CLECKHEATON, who won the Division One title for the first time last year and are on their way to retaining it, could be considered to be the ultimate team at the moment in the JCT600 Bradford League.
Pudsey Congs and Woodlands have both enjoyed their periods of dominance in recent years and, although it is too early to add Cleckheaton to that list, they are certainly the team to beat at the moment as they seek to land the first leg of what could be a double tomorrow.
They face Pudsey St Lawrence in the final of the Sovereign Health Care Priestley Cup at Undercliffe (noon), and Saints' opening bat Mark Robertshaw says of Cleckheaton: "They haven't got the four best batters or the three best bowlers like Woodlands had when they won the league but they are consistently the best team.
"The results last year and this year show that. We set out this season to be in contention for the league at halfway, which we were, but we have let ourselves down in the last few weeks."
Saints have lost five matches this season, but three have come in the last three weeks – at New Farnley last Saturday and before that at home to Pudsey Congs and Farsley.
"We haven't been in great form. We haven't been setting that platform early in our innings like we were earlier in the season as we have been losing too many early wickets, and we haven't been bowling well," admitted Robertshaw.
"But we are confident that we can beat anyone on our day."
Richard Robinson is in the potentially unique situation of preparing the ground for the Priestley Shield and Cup finals in successive weeks.
The Keighley all-rounder slept at Lawkholme Lane last Saturday before the Shield final and will do the same at Intake Road, where he is also groundsman, if he feels the weather warrants it.
His efforts last weekend were worth it as the pitch played well and the outfield looked a million dollars.