Form team New Farnley put ‘cat among pigeons’

James Middlebrook.

James Middlebrook.

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IT remains to be seen if an intriguing three-way fight for ECB Bradford Premier League silverware becomes a four-horse one.

But one thing is for sure, dark horses New Farnley could have a decisive say in who lifts the big prize in September.

Fresh from their outstanding success over Hoylandswaine in the final of the Heavy Woollen Cup at Methley on Sunday, Neil Johnson’s side are switching their attentions to league matters.

Crest of a wave is a good summation of how Farsley are feeling at the minute, with the West Leeds side seeking their seventh successive league win when they entertain Bradford and Bingley at Lawns Lane tomorrow.

With their main men, such as James Middlebrook, Lee Goddard and Mark Lawson all in good order, Farnley seem to have hit their straps at just the right time.

As it stands with six matches of the league season to go, fourth-placed Farnley are just three points adrift of Farsley and 17 behind second-placed Pudsey St Lawrence.

They trail leaders Hanging Heaton by 37 points and while overhauling the Tewits looks unlikely, what can be taken as red is the title-chasing trio of Heaton, Saints and Farsley are all aware of Farnley breathing down their necks.

On whether Farnley can gatecrash the title scene, league representative Neil Stokoe said: “I don’t know.

“It is such a strange league; just look at last Saturday’s results and even though we beat Morley, it was not easy and they were about 120-odd for four chasing 199. But we are on a bit of a roll and winning the cup should give us loads of confidence.

“We can have an influence on the league, with us playing Farsley, who are just above us, away and we play Hanging Heaton on the last day.

“And John Carruthers (ex-captain) is half-hoping it is all decided before then.

“It is certainly an interesting title race.

“Pudsey St Lawrence were running away with it halfway through the season and maybe their demise started when we beat them at our place and since then, they have gone on a bit of a slide.”

Elsewhere, Hanging Heaton, who claimed a huge psychological fillip with victory over St Lawrence last weekend, make the trip to Pudsey Congs.

Both sides will be desperate for points for entirely different reasons, with Congs in deep trouble at the wrong end of the table.

St Lawrence will be mighty glad to say ‘good riddance’ to July, which has proved a tough month for the second season running, and they start August with a must-win home encounter with eighth-placed Lightcliffe.

Elsewhere, Farsley welcome struggling Morley, another game where both sides require points for contrasting reasons at different ends of the table.

Just 11 points separate five clubs from seventh-placed B&B to second-from-bottom Congs and the battle to avoid relegation also looked set to be a dramatic one.

East Bierley host rock-bottom near-neighbours Scholes tomorrow, while the division’s other game sees Woodlands host Cleckheaton in another local affair, which sees home captain Tim Jackson take on his former club.

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