WITH silverware tucked safely away in the cupboard following Sunday’s Priestley Cup final showpiece, Woodlands are now bracing themselves for two league games of cup-final intensity.
Eyeing a memorable Bradford Premier League and Priestley Cup double, the Albert Terrace men can take a giant step towards securing the league title with victories over Pudsey St Lawrence and Bradford and Bingley in their next two matches.
As it stands, Cieran Garner’s side are 18 points clear of second-placed B&B with a game in hand, with the Oakenshaw outfit hosting their rivals on Saturday week.
Before that, Woodlands make the trip to Tofts Road to face reigning champions St Lawrence, who lie in third place and are 42 points behind the league frontrunners.
Victory in those two games would put Woodlands in an unassailable-looking position, with the leaders facing games against Undercliffe, Cleckheaton and Farsley in their last three outings of the season. Woodlands secretary Brian Pearson said: “We have Pudsey St Lawrence followed by Bradford and Bingley on our ground, so I think if we are able to win both of those, then there are only three (games) to go then.
“Particularly if we beat Bradford and Bingley as Pudsey are a few points behind, when we will be in a nice lead with points. Fortunately, we have got the experience with Bricey, Kez, Sam Frankland, Tim Jackson and Schmulian, who is 28 and has played first-class cricket. With that mixture and the youth that we have, it is why we are where we are and we are a balanced side.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, second-placed Bradford and Bingley play host to beaten Priestley Cup finalists New Farnley, while fourth-placed Hanging Heaton make the trip to relegation-threatened Lightcliffe.
Rock-bottom Methley, who boosted their hopes of survival by defying the rain to triumph last week, host Cleckheaton, as they seek to maintain their hopes of a ‘great escape’.
Farsley make the short journey to near-neighbours Undercliffe, while third-from-bottom Wrenthorpe host Townville.
In Championship One, Pudsey Congs host Bankfoot and Morley visit Ossett. Batley go to Wakefield St Michael’s.