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Title more important to Cleckheaton opener Tim Jackson than 1,000-run landmark
Opening batsman Tim Jackson is looking to celebrate his best season in the JCT600 Bradford League by helping Cleckheaton to their first ever Division One title.
The stylish left hander has scored 908 league runs, with three hundreds, and currently sits second in the runs-scoring list behind Pudsey St Lawrence skipper Mark Robertshaw.
He would love to achieve the coveted 1,000 landmark but is more concerned with Cleckheaton lifting the championship.
Speaking after his side’s match at Priestley Cup finalists Lightcliffe was abandoned, Jackson said: “Pudsey St Lawrence have gained four points on us today but we are still 26 points ahead with only three matches left.
“The next two are against sides in the bottom half of the table before we go to Woodlands for the last match of the season.”
Jackson is looking for Cleckheaton to make sure of the title before the game against the reigning champions.
“We don’t want it to rest on the Woodlands game,” he said, “although we are usually quite strong against them.
“We beat them in the first half of the season and they are missing key players, particularly Chris Brice.”
Jackson, now in his third season at Cleckheaton after joining them from Saltaire, believes they key to the team’s success is stability, continuity and team spirit.
“We are a side that are now coming into our prime,” he added.
He also paid tribute to skipper John Wood, now in his ninth season at Cleckheaton. “He has given outstanding service to the club,” he said.
“The beauty this year is that if one person doesn’t come off the others do. We don’t rely on one or two individuals.
“My personal targets are 1,000 runs and winning the league but I would be happy with 900 runs and winning the league. I don’t want it the other way round – me scoring 1,000 runs and us not winning the title.
“This is my best season in the league – I have gradually got better each year.
“It was a great move from Saltaire to Cleckheaton. I left when Saltaire got relegated.
“I am not one of those players who move from club to club but I wanted to play at the top level in Division One.”
The game at Lightcliffe was interestingly poised, with Cleckheaton 157-4 with eight overs left before the weather had the final say.
Opener John Wood hit 13 fours in his 60 before he was fourth out, caught by Charlie Roebuck at point to give Alex Stead his third wicket as the visitors slipped from 58-1 to 93-4.
Mally Nicholson (30) and James Lee (32) were rebuilding the innings with an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 64 before rain had the final say.
Lightcliffe captain Chris Taylor, who will lead his side against Hanging Heaton in this coming Sunday’s Priestley Cup final, said: “It was frustrating for us but more so for Cleckheaton.
“The match was evenly balanced. John Wood batted well but we dropped four catches and we could have had them 80-6.
“Cleckheaton are a good side. They have been close over the last few years and deserve to win the league.”
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