Cleckheaton can retain league championship with victory over injury-hit Farsley

Cleckheaton skipper John Wood has Achilles injury

Cleckheaton skipper John Wood has Achilles injury

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

CLECKHEATON can secure their second-successive JCT600 Bradford League Division One title on Saturday.

They visit sixth-placed Farsley looking to put the championship out of the reach of second-placed Wood-
lands.

Mathematically they need 16 points from their final two fixtures, but that figure could well be reduced as Woodlands need to be taking maximum points from their last two matches.While that is likely from their final game at home to bottom team Yeadon, it will be a tough task when they visit Pudsey St Lawrence tomorrow.

The Saints beat Cleckheaton in last Sunday’s Sovereign Heath Care Priestley Cup final and recorded league and cup wins at Woodlands on successive days earlier in the season.

Cleckheaton, who also have a Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy semi-final against York at Moorend on Sunday, have injury problems as they look to bounce back from their cup final defeat.

Skipper John Wood is struggling with an Achilles injury while his brother Ian is still feeling his way after a knee operation.

But Cleckheaton’s problems are minor compared to Farsley’s. Already without the services of former Yorkshire batsman Joe Sayers – who will not play again this season – and former skipper Barrie Frankland, who is playing football, the Red Lane side have suffered injuries to their opening bowlers Graham Hume and Neil Laidlaw.

Hume tweaked a hamstring after bowling just 11 balls in the defeat at New Farnley last Saturday, while Laidlaw picked up an injury while batting and didn’t bowl at all.

The battle for third place is creating a lot of interest with four teams covered by just three points. Hanging Heaton (203) currently have the edge from New Farnley (202), Pudsey St Lawrence (202) and Bradford & Bingley (200).

Hanging Heaton visit East Bierley, who need seven points to maintain their place in the top flight, while in-form New Farnley travel to Lightcliffe. Bradford & Bingley, who beat Hanging Heaton last week, have a tricky home fixture against Pudsey Congs.

The bottom two, Yeadon and Morley, meet at the White Swan ground knowing that their relegation is all but rubber-tamped. It would take a dramatic turn of events to save either of them.

Undercliffe’s promotion has been secured and they require 31 points from four games to clinch the Division Two title. They visit Bowling Old Lane.

Saltaire need 27 points from three matches to join Undercliffe in Division One next year. Adrian Monks’ team visit Hartshead Moor who still have a mathematical chance of promotion as do Baildon, who visit lowly Brighouse, and Keighley who entertain Great Horton.

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