7:00pm Thursday 1st May 2014
By Jack Strother
West Bowling will be without outstanding prop forward Connor Wood when they bring their Pennine League campaign to a close with a visit to old foes Wibsey Warriors on Saturday.
Wood, who has terrorised opposition defences consistently all season, misses the Premier Division clash with a calf strain.
This represents a major blow to Bowling’s hopes of avenging their recent Bradford Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of the Warriors.
But there is some measure of consolation with the return from injury of Scott Butler and veteran former BARLA international Nigel Halmshaw.
Wibsey, who have a further two games to play after this weekend – plus the Jack Senior Memorial Cup final at Salem RUFC – have been hit by the loss of a clutch of players to the summer competition and will delay their team selection until just prior to kick-off.
Prop forward Ross Simpson, who took the Warriors man of the match award on his last appearance, will be keen to impress against his former team-mates.
Queensbury are also due a body count before their home game against Upton in the Championship Division.
’Bury gave as good as they got in last week’s BARLA National Cup semi-final defeat to Hunslet Old Boys and will need to assess the bumps and bruises before taking on their Pontefract visitors, who must win to stay in the title race against leaders Methley Royals.
One name they will want to pencil in first will be scrum half Josh Naylor, who is bang in form leading from the front.
Victoria Rangers meet Crofton Cougars in the Pennine Supplementary Cup final at Batley Bulldogs RLFC on Monday (11am).
Rangers have carried all before them so far this season, taking the Division Four title with a 100 per cent record, and are in line for more silverware in the Hudson Foster Bradford Cup final.
Crofton finished third in Division Five and have an impressive defensive record but will face a formidable Vics outfit.
They are well coached and have an all-star line-up which includes fleet-footed full back Elliot Hodgson and playmaker hooker Isaac Brown.
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