TOWNVILLE skipper Nick Bresnan believes the Premiership title race is wide open.
Defending champions Townville have made a slow start but they are only nine points adrift of surprise leaders Scholes who have got off to a flyer in their final CYL campaign before they switch to the Bradford League.
“A few sides have improved and signed players this year and everyone is beating each other,” said Bresnan, elder brother of England and Yorkshire star Tim.
“I think there will be four or five sides challenging for the title this year and it’s more competitive. I have every confidence in our team and if we can get a few six-pointers who knows what will happen. We have a good set of lads.”
Townville signed young Australian Matt Bremner from Victorian Premier League club Fitzroy-Doncaster as their overseas replacement for South African all-rounder Kyllin Vardhan who was a key contributor last year and is now with Ulster team Coleraine.
“Kyllin Vardhan got 1,000 runs and 60 wickets for us last season so it’s a big gap to fill,” added Bresnan.
“Matt Bremner has settled in well. Now the wickets are getting a bit harder he is coming into his own. In Australia, he’s used to playing on motorways every week and he likes the ball coming onto the bat. Matt is predominantly a batter and doesn’t really bowl so he will get the runs for us but we’ve 60 wickets to find in the side if we want to achieve what we did last year. Everybody has got to step up a bit and play their part in getting the extra wickets.”
Bresnan was delighted with Townville’s performance in last Sunday’s re-arranged Heavy Wollen Cup second round tie at Huddersfield League Moorlands.
Kristian Ward (52), Jonathan Booth (51) and Bremner (43) guided Townville to 186-8 in a 35-over match.
In reply, Jack Hughes (4-20) and Dean Woolsey (3-28) skittled Moorlands for 76 to earn Townville a quarterfinal tie at Shepley on June 8.
“We made a good start and although we lost our way a bit in the middle there was some good hitting at the back end and we got a decent score,” said Bresnan.
“We bowled well as a unit and it was a good all-round performance.
“We won at Shepley in the Heavy Woollen Cup semi-finals in 2012 so hopefully we can go there and do it again.”
Methley’s Heavy Woollen Cup second round tie against New Farnley at Little Church Lane was again postponed last Sunday. It has been re-arranged as a 20-over game for this evening (Wednesday, 6pm). The winners visit Central Yorkshire League Scholes in the quarterfinals.
Holders Methley continue their defence of the Jack Hampshire Trophy with a home second round tie against Division One side Gildersome this Sunday.
Townville host Wakefield Thornes twice this weekend. The teams meet in a Premiership fixture on Saturday and they lock horns again in the Jack Hampshire Trophy the next day when Thornes will hope to repeat last season’s first round win at Poplar Avenue. Hopton Mills visit Hunslet Nelson in the only other all-Premiership second round clash.
Unbeaten Championship leaders Batley have an intriguing home tie against last year’s beaten finalists Wrenthorpe, who have won the competition four times in the last nine seasons.
Championship sides Buttershaw St Paul’s and Oulton both have home ties after pulling off first-round upsets by knocking out Premiership Scholes and Ossett respectively.
Buttershaw play Altofts and Oulton face Liversedge.
Birstall visit Northowram and Rodley host Carlton in other first round games.