Bradford League: Freefalling Premier strugglers hoping to recapture their early-season form

Morley's Kashif Naveed.
Morley's Kashif Naveed.
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THE REVERSE fixtures from the opening day of the ECB Bradford Premier League season take place tomorrow – and how Morley and Cleckheaton will be hoping that lightning strikes twice.

The pair are reeling following wretched runs, with the former in freefall after dropping like a stone from the top echelons of the table to the other end following a dispiriting five-match losing streak.

The upshot is that the Scatcherd Lane men find themselves second from bottom ahead of tomorrow’s trip to East Bierley.

On the opening day, accomplished bowling from Kashif Naveed and Henry Rush accounted for Bierley and how Morley will be hoping for something resembling a re-run at South View Road tomorrow. Meanwhile, Cleck, back-to-back champions in 2013 and 2014, are also doing it tough after four straight league defeats and Priestley Cup elimination.

They visit Lightcliffe, who they beat on the opening day, in a mid-table game tomorrow, although it won’t have escaped the Moorenders’ notice that they are too close to the foot of the table for comfort. As it stands, John Wood’s side are just 12 points above second-from-bottom Morley following a desperately disappointing opening half of the campaign.

It’s a wholly different story for Hanging Heaton and Farsley, however.

Tomorrow, the second-placed Tewits – 26 points behind leaders Pudsey St Lawrence – go to Farsley, in third, with the Red Laners a further 25 points adrift. Heaton won the reverse game at Bennett Lane by 27 runs, Tom Chippendale bagging 6-47.

A brilliant ton from Callum Geldart and fine bowling from Josh Wheatley helped Pudsey Congs confidently sink Bradford and Bingley on the opening day and Gareth Phillips will be eyeing a replication of that result as Congs strive to end their inconsistent traits.

Another side whose form has been patchy are Woodlands.

Woodlands welcome basement club and near-neighbours Scholes, who are 22 points behind second-from-bottom Morley.

Woodlands prevailed on the opening day, thanks to four wickets apiece from the experienced duo of Kez Ahmed and Chris Brice in a confident 126-run success.