley welcome Cleckheaton and Pudsey Congs go to Woodlands. Lightcliffe entertain East Bierley.