WHEN TALK turns to the Bradford Premier League’s most valuable player so far this season, there are a number of candidates.
With bat in hand, the likes of Hanging Heaton captain Gary Fellows, Pudsey St Lawrence top-order man Mark Robertshaw and Cleckheaton’s star turn Taayab Tahir leap out.
As for the bowlers, names at the forefront include Woodlands’ ever-consistent Chris Brice and Heaton’s impressive paceman Thomas Chippendale.
But given events so far this term, not too many would argue about Farsley’s James Logan being the current leading MVP.
Some more-than-handy contributions have arrived with the bat and the wickets have been plentiful – headlined by a magic 6-12 in the Red Laners’ win against Townville last time out.
On the impact of his team-mate, Farsley’s Mark Harrison observed: “James has really come to the fore now.
“I looked the other day and he has got something like 400 runs already and also has 38 wickets. It is pretty stand-out stuff, really. He has done brilliantly and changes games.
“With the kind of wickets we have now in the summer where it is turning a lot, he is getting a lot of drift, bounce and overspin on the ball. He is very dangerous.
“I just wish we had Adam Ahmed as well as we would have two of the best young spinners. But we are in a good place at the minute and take it by each game and see what happens, really.”
Boasting a fine seven-match winning sequence, second-placed Farsley will be expected by most observers to make it eight in a row tomorrow at home to relegation-threatened Scholes – although Harrison has a word of warning.
Earlier in the season, Scholes shocked Ryan Cooper’s side en route to a 127-run win over Farsley at New Popplewell Lane, inspired by fine contributions from Kasir Maroof and Yasir Ali.
It is the sort of result which should guard against complacency against a Scholes side buoyed by last weekend’s key-note victory over fellow strugglers Bradford and Bingley.
And while some may venture that the game represents the ‘calm before the storm’ ahead of a run of fixtures against Heaton, New Farnley and Pudsey St Lawrence, Farsley are concentrating on the here and now.
Harrison said: “It is a massive incentive to beat them. We played them in the cup and we did not take them lightly and we have to be ready and make sure we are all switched on, again.
“We cannot lapse like we did away from home. Scholes is always a tough game and we have got some big games coming up and we have just got to keep the pressure on with us being in within eight or nine of them (New Farnley).
“We have got to tee up that game against them. We have had a good run in the past few months and just want to keep it going on Saturday to take momentum into Hanging Heaton away when it starts the run against all the big boys, along with the cup semi-final with New Farnley – and then we have them again in the league soon after.”
PUDSEY ST LAWRENCE are unlikely to remember their reverse fixture with tomorrow’s opponents Woodlands with any particular fondness.
That match-up saw Woodlands prevail by five wickets on the newly-relaid wicket at Tofts Road in early season – in what proved to be a low-scoring affair.
Hosts St Lawrence were skittled for just 93 in an inauspicious first home Premier League game of the season back on May 12, with the visitors, for whom Chris Brice, Muhammad Bilal and Eliot Richardson took three wickets apiece, winning by five wickets.
St Lawrence have plenty of inspiration ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at Albert Terrace and it is not neccessarily to do with revenge.
Chris Marsden’s side may be positioned in third spot in the table, but head into the game on the back of a disappointing 81-run loss to Cleckheaton, with their form having been patchy at stages so far this season.
Just under 30 points separate Woodlands, in sixth, and second-placed Farsley, who are nine points adrift of leaders New Farnley.
Farnley will be expected to register their 11th win in 14 league matches this term when they make the trip to cellar dwellers East Bierley, who have won just once in 13 league appointments so far in a dismal 2018.
Meanwhile, a huge game in the relegation picture sees second-from-bottom Bradford and Bingley head to fourth-from-bottom Lightcliffe, with just 23 points separating the pair.
Reigning champions Hanging Heaton make the journey to Townville tomorrow, while fifth-placed Methley, by no means out of the title race, go to Cleckheaton.
The Moorenders are in an impressive vein of form, with successive victories over St Lawrence and New Farnley preceding a strong performance against Hanging Heaton.
In stellar touch is the division’s top runs-scorer Tayyab Tahir, who contributed innings of 63 and 96 respectively in the wins over St Lawrence and Farnley – following on from a fine 100 against Heaton.
In Championship 1, second-placed Wrenthorpe head to Ossett, while Morley, in third, host Baildon.
Pudsey Congs host Batley and Hunslet Nelson visit leaders Undercliffe.