COLLINGHAM captain Sam Anderson cannot hide the importance of tomorrow’s clash with Beckwithshaw, admitting the outcome will have a major bearing on who wins the Aire-Wharfe League title.
Division A’s top two lock horns at Harewood Road with Collingham currently holding a two- point advantage at the summit.
And while third-placed Steeton are level on points with ’Shaw, Anderson is in no doubt that tomorrow’s visitors are his side’s chief championship rivals.
“Obviously, whoever wins it will have a bearing on the outcome of the league title,” admitted no-nonsense Anderson. “Of course it will. If we win we will be eight points clear and if they win they will be four points clear.
“But we will just try and treat it like any other game as we’ve been playing some good cricket this season. We’ll just try and keep doing what we have been doing. Obviously it’s a big game – first versus second – and it’s very tight at the top.
“And I’ve said along that if we finish above Beckwithshaw then I think we’ll win the league as we are the best two teams in the league. I’ve always had a feeling that Steeton might not stay there until the end.
“I just think Beckwithshaw are the ones we need to finish above and we will have to be at our best to beat them.”
Collingham must do without class act Tony Jacklin, who is unavailable tomorrow, and Anderson admits it is a blow.
The Collingham captain also believes capturing the wicket of ’Shaw run-machine John Inglis and his fellow top-order batsmen will be key.
“John Inglis always seems to get runs against us but we know we have got a good bowling attack,” said Anderson, whose Waddilove Cup finalists are chasing a double.
“It will also be important to get their top four or five out quickly as below that there is not a lot there.
“If we get the first four or five out early then we will give ourselves a very good chance.”
Collingham will also need to bounce back from a rare defeat last weekend to Bilton, but Anderson has quickly put that setback to bed.
“We’re not overly bothered about that,” he said. “Bilton won the toss and batted first on a good wicket and their captain, Chris Peareth, got 130 runs. Whenever anyone gets 130 it is going to take the game away from you quite a bit.
“We could have got two points but we didn’t as we went for the win and that’s the way we play our cricket. We played to win and we won’t lose any sleep over it.”
Also potentially key in the title race is tomorrow’s clash between third-placed hosts Steeton and sixth-placed Otley, while fourth plays fifth as Burley welcome Follifoot. Four sides battling the drop also clash swords, Kirkstall entertaining Bilton and Guiseley travelling to Ben Rhydding.
In the Bradford League, Division One leaders Woodlands face a tricky match at Pudsey St Lawrence with in-form second-placed East Bierley welcoming Lightcliffe.