Promotion out of reach but still plenty for Baildon to play for

Baildon full back JJ O’Connell, left, is at Twickenham this weekend

Baildon full back JJ O’Connell, left, is at Twickenham this weekend

First published in Bradford Salem Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Sports Reporter

Baildon decided several few weeks ago that this would not be a promotion season for them – but that it could be a cup-winning one.

The Jenny Laners are fifth in SSE Yorkshire Division Three with five games to go but are 19 points behind second-placed Sheffield Medicals.

“We decided a while ago that we probably wouldn’t be able to catch Medicals, who we still have to play at Jenny Lane on the last day of the season,” said Baildon rugby chairman Andy Whitley.

“On the other hand, we are still in the quarter-finals of two cups – the RFU Junior Vase and the Yorkshire Silver Trophy.”

Baildon host Mossley Hill in the Vase on Saturday but, as Whitley said: “We have no idea when we will play Old Rishworthians at home in the Trophy.”

The Jenny Lane outfit have previous in the Vase, losing 19-14 at Billericay in the semi-finals of 2007.

“One or two of our current squad played that day, such as Nick Lister, Hayden Lister, Richard Kingham and Phil Wilson, and it is still talked about it,” said Whitley.

However, Baildon are wisely looking no further than their last-eight tie against Liverpudlians Mossley Hill, who are vying with Manchester Medics for the North Lancashire Division Two title.

Baildon sailed through their pool, winning 79-6 at Newton Aycliffe and receiving a walkover against Seghill, who only beat Newton Aycliffe 9-7 but could not raise a front row to face Baildon. With the exception of full back JJ O’Connell, who is watching England play Ireland, Baildon are at full strength as they bid to go one step removed from a Twickenham final.

The winners this weekend will meet either Bloxwich or Old Wheatleyans on neutral ground in the last four.

Elsewhere in a limited programme, BRADFORD SALEM feel they can take confidence from a 7-7 draw at West Park Leeds into their home game against Leodiensians as they continue their bid to return to Yorkshire Division One at the first attempt.

Third-placed Salem still trail West Park Leeds, who are second, by two points but this is their game in hand.

CLECKHEATON travel to Durham City in North One East hoping for a fourth straight win against opponents who have conceded 97 points in losing their last two matches.

Baildon (home to Mossley Hill): J Duxbury; H Lister, J Huss, M Dracup, M Robinson; N Lister, J Dawson; M Hemingway, T Craven, P Lowth, M Atkinson, A Beaumont, M Williams C Woodhall, J Picken, C Woodhall. Replacements: D Tabiner, A Hewitt, A Pollard, D Pollard, B Newton, D Athwell.

Bradford Salem (home to Leodiensians): J Robinson; C Savva, M Barlow, M Steel, D Thomas; T Williams, I Woodwiss; J Bradbury, C Buxton, S Davies, J Cunliffe, J Morrell, D Pearson, K Falwasser, D Hutton. Replacements (from): J Booth, D Luxton, D Ram, J Reynolds.

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