Bradford League: Newcomers help Farsley cement place in top flight

Joe Sayers
Joe Sayers
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AFTER being afforded a relatively sedate start to life back in the top flight, things will certainly liven up for Farsley by the end of the month.

The Red Laners are sitting pretty at the top of Division One after three successive wins against Bradford & Bingley, Lightcliffe and Morley, with their game with East Bierley falling victim to the weather after just 11 overs on Saturday.

Next up for Mark Harrison’s side is a trip to struggling Yeadon this coming weekend before a juicy league triple-header against Pudsey St Lawrence, Woodlands and Hanging Heaton. Farsley will know a lot more about their credentials by the close of play on May 31.

Cricket chairman David Storr said: “It’s a big test at the end of the month and if we get some points from those after a good start, we will have a fair indication of what we are capable of.

“Our first consideration this season was always to do well in the league. We have come up and been relegated before and don’t particularly want that again as we’re planning to establish ourselves in the division next year and move on gradually.”

The only real downside in Farsley’s campaign so far was a narrow Priestley Cup exit to Pudsey Saints at Tofts Road, with the chance of claiming revenge at Red Lane a week on Saturday.

But, by and large, it has been a wholly encouraging opening with newcomers Joe Sayers, Graham Hume and Adal Islam having already come to the party.

Former Yorkshire batsman Sayers hit a ton in a losing cause at Saints, described as flawless by Farsley stalwart and Yorkshire legend Raymond Illingworth, with South African Hume and Islam also mustering half-centuries in 2014.

The likes of Andrew Duckworth have also impressed, with the early signs positive for Farsley.

Storr added: “It’s been an excellent start and the lads have really gelled together. When you get new players, it’s always difficult when they come on board as you don’t really know the strength of the team camaraderie.

“But it’s really good and the lads are playing for each other and contributing extremely well.

“Graham, Joe and Adal have fitted in and the unit are very much getting on with each other.

“In terms of Graham, we were looking for an overseas player who can contribute with bat and ball as you need that in league cricket.

“Graham is very much an all-rounder; a left-hand middle-order batsmen and bowler and while he hasn’t taken wickets yet, he has compensated with the bat.

“They haven’t really been his sort of wickets so far as he likes hard bouncy tracks.

“Joe is a class act and he should really be playing county cricket. He plays a very tight game and is just an accomplished opening bat.”

Weather ravaged Saturday’s programme with every game abandoned.

Hanging Heaton managed 16-5 at Cleckheaton before the elements intervened, with Woodlands restricted to 29-2 at Morley before the rain was abandoned.

Farsley reached 26-0 at East Bierley and Lightcliffe were four down for 42 against Yeadon ahead of the heavens opening.

Hartshead Moor were in trouble at 38-6 against Keighley before rain ended play, while Robert Burton’s spurt of 5-19 had Bankfoot (55-5) in bother at Spen Victoria.

Greg Pickles (60no) and Adam Greenwood caught the eye for Gomersal (185-6) against Windhill, but the weather had the final say.

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