Final is a battle of youth and experience

Wicket-keeper Steve Thompson adds experience to Pudsey St Lawrence's line up

Wicket-keeper Steve Thompson adds experience to Pudsey St Lawrence's line up

First published in Sport by

HAVING Pudsey St Lawrence in second teams' Division Two of the JCT600 Bradford League feels a bit like when Manchester United were in Division Two of the Football League in 1974-75.

"A club like Pudsey St Lawrence should never be relegated," said Hanging Heaton skipper Mark Inwood before the sides meet on Sunday in the Sovereign Health Care Priestley Shield final at Keighley (noon). "It is like Leeds United playing in the Championship.

"I can remember playing against St Lawrence at first-team level when I was younger and they used to hand out some right beatings."

However, Saints' stay in the second tier, after being demoted in 2012, looks like it will soon be over.

Fourth last season, they currently lead Division Two with 268 points, 18 points ahead of Undercliffe and 19 in front of Gomersal in what looks like a three-way fight for promotion.

Inwood added of the Saints: "They have some talented youngsters but it remains to be seen how they cope with a final.

"They have Steve Thompson but we have more experience, and hopefully that will give us an edge.

"We beat New Farnley by 102 runs in last year's final and, being newcomers, they were a bit unsure of the wicket at Hartshead Moor."

Inwood, despite only arriving back to England on a ferry in the early hours of the morning and driving through the night, was man of the match for his 23 on a slow wicket and 3-9. However, he is better prepared this time around, having been in the country since Wednesday!

Inwood added: "We have spin bowler Umar Rehman, and nobody likes batting against him.

"He can bowl destructive spells, and we also have Michael Horner, who just seems to keep rolling along. We feel that we are a match for anybody on our day."

Experience apart, St Lawrence will also be relying on young tyros such as Archie Scott, Harry Cullingford, Jordan Moore, Will Sharp, Josh Wilson and Josh Smith.

Hanging Heaton, who are the holders and are sixth in Division One, have won the Shield five times since joining the league in 1980, while St Lawrence have eight wins in their 102 years, but none since 1999.

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