Unchartered waters are a real test for Pudsey Congs

Gareth Phillips
Gareth Phillips
Have your say

A SEASONAL drama may be in danger of lurching into a full-blown crisis for Pudsey Congs, but the embattled club have a message for the doubters.

And it’s an emphatic one, with spokesperson Ralph Middlebrook pledging that the Bradford League big guns will fight out of their current embarassing predicament, which pits the Britannia Ground men right at the bottom of Division One of the Bradford League.

After the champagne highs of the early noughties when they lifted the title five years on the trot, Congs are in danger of losing their place in the top-flight if they don’t start arresting their fortunes on the pitch soon.

As it stands, the league table makes horrific reading for Congs supporters, whose side haven’t won in the league in eight matches this term and are eight points adrift of second-from-bottom.

Next up are the side just above them in the table, Yeadon, currently eight points clear with Congs likely to be under no illusions of the consequences of another setback tomorrow.

Despite the obvious concern at Congs’ plight, Middlebrook remains full of fighting talk and is confident that the club will not be down among the dead men come the end of the season.

And he is steadfast in his belief that one positive result could turn around the season for Congs.

Middlebrook said: “We are bottom of the league and I don’t think we have been for many, many years and it’s a position we are all extremely worried about.

“We have got a fight on our hands, but I am pretty confident we are going to pull out of this – and so are the team, more importantly.

“Our captain Gareth (Phillips) is bowling well, coming up with a few useful wickets and starting to get a few runs and he’s not downhearted.

“And with players such as Glen Roberts, Andrew Bairstow and James Pearson, we should be able to pull out of it.

“You talk in the game of one wicket bringing two. And I think one result would change it for us.

“But we are not lay down and give up and we shall fight out of this tight corner and a cup run might help us in that process.

“Pudsey Congs are not going to be where they are now in September and we will be there fighting for the points in September.

He added: “We are convinced we have a talented team who are not playing to our potential.

“To lose by 11 runs to Lightcliffe was poor again on Saturday; we should have won.

“But we imploded at the wrong time on a decent pitch, despite the fact it was a bit wet, we should have been able to get 193.

“When you are struggling, you also don’t get the rub of the green.

“But we played well against St Lawrence and are still in the Heavy Woollen Cup, Priestley Cup and Priestley Shield, so while we are disappointed, we are not downhearted.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, leaders Woodlands make the trip to near-neighbours East Bierley, with third-placed Pudsey St Lawrence hosting Morley.

Farsley, in fourth, welcome third-from-bottom New Farnley, while Hanging Heaton visit Bradford and Bingley. Champions Cleckheaton head to Lightcliffe.

Reigning Beckwithshaw will be seeking to end their worrying slump in the Aire-Wharfe League at Ben Rhydding tomorrow.

Leaders Otley welcome Steeton, with Burley welcoming Rawdon. Kirkstall go to Bilton and Rawdon visit Burley. Collingham and Guiseley entertain Pool and Ilkley respectively.

Frontrunners Scholes host lowly Carlton in the top-flight of the Central Yorkshire League, with fifth-placed Wakefield Thornes hosting second-placed Methley.

Third meets fourth with Ossett at home to Townville.

In the ECB Yorkshire League, Harrogate visit Appleby Frodingham, with Yorkshire Academy at home to Rotherham.

Castleford visit Sheffield Collegiate.

Activity in the Wetherby League sees joint leaders Wetherby and Kirk Deighton play host to Old Leodiensians and Bilton-in-Ainsty respectively.

Champions Great Preston visit Barwick, with St Chads at home to Scarcroft.

Nine points clear at the summit of the Pontefract League, Ackworth host Hooton Pagnell.

England Test captain Joe Root.. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA

Chris Waters: Further testing times await travel-sick England