Cricket: Farsley’s fortunes a far cry from drop-fear year

Farsley's Mark Harrison.
Farsley's Mark Harrison.
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IN COMPARISON to 12 months ago, the final day of the season will represent a pleasure and not a chore for Farsley.

Last September, the Red Laners were scrambling for their lives with only a remarkable win at the end of 2016 against New Farnley enabling them to retain their Bradford League top-flight tenure by the skin of their teeth.

Now the pressure – if there is any – is firmly at the other end of the table, with third-placed Farsley being the dark horses in a compelling ECB Bradford Premier League title race with two games left.

While it would take the top two of Pudsey St Lawrence and Hanging Heaton to slip up to enable them to secure silverware, Farsley, who visit Woodlands tomorrow, retain hope according to Mark Harrison.

The feel-good factor is massively apparent as the season reaches its climax.

And Farsley’s sense of well-being added to by the fact that free-scoring batsmen James Price – who has hit 880 runs in a run-laden 2016 and still has a chance of reaching the magic four-figure barrier – has committed his future to the club next season.

Believing that anything is still possible for Farsley, who trail leaders St Lawrence by a bridgeable 19 points with two games to go, Harrison said: “If we get a win at Woodlands and take things into the last day when we can mathematically still do it, you never know in cricket after the events of last season.

“While we are still in it, we will be positive and we have had a good season so far.

“We have retained all of our players and will be looking to add and fine-tune next season and be there or thereabouts again. We have been consistent and only lost four games.

“We have got to be proud of what we have achieved so far, but don’t want to stop with two games left.

“If we win both, you never know and we will keep our fingers crossed anyway. We have just to hope for that bit of luck.

“We would have taken finishing third, while the second team are in second and vying for the title and the third team are also in that position. We would have taken all that as a club. But now we are there, we want to push on moving forward.”

Farsley face a Woodlands side on a high after last Sunday’s Priestley Cup final win over St Lawrence at Spen Victoria.

And, while Harrison and his colleagues are hoping for a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’, they are steadfastly focusing on performing their side of the bargain.

He added: “We will keep striving to win every game and enjoying it.

“With Woodlands winning the cup last weekend, it looks set up for a good game of cricket.

“Hopefully, we can put in a good performance and the lads can do well and we can pick up a good win.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, Pudsey St Lawrence – four points clear – visit relegation-haunted Morley in a game which has huge implications at both ends of the table.

Heaton welcome Bradford and Bingley.

Meanwhile, basement boys Scholes, with time running out, entertain New Farnley and East Bierley host Lightcliffe, with both sides still in the relegation picture.

Pudsey Congs visit Cleckheaton.

Hanging Heaton celebrate winning the Yorkshire Premier League.

Hanging Heaton add gloss to super season with Premier title