Saints march on as sides gear up for a big weekend

Ralph Middlebrook.

Ralph Middlebrook.

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AS DOUBLE-HEADERS go, this weekend’s one will be a ‘biggie’ for several sides – just ask Cleckheaton.

Fourth-placed Cleck find themselves 28 points behind ECB Bradford League reigning champions and current leaders Pudsey St Lawrence ahead of tomorrow’s game at Moorend – and John Wood’s outfit will not need to be told twice of the pressing need for victory to keep their silverware hopes intact.

The following day, the Moorenders face a crunch trip to Woodlands in the second round of the Priestley Cup, a competition that they have never lifted, having finished runners-up in 2014 and 2007.

It is also a big weekend for Woodlands, with the Albert Terrace side welcoming improving New Farnley in the league, 24 hours before the cup arrival of Cleck.

Tim Jackson’s much-fancied side have had fluctuating league fortunes so far and currently sit in fourth place, having lost two of their last three matches – to Bradford and Bingley and Cleck respectively.

Despite last weekend’s loss to Farnley, Farsley still remain in an encouraging third spot and they welcome another side who have had made a fair fist of league matters so far this term in fifth-placed Lightcliffe tomorrow.

After last week’s fine win at Lightcliffe, Pudsey Congs – now out of the relegation zone – will be seeking to double up and prove it is no flash in the pan at East Bierley tomorrow.

Congs spokesperson Ralph Middlebrook said: “We feel we can be a force to be reckoned with and hope to make up a bit more ground at East Bierley.

“Apart from St Lawrence who seem to be sailing away, the division seems a bit dog-eat-dog this season.”

The top-flight’s other game sees basement club Scholes welcome Bradford and Bingley.

Alongside Woodlands’ tie with Cleck, three other intriguing Sunday Priestley Cup match-ups see aspiring Championship sides pit their wits against the big guns.

Championship B leaders Townville visit Hanging Heaton, while Wrenthorpe go to Pudsey St Lawrence. Last year’s runners-up Lightcliffe welcome Championship A frontrunners Batley in another attractive encounter. Methley host holders Bradford and Bingley and other ties see Yeadon welcome Scholes and Gomersal visit Undercliffe. Carlton visit Baildon.

Sarfraz Ahmed.

Bradford League: Woodlands and Cleckheaton embarking on a new era