IT’S not just the Bradford League Division Two title that is taking Farsley’s fancy between now and September 7 – it’s a bit of added gloss.
Namely setting a second division points record en route to silverware and possibly even a league-best tally under the current points format.
With just two league defeats from 16 outings so far with seven games to go, the Red Laners are just eight points away from the 300 barrier, which they will sail past if they win at Brighouse tomorrow – with exactly 300 points enough for Baildon to win the championship in 2012.
The record points haul recorded by a second-tier side is 368, achieved by Lightcliffe when they lifted silverware in 2011, with the best league total standing at 379 recorded by a rampant Woodlands side when they won the top-flight crown in 2007.
Mindful that 140 points are still to play for, a couple of records remain very much on for Farsley, as well a pot to polish come the autumn and a return to Division One at the first time of asking, with the likes of Mark Harrison, Ian Philliskirk and Joe Greaves having done the business consistently this term.
Chairman David Storr said: “If we continue winning, we will be in line for a record number of points. We’d certainly like to do that. But with it being the business end of the season, it won’t be easy and we still have to play Yeadon and New Farnley.
“Farnley is actually our final game of the season, so that could be a crucial one. We would hope to have the title wrapped up by then, although you never know as cricket can be a strange game.”
While it’s pretty much been a cruise for Farsley this term, they had to dig in massively to avoid a rare defeat on Sunday at Spen Victoria, allied to a bit of help from the weather. Farsley were hanging on grimly at 99-8 from their 38 overs when the rains came – one of several interruptions on the day – and ended proceedings, to the angst of Spen, who opened with 210-4 and were set fair for victory.
Storr added: “Some people were saying: ‘What a boring effort’ when we were just batting out the overs to survive.
“But when you are behind the eight-ball, you are not going to go chasing runs, while we also had a few stoppages. And when we did go back on with 16 overs to play, the pitch wasn’t fit in my view. The light wasn’t brilliant, although it was like the old Bradford League cricket when you were playing for something – which was a draw!
“Matty Green, our wicket-keeper, batted the 16 overs for 20-odd and saved the game for us. Matty just shows that we also have some backbone in our side.”
Elsewhere, Farsley’s promotion rivals New Farnley visit Idle, while Yeadon host Gomersal. Spen go to Bankfoot. In the top-tier, leaders Cleckheaton welcome a resurgent Morley, with Woodlands hosting neighbours East Bierley. Pudsey Congs welcome Bradford and Bingley, Pudsey Saints visit Baildon and Hanging Heaton – in Heavy Woollen Cup final action on Sunday – host Manningham Mills.
Aire-Wharfe League action sees runaway leaders Beckwithshaw host Kirkstall, with second-placed Burley welcoming Collingham. Fourth-placed Guiseley host the side just below them, Ben Rhydding, with Pool at home to fellow strugglers Steeton.
In the Central Yorkshire League, Townville host Altofts. Second-placed Methley welcome Batley, with Wakefield Thornes and Wrenthorpe heading to Ossett and Birstall.
Yorkshire Academy welcome York in the ECB Yorkshire League, with Harrogate hosting Scarborough. Castleford host Barnsley.
Great Preston, who lost top spot in the Premier Division of the Wetherby League last weekend, have a key game tomorrow at third-placed Scarcroft. New leaders Kirk Deighton are at home to Scholes.