Bradford League: Pudsey St Lawrence chomping at the bit for championship run-in

Charlie Parker.Charlie Parker.
Charlie Parker.
THE PORTENTS are set fair for an absolute cracker at Bennett Lane tomorrow afternoon.

The latest humdinger in a mouth-watering August fixture list which pits a host of Bradford Premier League silverware contenders together sees the winners of the past three seasons go head to head in the shape of reigning champions Hanging Heaton and Pudsey St Lawrence, who lifted the title in 2015 and 2016.

Form horse at the minute are leaders St Lawrence, who recorded their sixth win in seven outings in last weekend’s triumph over another championship candidate in Farsley and have chosen an opportune moment to produce their most consistent form of the season.

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But with five games still to go in a compelling title race which has had twists and turns by the bucketload, all and sundry at Tofts Road know that standards must be maintained if they are to be the ones smiling next month.

Mark Robertshaw.Mark Robertshaw.
Mark Robertshaw.

The reverse fixture in early June saw St Lawrence prevail comfortably by eight wickets with a fine knock of 85 not out from Mark Robertshaw seeing them home and Charlie Parker and Chris Marsden take three wickets apiece.

Third-placed Heaton are also currently smarting on the back of a comprehensive defeat to a title rival after being beaten by New Farnley by 84 runs last weekend and the stakes are certainly high this afternoon in what is arguably the most exciting and open championship race in years.

Saints captain Marsden, whose side are two points clear of second-placed Farnley and 19 ahead of the Tewits, said: “If you want to win the league, you have got to beat the best teams. There is no better time to beat them than at the crunch end of the season when everyone does have that one eye on the league table.

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“That is what you aim towards and aim to be; at the top of the league. We firmly believe we have been playing our best cricket and if we do that in the coming weeks, we feel we will be there or thereabouts challenging.

“It will be a very good finish to the season and exciting for the supporters and the players.

“I remember when we won it for the second time and it went to the last game of the season. But obviously, Hanging Heaton ran away with it last year and it was pretty much sealed up by this point.

“It is an exciting end to the season and something we are definitely looking forward to.”

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Elsewhere tomorrow, another big game with ramifications at the top of the table sees fifth-placed Farsley host the side who leapfrogged them in the table last weekend in Methley, who also possess an outside chance of silverware this season.

Farnley entertain crisis club Scholes, while two old rivals square off with Woodlands hosting Cleckheaton.

Bradford and Bingley, blown away for just 20 last weekend, go to Townville. Bottom-placed East Bierley host Lightcliffe.

A big game in Championship One sees third-placed Morley host leaders Undercliffe in a top-of-the-table encounter.

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