WOODLANDS captain Brad Schmulian is firmly expecting Jer Lane to be right in the hunt for the Bradford Premier League (Premier Division) title come the end of the season.

They (Jer Lane) currently top the table after seven league fixtures, while New Farnley and Woodlands sit in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Following the decision from the Bradford Premier League to delay the start of this season due to the poor playing conditions, it has meant that Woodlands haven’t yet faced off with Jer Lane and will instead play them on a rescheduled date.

Giving his thoughts on the current league leaders, Woodlands’ captain, Schmulian said: “Having not played them just yet, I don’t really have a valid opinion on Jer Lane.

“However, looking at the scorecards, they appear to be playing a pretty impressive brand of cricket and they’re scoring a lot of runs.

“I don’t know all of the guys in their team, but it seems like they’ve got a number of players putting in some pretty impressive performances.

“I think that once everyone has played everyone at the end of the first round, as in after the first 12 matches, I think we’ll have more of an idea as to who the real contenders for this league are.

“But I’m not surprised by Jer Lane’s start to the season as they showed their quality against a number of the big sides last year. I don’t see why they won’t be in the top two or three come the end of the season.”

Not only does he expect them to be fighting for a top three finish, Schmulian admitted that he doesn’t see any reason for Jer Lane not to be going for the championship.

He said: “We see them as a title rival, for sure.

“They’re still top of the table and they beat New Farnley who are always fighting at the top end of the table, so they’re going to be a team who are right up there.

“I wouldn’t say we are worried, but we’ll need to be on our A-game when we come up against them in the league. If you’re not on top form against them, then it looks like they’ll get the better of you.”

With Jer Lane and New Farnley currently setting the pace in the Bradford Premier League, Schmulian’s Woodlands have little room for error if they are to make it a fifth Premier League victory on the bounce at the end of the season.

“With the way the two sides above us are playing, it does give you that added impetus to be fully concentrated on performance,” Schmulian admitted.

“We feel as if we can’t slip up or else we will be punished by two strong teams.

“Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I do feel a bit more anxious heading into each fixture.”

He added: “I suppose, we’re used to being at the top of the table with the teams around us looking to chase us.

“However, it’s a different situation so far but I feel it’s a test that we can and will thrive off.”

Woodlands take on 4th placed Pudsey St Lawrence today at home, and they’ll be looking to create a gap between themselves and the chasing pack outside of the top three.