FOLLOWING his influential role in masterminding the rise of Pudsey St Lawrence in recent years, Paul Hutchison will be endeavouring to put one over them for new club New Farnley at Tofts Road tomorrow.
It promises to be an intriguing Bradford League affair where former St Lawrence cricket chairman Hutchison locks horns with his old club for the first time since his close-season departure.
The ex-Yorkshire player will be donning his whites again for Farnley against the champions, who have started their defence well with wins against Lightcliffe and Bradford and Bingley – although the visitors certainly will not be lacking on the inside knowledge front tomorrow.
St Lawrence captain James Smith said: “Paul has gone there to try and instill the same model we had. He did a fantastic job for us and circumstances dictated that this was something he had to do and fair play. There was no animosity as to why he did it.
“He has got his work to do and is playing (again) as well, which makes me laugh and it will be interesting lining up against him on Saturday!
“He will be telling them everything he knows about us to try and give those guys an edge.”
St Lawrence are one of four clubs who started the new season with back-to-back victories and it will perhaps come as no big surprise that the other clubs with 100 per cent early-season records are Hanging Heaton, Farsley and Woodlands.
Perhaps the one shock is that Farnley do not make up a quintet with the West Leeds side being another who had their admirers, with the likes of ex-Yorkshire and Essex man James Middlebrook in their ranks alongside seasoned league operators such as Lee Goddard.
So far, Farnley have recorded a win and a loss in their opening two outings, with it being the likes of St Lawrence and Heaton who are setting the pace.
The presence of the latter, who finished in runners-up spot last term, is no surprise whatsoever with Smith of the view that the Tewits will be the team to beat in 2017.
Smith said: “Hanging Heaton are the favourites in my book with the side they have got.
“They have got the quality and if they get Josh Shaw playing all year as well, it will make their bowling attack stronger as well.
“Their overseas isn’t here yet and they have still won two out of two.
“They will be a force and are a very good side. They are the team to beat and if you finish above them, then you won’t be far away.
“You (also) look at Farsley, who will be a force this year. They got off to a sluggish start last year and finished quite well. New Farnley are strong too and I think there are going to be three or four teams who will be there or thereabouts come September.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, Heaton play host to Lightcliffe, while Woodlands make the trip to neighbours East Bierley, who surprised Farnley last weekend.
Farsley travel to Moorend to face Cleckheaton, who have started the season in underwhelming fashion.
Pudsey Congs, after a chastening opening to the season, especially with the bat, will be seeking respite at the Britannia Ground against Batley, who have also lost their first two matches.
Townville visit Bradford & Bingley.