Bradford League: Three-year plan puts Methley on right track

Grant Soames.
Grant Soames.
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DISRUPTION is certainly being minimised by all those at Methley this season.

The Bradford Premier League outfit have managed to cast aside an unsettled season in terms of selection to consolidate back in the top flight, with last weekend’s fine victory at champions Hanging Heaton whetting the appetite for high-summer.

Harry Sullivan.

Harry Sullivan.

Key contributions arrived from overseas paceman Waqas Ahmed, settling well into life at Little Church Lane, Adam Patel and Grant Soames, with the latter delighted at how Methley have handled some interruptions this term.

Captain Soames said: “Obviously, last Saturday was huge for us. Coming from the Championship, our main aim is survival and to be competitive. But to go to Hanging Heaton and beat them with their line-up was very satisfying.

“Even though we got to the Priestley Cup final last year and got promoted, it was a hard winter for recruitment. But we didn’t want to forsake any of our principles and got the right people in.

“We are trying to juggle players being missing. Both the spinners (Joshua Sullivan and Harry Sullivan) have been taken by Yorkshire Academy and Matthew Waite is out injured and our resources have been tested.

Adam Patel.

Adam Patel.

“It is unfortunate and we are probably a victim of our own success because of the amount of work we have put in with the juniors coming through.

“But luckily, because of the principles we apply, a couple of people have been able to step up from the second team. We are hoping that Saturday’s win can prove a catalyst and that we can have a bit more of a settled side in the coming weeks.”

After the success over Heaton, it is a case of ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’ for seventh-placed Methley over the next two weekends.

They host leaders New Farnley tomorrow before entertaining Hanging Heaton in the Priestley Cup on Sunday. Next Saturday, they visit Pudsey St Lawrence and then welcome Wakefield Thornes in a last-eight Heavy Woollen Cup tie.

“It does not get any easier,” Soames admitted. “But hopefully, we will have the main personnel there and we will be as competitive as we can be and push for a couple of victories.

“It is a huge few weekends. We are in the middle of three games against the top three in the league and the win at Hanging Heaton sets us up well for that.

“Then, we face them again in the cup and will be trying our best again, but we are facing really good sides who have been there year in, year out.

“When I signed for the club, there was a three-year plan and this is the last year of that plan, which was to ensure we consolidated in the Premier, so we are ready to take the next step forward.

“If we’d had our overseas from the start of the season and not lost players with injuries, I think we would have been really competitive.

“But we will remain competitive and the aim is to finish comfortably mid-table and gain a good reputation.”

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PUDSEY ST LAWRENCE will be seeking to add to struggling Scholes’ pains when they visit New Popplewell Lane tomorrow.

St Lawrence, a point adrift of Premier League leaders New Farnley following last weekend’s eight-wicket loss, face a big double-header on the road, with Chris Marsden’s side having the chance to exact revenge on holders Farnley in Sunday’s Priestley Cup tie.

But it is first things first for St Lawrence, who face a Scholes side who have lost their last five league matches, with their last league win coming back on May 12.

Elsewhere in the league tomorrow, Farsley, back on track after two successive victories, visit Lightcliffe, one place and one point below them in fifth.

Champions Hanging Heaton will be anxious to avoid a third consecutive league loss, something that has not occurred in a good while, when they head to Bradford and Bingley.

The Tewits have been beaten in their last two league outings, to Methley and St Lawrence, but still lie third.

Woodlands, whose overseas Ishraq Ahmed produced a relieving knock in the Heavy Woollen Cup last week after toiling in the league, host a East Bierley side who have been buoyed by last weekend’s much-needed first league win of the season against Cleckheaton.

Cleck, meanwhile, host a Townville side eyeing their fourth league win on the spin.

In the second tier, the game of the day sees second-placed Undercliffe welcome Gomersal, in fourth.

Wrenthorpe, a point behind Undercliffe, go to Hunslet Nelson and third-placed Morley visit Bankfoot.

Pudsey Congs host Ossett and a big game at the bottom sees Yeadon host Hartshead Moor.

The Priestley Cup takes centre stage on Sunday and there are some intriguing ties.

Five all top-flight ties take place, including Farnley against St Lawrence and Methley versus Hanging Heaton.

Farsley host a Scholes side who beat them in the league just over a month ago, while Bierley welcome near-neighbours Lightcliffe.

Old rivals Cleckheaton and Woodlands meet at Moorend.

The Championship’s top two meet when Wrenthorpe entertain Undercliffe. Gomersal host Batley.