Bradford League: Teamwork takes New Farnley into the trophy mix

Ajmal Shahzad bowls for New Farnley.
Ajmal Shahzad bowls for New Farnley.
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THERE is no ‘I’ in team; a notion that New Farnley are finally adhering to in what is shaping up to be a stellar 2018.

Flashes of the rich seam of talent at Farnley’s disposal have been shown during their previous seasons in the Bradford League, but all too sporadically, with the Lawns Lane outfit flattering to deceive in the final analysis and guilty of under-achievement.

Alex Lilley.

Alex Lilley.

But this season promises to be different, with Lee Goddard’s side flying high at the top of the Premier Division and in the mix for three trophies heading into the season’s business end.

Secretary Richard Good said: “The chairman (John Baldwin) is highly delighted with the way that the season is going, coming down to crunch time at the back end of the season. It is getting exciting.

“The league is the one he has targetted for the last three years and he has been building the squad. This year, we seem to have got the right blend of players who want to play for each other.

“Lee is also doing a good job as captain. The young lads like Alex Lilley have got a lot of get-up-and-go about them. It is all coming together nicely.

“This year, there has been a noticeable difference regarding the morale around the place and the buzz. The players are really together, whereas in the past couple of years, we have not really had that.

“We may have had the ex-county players, but they have just not gelled as well as this year. Everyone is all pulling together.

“In previous years, we would tear teams apart one week and then go and lose games on paper that should have been twenty points.”

Farnley’s credentials in league and cup will be tested by Farsley in a key neighbouring double-header this weekend – with Goddard’s side visiting Red Lane in the league tomorrow.

They then head to Farsley on Sunday for their rearranged Priestley Cup semi-final tie.

Goddard, whose side are 14 points clear at the summit with seven games to play, remarked: “They are two massive games. Farsley lost last weekend to Hanging Heaton, so will be looking to bounce back strongly and obviously we want to keep our good run going.

“We are used to big games and we have certainly got a few coming up.

“It has been a great year so far. We recruited wisely with the likes of Alex Lilley and Steve Bullen over the winter and we obviously brought Ajmal Shahzad in as well. But it has not just been about individual names, but gelling as a team and we feel we have a really good unit and feel within the team this year.

“We have been getting over the line in tight situations too.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, action at the top sees second-placed Pudsey St Lawrence go to Townville and Hanging Heaton host lowly Scholes.

Methley head to East Bierley and Woodlands welcome Bradford and Bingley. Cleckheaton entertain Lightcliffe.

Championship One leaders Undercliffe visit Pudsey Congs. Second-placed Wrenthorpe host rock-bottom Yeadon and third-placed Morley host Batley.

A big game at the bottom sees Ossett play host to Hartshead Moor.