WHEN it comes to pressure at the top end of the ECB Bradford League Premier Division, everything is relative.
Just ask Farsley, sitting pretty in third place in a role reversal to last summer when they were down among the dead men scrambling for their top-tier lives at the foot of the table.
The Red Laners are enjoying this season’s contrasting ride with batsman Mark Harrison firmly of the view that the pressure is firmly upon the shoulders of others.
More especially given the events of what proved to be a difficult 2015.
A key July continues tomorrow for Farsley at leaders Pudsey St Lawrence at Tofts Road and after last weekend’s fine victory over another high-flier in Hanging Heaton – thanks in part to fine contributions from captain Arthur Price and Adam Ahmed – their confidence could not be higher ahead of back-to-back games with near-neighbours St Lawrence and Pudsey Congs.
The first meeting between Farsley and St Lawrence earlier this season ended in a victory for the latter by 33 runs in a fixture affected by the weather and limited to 20 overs.
Harrison said: “These are derby games that we are very much up for.
“St Lawrence is a huge game and if we can go there and prove to ourselves we can win there, there’s an opportunity to go on a run and not be held back.
“Last Saturday was a massive win.
“It was all or nothing as we had to pull Hanging Heaton back into the fray and with Pudsey (St Lawrence), the gap isn’t as big now.
“It was a very good win and a proper game of cricket.”
On the notion of expectations at Farsley, 26 points behind St Lawrence and 14 adrift of Hanging Heaton, he added: “Our expectations are a lot less.
“We are very much a village club who are punching above our weight and there’s pressure on the New Farnley’s and Hanging Heaton’s of this world.
“St Lawrence are in our realm in that they have blooded a few and are a homegrown side and have won the league.
“For us, it is a case of keeping fighting and keeping up with the big boys and enjoying the season.”
The one blot on the landscape in a serene 2016 for Farsley has been something that they cannot control, namely the weather.
Harrison hopes for a break in that respect with the season now in high summer and Farsley well placed to turn an uplifting season into an extremely impressive one with a couple of months of the campaign still remaining.
He said: “We are just hoping that the weather holds.
“You look at the games we have had rained off and the games that St Lawrence have played and won.
“We have been rained off against Scholes, Lightcliffe and Cleckheaton.
“We had Cleckheaton on the wrack and we were very much in the game against Lightcliffe as well.
“Scholes was also a game that we would have liked to kick on in.
“It’s the luck of the draw, but we would have been in a better position if the weather had been different.
“It’s a case of fingers crossed that we can get a fair crack of the whip.”