ALONG WITH Bradford duo Jer Lane and Woodlands, as well as Townville, New Farnley are among the front-runners to win the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League Premier Division this season.

But they have suffered a major blow thanks to the unexpected loss of their best player for a couple of months, who has been given an offer he could not refuse.

Cam Fletcher, their star batsman, has been offered a contract with Derbyshire to play in 11 Vitality Blast matches.

This is especially bad news for New Farnley given popular skipper Alex Lilley is currently out with an Achilles problem, all-rounder Usman Arshad is nursing a leg injury, and pacer Will Williams is need by parent club Lancashire.

As for New Zealander Fletcher, playing for Derbyshire is a huge step up in quality for him, but he is deserving of his chance, having already struck two centuries for New Farnley this season.

Fletcher signed for Derbyshire last Thursday and was thrown straight into the action for the Falcons’ North Group matches against Notts Outlaws and Yorkshire Vikings.

His debut came against Notts, as he helped Derbyshire inflict a heaviest ever T20 defeat on their East Midlands rivals.

The Falcons won by 96 runs, with Fletcher striking four boundaries as he made 19 on his debut.

He also caught out both Alex Hales and Lyndon James as the Outlaws were bundled out for 102.

Bizarrely, Fletcher made 19 once again, this time unbeaten, as Derbyshire posted 179-6 at Headingley on Sunday, only for Yorkshire to easily chase that down by nine wickets.

Derbyshire currently sit fifth in the North Group, with two wins and three defeats in the Blast so far.

Only the top four teams in the North Group will make the quarter-finals, alongside the top four from the South Group.